While Bridgeport is getting the headlines (and the loans), in Windham, at the other end of the state, “Special Master” Steven “where is my pension” Adamowski continues to implement a turnaround strategy that relies on fewer teachers and more administrators.
Not satisfied with simply having a $225,000 “Special Master” and a $140,000 Superintendent of Schools (as well as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools), the Windham Board of Education will announce tonight that a Manchester Elementary School principal will become Windham’s new Deputy Superintendent of Schools.
Because, as we’ve noted before, you just can’t have too many superintendents!
In addition to the regular cadre of administrators, principals, vice principals and the like, Adamowski has also created two new administrative titles, two new people who will be called “Headmasters” and two new people who will be called “Dean of Students.”
Oh, and don’t forget the “Special Master’s” decision to create the position of “Special Administrative Manager (SAM)” whose job it will be to oversee Windham’s high school (which Adamowski has renamed an Academy.)
Meanwhile, when it comes to actually educating children;
70 percent of Windham students are minority, but only one in ten who work for Windham’s schools are minority.
Nearly three-quarters of Windham’s students come from households that are so poor that they receive free or reduced school lunches.
60 percent of Windham’s students are Latino and more than a third of the students aren’t fluent in English.
And 16 percent of the students receive special education services, nearly 50 percent more than most towns.
So what did Adamowski do when he arrived?
Of the first dozen teachers he laid off, three (3) were bi-lingual or English as a Second Language teachers and three (3) were special education teachers.
Instead Adamowski signed a contract with Teach For America, and although they bring tremendous energy and commitment to a school, TFA could not guarantee how many, if any, of the temporary teachers would be bi-lingual and none would be certified to provide special education services.
The notion that it is better to look good then feel good may be an acceptable strategy in Hollywood, but calling your high school an academy, your principals headmasters and having a couple of “Dean of Students” walking around doesn’t take the place of a functioning education program.