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Principal Plans Raises Linked to Test Results

TIMES EDUCATION WRITER

The principal of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s most celebrated charter school said Monday that its employees will earn merit pay for meeting performance goals such as better attendance and test scores.

Seeking renewal of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center’s five-year charter, Principal Yvonne Chan said she will also add a gym to the amenities that the staff has received as a result of the school’s independent financial status.

Under the incentive plan, teachers will receive raises of $1,500 a year and classified staff $1,200 if scores on standardized tests reach the school’s goal.

Teachers would receive annual bonuses of $200 each for meeting goals in attendance, discipline, parent partnership and teaming efforts.

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The application for renewal predicts that 65% of Vaughn’s students will score at or above the 50th percentile on state-approved tests, and all students will at least improve their scores by 3 percentile points each year.

In its first five years, the Pacoima school fell short of its goal of increasing test scores 15 to 20 percentile points.

However, scores improved by more than 10 points in all but one category. Math scores on the Spanish language test improved 8.66 points, the application said.

Vaughn’s composite score on last year’s tests in English and Spanish was 44, which is 11 points above the district average.

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Vaughn is one of four charter schools that made presentations Monday during a hearing on petitions to renew their charters.

The others are Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake View Terrace, the Open Magnet Charter School north of Culver City and the Westwood Charter School.

As a condition for charter renewal, staffs at the schools have been required to resign from the Los Angeles Unified School District or transfer to other schools.

Chan said all but seven of her 63 teachers and two of her eight classified staff are staying.

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Fenton Co-Director Joe Lucente said only two Fenton teachers and one classified staff employee decided to return to the district.

The board will receive an outside evaluation of the four schools June 11. A vote is scheduled for June 15.

In other action Monday, the board approved a $455-million integration budget for nine new magnet centers, but decided to delay their opening until the 1999-2000 school year.

Assistant Supt. Theodore Alexander, head of the voluntary desegregation program, said it was too late to get the magnet programs started smoothly and to properly advertise them so that each of the district’s 681,000 students has an equal chance to get in.

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The district has a waiting list of 27,000 for its 46,403 magnet seats.


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