“You can buy a lot of help for children with that money.”
That's what Joyce Irvine told a New York Times reporter after she was dismissed from her job as principal of the H.O. Wheeler Elementary School in Burlington's Old North End. The school, renamed the Integrated Arts Academy this year, has been deemed an "underperforming school" by the Obama administration.
Her ouster has raised hackles locally, but the national attention is giving new fuel to critics of federal education policies that punish schools even when they are showing improvement.
Wheeler students performed below federal standards on tests. The Burlington School District could qualify for $3 million in federal money to help its students -- provided it removed the principal of the underperforming school.