Stuart Middle principal transfers to another school following po - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Stuart Middle principal transfers to another school following poor leadership audit

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Stuart Middle School (WDRB file photo) Stuart Middle School (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The principal of Stuart Middle School has been reassigned and transferred to Central High School as an assistant principal.

Renee Bledsoe's move comes a month after a Kentucky Department of Education diagnostic review determined she did not have the capacity to continue the turnaround efforts at Stuart Middle.

Allison Martin, a JCPS spokeswoman, said following the state audit, Bledsoe chose to pursue an opportunity at another school. There is a $6,000 difference in salaries because of a change in pay grades, Martin said.

According to the district's salary database, Bledsoe made $112,933 as principal at Stuart.

Mark Sauer, a retired administer, is serving as interim principal until Superintendent Donna Hargens names a permanent replacement.

Martin said Bledsoe's move also means that JCPS will not appeal the state's audit.

Beldsoe had been the principal at Stuart Middle since 2013.

Stuart was identified as a 'priority school' in 2011.

Schools are placed in priority status as a result of a 2010 law that called for KDE to identify the state's lowest-performing schools and outline a range of interventions aimed at turning them around.

Priority schools are required to receive a diagnostic review every two years and are completed by a team of current and former educators, parents and others trained in the process.

According to Stuart's diagnostic review:

  • Although Stuart Middle School has received abundant training, resources and support from both the district and the Kentucky Department of Education over a multi-year period, limited evidence exists of systemic continuous improvements
  • Artifacts and documents revealed a lack of parental involvement in decision making and planning
  • Interviews and survey data also suggested that the school leadership team has not been effective in ensuring the implementation of effective instructional strategies
  • Professional development opportunities have been ineffective in improving classroom instruction and have had little to no impact on student academic performance

Over the past five years, 21 schools in Jefferson County have been identified as priority schools for having chronically low test scores. During that time, the district has received more than $38 million in federal grant money to help turn them around. Only two schools -- Waggener High and Fern Creek High -- have exited priority school status.

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Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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