Remember the post called “Two Bonuses”? It actually described three bonuses: one went to Mercedes Schneider, who received a bonus of $427.76 after she was rated a “highly effective teacher”; she gave her bonus away to a friend raising an autistic child. The second bonus went to a charter school teacher who raised scores by 88%; her bonus was $43,000! The third bonus went to a kindergarten teacher at the same charter school who had raised scores even more, but her bonus was $4,086 because her class’s scores did not “count” toward state ratings. The kindergarten scores went  up by 165%! The teacher was Ashleigh Pelafigue.


Of course, the bonus plan is completely unsustainable because it is funded by a one-time federal grant of $2.3 million that went to a charter chain called New Beginnings with four schools.


I learned from a comment left on the post that Ashleigh Pelafigue, who had the highest gains in the school (not sure how kindergarten children were tested!), was fired. She now teaches in a public school.


And then Ashleigh herself wrote a comment on the blog:


I AM the (former) kindergarten teacher referenced in this story and the above comment about me is true [that she was fired]. As far as teacher to pupil ratios, never did I have a class of less than 25 students. I also had no aide or interventionist to pull my students. My students were not serviced for special needs nor were they appropriately designated for ESL. Despite countless hours of hard work, hours upon hours of self-directed professional development, and even continuing my own education to ensure I was providing the most up-to-date instructional strategies, it is true, I was fired without just cause, with no warning, and given only hours to clean out my classroom. My email was wiped out within three hours of receiving my termination letter and I was denied the bonus that I had earned because I was not returning to the school. I was not actively looking for a new job; completely blindsided does not even accurately express my shock. As the above comment states I did in fact find employment in a new parish, only three days after being terminated. I applied, was interviewed and hired in a matter of 24 hours. My resume and data speaks for itself.I have never been happier. Although the situation I was dealt was wrong and disgraceful to the New Beginnings Charter School Network, it was the best thing they ever did for me. An adequate bonus would have been nice, a word of thanks or gratitude would have been appreciated, but letting me go opened my eyes. I would have faithfully gone down with a sinking ship. Instead, I am flourishing and becoming even better in a supportive, appreciative and engaging environment that is well on its way to becoming an A school and leading the way to our parish’s continued success.