5 Newark principals suspended indefinitely, allegedly for opposing One Newark plan

Five Newark public school principals were suspended indefinitely on Friday, including four who spoke at a community meeting opposing proposed changes to the state-run school district, according to two sources who sought anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press, The Star-Ledger reports. A video on YouTube shows four of the administrators with mayoral candidate and Newark Councilman Ras Baraka, who is on leave as principal of Central High School, at the meeting at the Hopewell Baptist Church. The Wednesday meeting was held to oppose Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark reorganization plan. The suspension of the fifth principal was the result of an incident unrelated to that meeting, according to the sources…

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Should principals stop visiting classrooms?

Principals are  above all supposed to be “instructional leaders” but exactly what that means — or how to be effective in that role —  isn’t entirely clear, the Washington Post reports. Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the research on what makes for an effective instructional leader in the post below. Willingham is a professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?” His latest book is “When Can You Trust The Experts? How to tell good science from bad in education.

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4 steps for supporting, strengthening principals

A number of actions can bolster school principals and set them up for success

principal-stepsEnsuring that principals are prepared for success via access to resources, solid evaluation systems, and other measures will lead to successful teachers and students, according to a new report from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that aims improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.

Laying the Foundation for Successful School Leadership offers four recommendations to build a foundation that will support school leaders.

“It’s widely known that teachers influence student achievement more than any other aspect of schools,” said Susan Gates, a senior economist and director of the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy. Gates co-authored the report along with Laura Hamilton, a senior RAND behavioral scientist specializing in teacher and principal evaluation, educational assessment, and accountability, and other RAND researchers. “Research focuses a lot on teachers, but far less on school principals—but actions of principals directly influence teachers. One effective principal can promote the improvement of dozens of effective teachers. One terrible principal can drive dozens of talented teachers to leave the field.”…Read More

Why the ‘GREAT Teachers and Principals Act’ is not great

During the last few years, The New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF), a major private funder of K-12 charter schools, has been intensely involved in creating and promoting a bill (the GREAT Act) in the U.S. Congress, The Washington Post reports. This bill, if passed, would lead to the establishment of teacher and principal preparation programs that would not be subject to the same level of accountability as other state-approved programs. The bill is a part of a broader movement to disrupt the current system of college and university teacher education and replace it with deregulation, competition, and a market economy. There is a need for greater transparency of these private efforts to influence public policy in teacher education so that the consequences of the proposed legislation can be more clearly understood, discussed, and debated. Discussion and debate of public policy issues are cornerstones of a healthy democratic society. There is reason to believe that the adoption of the GREAT Act would only worsen the current inequitable distribution of teachers where the least prepared and least experienced teachers are often assigned to teach our most vulnerable students…

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