Recently in School Districts Category

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November 30, 2007

Walking the Talk on the Right Way to Remove the Wrong Staff

New York City Public Schools' Teacher Performance Unit, made up of five lawyers... will help principals prepare cases to fire tenured teachers who fail repeatedly to raise student test scores and are also found lacking during principals’ observations. I'm licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, and would gladly put my money where my mouth has been if DC were to follow New York's example.

November 29, 2007

Can A Change Strategy Alienate Every Stakeholder, Reduce the Chance for Quick Wins in Student Performance, But Still Succeed?

With the restructuring announcement of November 28, I can’t see any possibility of DC Mayor Fenty or Chancellor Rhee delivering a meaningful short term win in the one area that truly matters – student and school performance.

November 19, 2007

DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee: Quo Vadis?

Watching Rhee over the last several months remind me of nothing so much watching a dictator seize the reins of power. Quo vadis? Where can this lead?

November 15, 2007

Should DC Schools Chancellor Rhee Hire Friends or Put Work Out to Bid?

If we expect to improve the public school districts, we have to move away from the image of a Superintendent or Chancellor as the man or woman on a white horse. Michelle Rhee is no silver bullet, although that’s precisely the implication of giving her virtually unlimited power to hire and fire government staff and pick and chose her own school contractors.

October 15, 2007

District (De/Re)Centralization Influences the School Improvement Industry

I don’t see how we get the educational programs we need to improve student achievement if we leave school improvement to superintendents who seek programs that will work across their districts, and providers able to block all but their sister oligarchs from the marketplace.

October 13, 2007

Don't Buy the "Emergency Powers" Argument for the District of Columbia Public Schools

There's no state of emergency, no need for dictatorial authority, and no relationship between the real predicament and the requested powers.

October 12, 2007

The Central Office (V): Doing Things Wrong or Doing the Wrong Things?

Mowing down one set of bureaucrats only to replace them with another performing the same set of control functions won’t get us to better schools.

October 11, 2007

The Central Office (IV): Why Schools Don’t Get Support?

The process of school support isn’t working in many school districts. The fault lies not with the central office, but with the district leadership that approved the sluggish process.

October 09, 2007

The Central Office (III): A Source of Money for the Classroom?

Streamlining the central office makes sense, but more often than not central office cuts leave a bureaucracy with the same responsibilities and fewer people, and offers the superintendent a temporary respite from ongoing pressures to reduce classroom expenditures.

October 08, 2007

The Central Office (II): Dysfunctionality's Cause or Symptom?

Unlike teachers unions, bureaucracies don't block district change strategies as a matter of deliberate policy, individual obstructionism is rare, and incompetent individuals can be removed if their managers make it a priority.

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