The Columbus City Schools board voted unanimously last night to cut three principals involved in the districts data-scrubbing scandal, despite last minute appeals from its constituents. Alison Holm reports.
"My name is Mackenzie Sarah Collier and I am a senior attending Columbus City Schools; the district that cares about politics, rather than the students."
Marion-Franklin senior Mackenzie Collier was one of only a handful of speakers who addressed last nights board meeting, but she voiced the emotions of many who packed the room to protest the plan to fire two principals named in the districts data-scrubbing scandal, and accept the resignation of a third. Former district principal Diana Williams asked the board to step back and reconsider their actions
"It appears to those of us on the outside looking in that four bright young African American professionals appear to be scapegoats for what is clearly a national, a statewide, and a systemic problem of greater significance than these four individuals. What is the long-term plan to improve the culture of testing, aside from removing these individuals? What will their termination truly accomplish?"
Without comment, the board unanimously approved a resolution to accept the resignation of Mifflin High School principal Jonathan Stevens, effective at the end of July. They also approved resolutions to terminate Principals Pamela Diggs of Marion-Franklin and Tiffany Chavers of Linden-McKinley STEM Academy. All three had been placed on paid leave in January for their involvement in the districts data scrubbing scandal. A fourth principal suspended at that time, Christopher Qualls of Independence High School, submitted his resignation last month.
Chavers attended the board meeting but did not address the board. Speaking to reporters after the meeting she said she plans to respond to the allegations at a still-to-be-scheduled hearing.
"I have been dedicated, hardworking; I don’t think it’s fair that we’re being used as the scapegoats for a systemic issue, that’s why I did not resign. Now it’s time for my story to be told."
Chavers and Diggs will be officially suspended without pay today. Under state law, they can determine whether their hearings will be closed or open, and whether they will take place in front of the full board or a hearing officer.