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Continued: Apple Valley charter school's teacher terminations spark frustration

  • Article by: ERIN ADLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 4, 2013 - 2:20 PM

“This is the first time a big group of teachers have been let go,” Stone said, adding that the “most alarming thing” is that the teachers leaving are so beloved.

Erin Wente, who has two daughters at Paideia, said she’s “heartbroken because the teachers and staff at this school have really been wonderful.”

Daugherty “was and is undoubtedly the most popular teacher in that entire school,” Wente said, noting that Daugherty won a grant last year allowing her to put thousands of dollars toward gym classes. Daugherty also organized activities such as snowshoeing and sand volleyball games.

“You take that and you tell me, what could have possibly outweighed all that she’s done?” Wente asked.

Stone believes the terminations will push some of the other “good teachers that we have, that we actually have some longevity with, to go find a job where they can get some assurance that they’re going to be back.”

Tony Moore, who has a second-grader and a kindergartner, said that he’s heard that many teachers are looking for new jobs.

“There’s a significant disdain for the current administration,” Moore said.

He said he’s concerned about the evaluation process and whether teachers were bullied if they expressed unpopular opinions.

He’s organizing a petition on the teachers’ behalf. Wente wrote a letter to the board, and her daughter and her classmates did as well.

While Paideia’s enrollment was up in May, that may not be the case for long, Moore said. Along with Wente and Stone, he said he’s considering other schools for next year.

But Abraham said that “parents really don’t know what’s in the personnel files of the teachers they were up there defending.”

She said she’s “very confident” that personality conflicts played no role and that evaluations were fair. Levy-Maguire said staffing decisions are final.

“We’re very open to respectful, open communication,” Abraham said. “There’s nothing that we’re hiding … and I want parents to know that.”

 

Erin Adler • 952-746-3283

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