I'm in Brooklyn for a few hours with REAL internet access.
Good piece from Gotham - a few delicious quotes below.
Realizing that its strategies for stocking the city’s ever-expanding supply of schools with excellent principals have fallen short, the Department of Education is launching new programs aimed at slowing down the transition from teacher to administrator.
When Joel Klein became chancellor in 2002, launching an era of rapid-fire, corporate-influenced policy changes, one of his first moves was to create a fast-track principal training program. Former GE executive Jack Welch chaired the NYC Leadership Academy, which was aimed at developing leaders who would be the CEOs of their schools: free to make major management decisions with minimal bureaucratic interference, but accountable for improving performance. By 2009, 15 percent of principals were Leadership Academy graduates.
The program quickly drew criticism. Parents and teachers at some schools headed by graduates complained of heavy-handed management tactics, while others questioned how people who had taught for only a short time, or not at all, could supervise experienced educators. Some graduates left the system or were later demoted. A 2009 study of the program found some positive impact on student test scores, but a different analysis found higher teacher turnover and lower progress report grades at schools run by Leadership Academy graduates.
Now, nearly two years after Klein left the Department of Education, there are fewer than 30 people in the Leadership Academy. One reason for the decline, officials say, is that the department could not sustain the costs in a faltering economy. But they also say a different strategy is needed.
The department has “not done a great job” of recruiting principals, Deputy Chancellor David Weiner told a group of principals in January. He added, “Starting at the end of the process might not be the best place.”