As we mentioned back in late March, after the US Department of Education determined that someone at the Kentucky Department of Education had taken too many KERA math classes and didn’t calculate the number equal to five percent of our schools correctly, two more schools had to be added to the state’s official list of Persistently Low-Achieving Schools.
Newport High School from the Newport Independent School District was one of those additions.
Now, findings from the resulting audit of Newport High’s staff have come in, and the news is rather stark.
Recommendation: Both principal Scott Draud and Newport High’s School Based Decision Making Council (SBDM) have to go. They both lack the ability to turn this chronically low-performing high school around.
Low performance in this school is no surprise. Newport has under-performed the rest of the state and especially other Northern Kentucky region school systems ever since KERA began.
What is a surprise is how this obvious situation was allowed to go on, unchecked, by the Newport District’s superintendent, Michael Brandt, and his local school board.
Brandt did have authority to replace the principal.
According to our analysis of the KDE’s Excel spreadsheet, “SUPERINTENDENT SALARIES (2001-02 THROUGH 2010-11 SCHOOL YEARS,” Brandt’s 2010-11 salary of $174,344.34 ranks him the seventh highest paid superintendent in Kentucky. That is over $56,000 higher than the state average salary for superintendents. Newport’s fall student membership for the same school year ranked it below the middle of the pack, with over 100 districts having larger membership (often loosely called enrollment) and only 66 having fewer students.
Learn more about how Newport’s school board ranked Brandt in our recent study, “Rewarding Failure,” on line here.