- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The D.C. Board of Education last night officially appointed Clifford B. Janey superintendent of the District’s public schools under a three-year contract at an annual salary of $250,000.Today will be the first official day on the job for Mr. Janey, 58, former superintendent of public schools in Rochester, N.Y., who has been in Washington off an on for two months and has attended staff meetings and expressed his opinion on many decisionsMr. Janey replaces former D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Paul L. Vance, 72, who unexpectedly resigned from the $175,000 job on Nov. 14, 2003. “We got a great guy. We’re all going forward together,” said Tommy Wells, a member of the D.C. Board of Education who represents District 3, which includes parts of Wards 5 and 6.”Mr. Janey is the right man for the job at this time,” Mr. Wells said, adding that $250,000 is less than Dallas, Miami and Anne Arundel County pay for school superintendents.James Dyke Jr., the attorney who negotiated the contract, said the salary was far less than is being paid to leaders of comparable urban commercial jobs. He also said the salary is in line with the highest-paid city officials in the District.D.C. School Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz said the board and Mr. Janey agreed that officials in each school must be held accountable for the results of their students.”It was clear from the contract-negotiation process that both the board and Dr. Janey were primarily focused on forging a cooperative working partnership that provided for measurable accountability,” Mrs. Cafritz said.Last night the board also approved a $2.25 million contract for library school supplies for the District’s 65,000 students from Scholastic Inc. of New York City, where Mr. Janey served as vice president for one year.During the annual superintendent’s summer conference last month, Mr. Janey said he wanted to move D.C. students ahead academically, reform high schools, improve pre-kindergarten programs and help children who fall behind two or more grades.The board is committed to working with Mr. Janey to enhance student achievement, said Miriam Saez, vice president of the board and the point person in the negotiations. “He knows what the board wants for results and he has the incentive to reach these results,” she said.Mr. Janey became a vice president of Scholastic Inc. in New York City in 2003 after serving seven years as superintendent of the Rochester City School District, where 55,000 students are enrolled. He left after the school board bought out his contract in 2002 after a dispute over his handling of school finances.During his tenure there as superintendent, the mathematics and reading scores of students increased and academic-achievement gaps narrowed among the black, white and Hispanic students.Born, reared and educated in Boston, Mr. Janey studied at Northeastern University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a doctorate. He then became a reading teacher and rose through the ranks to become chief academic officer of Boston public schools.Mr. Vance, 72, was the superintendent for the District’s 167 schools for 3 years. During his tenure, students achieved minimal education and fought with one another, some school personnel preyed on students, and the school buildings deteriorated. It was the longest period of time that one person had served as the D.C. schools superintendent in several years.D.C. students scored lower in 2002 than public school students in the 50 states on the Stanford Achievement Test and the National Assessment of Education Progress. For instance, 69 percent of D.C. fourth graders scored below the basic NAEP rate, compared with the score of 39 percent for fourth graders nationwide.Mr. Vance was first succeeded by his chief of staff, Elfreda W. Massie. Following Ms. Massie, Interim Superintendent Robert C. Rice, 65, took over and has been working with Mr. Janey. For instance, Mr. Janey agreed with Mr. Rice on the firing of three Eastern High School officials for failing to provide student schedules on the first day of classes recently.

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