Our view: New Gary school leaders bring new hope for community
June 7, 2012 4:30PM
THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:03AM
Gary gained two new education leaders last week with similar missions but very different bosses. The Gary School Board selected Gary native Cheryl Pruitt as its next superintendent, and EdisonLearning Inc. named Chicagoan Terrance Little as principal of Pruitt’s alma mater, now called the Roosevelt College and Career Academy.
Pruitt signed a three-year contract and will earn $136,000 annually with the possibility of bonuses if student performance improves. Little has no contract and will earn $135,000 annually.
Congratulations to both administrators who will have their hands full, trying to improve troubled schools. Both have a sense of urgency.
EdisonLearning, a for-profit education management company, is running Roosevelt after the Indiana Department of Education removed it from the Gary Community School Corp. after six straight years of poor performance. Gary’s per-pupil tax dollars will go straight to EdisonLearning to operate the school and hopefully turn it around. That’s been a bitter pill for Gary school officials to swallow, and it’s created an awkward, challenging relationship.
Pruitt, meanwhile, inherits a shrinking school district that’s competing with eight charter schools for students. She will have to bolster a central administration beset with some dysfunction and guide her own turnaround efforts. Five of the district’s 14 schools received an “F” grade from the state last year.
While Pruitt and Little won’t work together, they share the common goal of raising the city’s pride and its students’ futures.