The aggressive $4 billion program begun by the Obama administration in 2009 to radically transform the country’s worst schools included, as its centerpiece, a plan to install new principals to overhaul most of the failing schools. That policy decision, though, ran into a difficult reality: there simply were not enough qualified principals-in-waiting to take over, reports the New York Times. Many school superintendents also complained that replacing principals could throw their schools into even more turmoil, hindering nascent turnaround efforts. As a result, the Department of Education softened the hit-the-road plans for principals of underperforming schools laid out in the...

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staff and wire services reports