Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bronx Green Dot Principal...

... report from the trenches

A recent news report (sorry, lost the source) about the new Green Dot/UFT Partnership school:

Ashish Kapadia, former assistant principal for organization and supervision at the Eximius College Preparatory Academy, a College Board school in the Bronx, will head the Green Dot school. He was chosen after an extensive search involving more than 100 candidates interviewed by a team of Green Dot principals and staff. Born in the Bronx, Kapadia graduated cum laude from the University of Chicago and went on to earn master's degrees from New York University and Queens College at the City University of New York. He also taught for seven years at Jane Addams High School in the Bronx, specializing in government, economics and history.

This report on Kapadia's history came in over the Ed Notes transom. Other evaluations are welcome and should be added to the comments section:

Is the best candidate that "an extensive search" could find?
Ashish Kapadia's appointment speaks to how thin the ranks of would-be administrators are.
He was a Social Studies teacher at Jane Addams HS. ("Specializing in government, economics and history"???) For a while he taught an honors class (not AP, though). He was COSA for a few years until 6/06, and then Senior Advisor until 6/07. (That date is not a typo.)
His mantra was, in regard to the concerns of students: "I don't care!" (This is a direct quote.) He also was baseball coach.
He was not active in the UFT chapter. At Addams, he had no track record of any interest in partnering with the UFT, yet now he's going to be in charge of a school that is a partnership with the union.
He left Addams at the end of the last school year (2007), and hasn't been AP (at Eximius, or anywhere else) for even one school year.

ED NOTE: After an "extensive search" for a principal of the UFT middle school charter (housed at George Gershwin - 166, the junior high I attended) the choice turned out to be Drew Goodman, the son of former UFT district reps Peter and Joan Goodman. Peter still shills for the UFT on the Edwize and Ed in the Apple blogs. So far, Drew has a good rep, as opposed to the principal of the UFT elementary charter.


Anonymous said...

So you know absolutely nothing about whether he's actually good at his job, but because he only has 7 years of experience and wasn't a big unionista, you're pretty convinced that he'll be a bad principal. Your mentality is exactly what's wrong with how leaders are chosen. Viva la status quo!

ed notes online said...

The reporter didn't say that he would be a bad principal but clearly has worked with him. But frankly, having years as a classroom teacher makes sense to me. His 7 years do not include all classroom teaching.
I watched a lot of people who couldn't wait to get away from teaching kids. Wouldn't it be nice to have people in charge who love teaching so they can actually earn the respect of people they are managing? Those who run away from teaching very quickly are suspect in my book. But that's my teacher bias, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Principals should definitely be "principal teachers," from which the word is derived. I think all principals should remain in the classroom for at least a couple periods per week. Still, I've seen many successful principals under the age of 30, with less than 7 years of experience. Again, like in other sectors where if you're good you rise quickly through the ranks, good teachers should be able to advance quickly if they so choose.

Anonymous said...

He was a great teacher so i have no doubt that he'll also be a fantastic principle.

Anonymous said...

Interesting ... let's fast forward 6 years from this article. Ashish Kapadia has led his new school to two straight years of A's on the NYC Progress Reports, finished in the top ten high schools for 2 years running, graduated three full classes, and has left his school as one of the best schools in the City. The teaching and support staff would run through fire for him ... because we know he would do the same for us.

Unfortunately, early indications on his replacement show that she is in over her head. Expect a mass exodus of teachers by the end of next year ... maybe that's what she wants.