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N.Y.C. Proposes New Requirements for Superintendents

New York City community superintendent candidates will now have to show at least a 10-year pedagogic background, including at least three as principals, and a record of improving student learning and community engagement in order to get the job.

The proposed changes to the superintendent regulations were announced Tuesday, along with a $750,000 grant from the Wallace Foundation to provide support and training for superintendents to offer professional development to principals.

"These changes will empower community superintendents to provide additional support at all levels of the school system as they work closely with principals, students, and parents to make our schools the best they can be," Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, a former principal and community superintendent, said.  "These changes serve our greatest goal of directly improving classroom learning for students across the city."

The city Department of Education said the changes would add rigor and transparency to the superintendent selection process. Superintendents are not currently required to have extensive backgrounds as principals or in pedagogy. 

The changes also underscore  Fariña's commitment to the "role of superintendents as community and instructional leaders ensuring quality in our schools," according to the department of educationNew York City's 32 community superintendents supervise elementary and middle school principals in their districts. 

If approved, the new rules will affect current superintendents, who will have to reapply for their jobs. Applicants have to submit essays and references to show that they can support principal leadership, improve student learning, and engage families and parents, the department of education said.

The final hiring decisions will be made by the schools chancellor; however, as a reflection of a new emphasis on community engagement, candidates will also be presented to local community education councils; the United Federation of Teachers; the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators; DC 37—the municipal union; and executive members of the parent-teacher association.

The changes must be approved by the city's Panel for Educational Policy. They are expected to be voted on at the group's Aug. 21 meeting.

The full announcement—with comments from education organizations and other stakeholders—can be found here. 

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