JCPS investigating Male High Principal David Mike, "improper pra - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS investigating Male High Principal David Mike, "improper practices" at school

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David Mike addresses questions at the May 19 meeting of Male High's Site-Based Decision Making council (Chris Otts / WDRB) David Mike addresses questions at the May 19 meeting of Male High's Site-Based Decision Making council (Chris Otts / WDRB)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is investigating the “professional behavior” of Louisville Male High School Principal David Mike and “allegations of improper practices at the school,” JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey said.

Jackey said the investigation began today at the request of Paige Hartstern, the assistant superintendent who oversees Male. 

“Based on multiple complaints, they are investigating the professional behavior of the principal and allegations of improper practices at the school,” Jackey said in an email.

Efforts to reach Mike were unsuccessful. No one answered the phone at the school’s front desk around 2 pm Friday, and Mike did not reply to an email from WDRB. Jackey said Mike will remain in his role during the investigation.

The only other detail Jackey would share is that the JCPS inquiry “doesn’t involve testing.”

As WDRB reported May 18, the ACT organization began investigating late last year whether its Compass assessment – a placement test that can certify students as “college ready” for state accountability purposes – has been properly administered at Male.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Department of Education has been conducting a parallel investigation into testing procedures at Male, and the state's case is still pending.

Earlier this month, WDRB reported that eight Male seniors had said they were helped, or witnessed their peers being helped, by a Male school official on the Compass test; and that three of the seniors said Mike told them not to tell investigators about the help when they were first interviewed around last December.

Jackey declined to say anything about the substance of the “multiple complaints” that led to the JCPS investigation.

Hartstern previously confirmed that she received an anonymous letter, dated April 17, from a disgruntled Male senior detailing the allegations of cheating on the Compass test and saying that two friends had told her that Mike had asked them to cover it up.

The letter, which was shared with WDRB by the senior’s mother, added that Mike is “dishonest.”

“I have witnessed how he treats my teachers and his intimidation tactics are mean and cruel,” the senior wrote.

Hartstern said May 16 that the letter had been forwarded to the Kentucky Department of Education “for investigation” – presumably, as part of its inquiry into testing administration at Male.

Jackey has previously acknowledged a “wave of discontent” at Male over Mike’s decision to involuntarily transfer nine teachers and other employees based on staffing needs.

Mike faced dozens of angry teachers, parents and students at the most recent meeting of the school’s Site-Based Decision Making council on May 19. One member of the council, parent Ben Wyman, said publicly that he’s lost trust in Mike.

About two dozen Male High students, parents and alumni demonstrated outside JCPS headquarters on May 23 to protest what they viewed as JCPS’ hands-off approach to the problems at Male.

“Leaders should not cheat, lie or bully,” one sign read.

Mike came to Male this academic year from Western High School, where he was principal for five years. 

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.
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