Class Struggle: principals

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Another blue ribbon report suitable for shredding

I propose a contest. The winner will get, appropriately enough, a blue ribbon. (I think I have a few crumbled ones in the Christmas wrapping box stuffed under the guest bed of the spare bedroom where I sit at this moment in my third month of working at home.) To receive this wonderful prize, all you have to do is identify a blue ribbon commission--any temporary assemblage of smart people asked to produce a solution to a great national issue--that brought changes that actually solved the problem.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 11/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Trends | Tags:  10 design principals, Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice,, blue ribbon panel reports are a national scourge, why not have a Blue Ribbon Scary Experiment in Doing Things Differently

Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 06/13/2010

The principal who created a wellspring of innovation

Despite the school’s disadvantages, Jackson has produced one of the highest levels of Advanced Placement test participation in the country — top 2 percent. Thirty-seven percent of Wakefield seniors have passing scores on those tests, more than twice the national average. Wakefield has reached its federal achievement targets, unusual for a school with so many impoverished students, but also made itself a national model for imaginative instruction, outdoing even the most affluent public schools.

By Jay Mathews  |  10:00 PM ET, 06/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  Doris Jackson, Wakefield High School, one of the nation's most creative principals, rare requirement for senior projects, top 2 percent in AP participation

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 03/03/2010

Double principals' pay

How do you get good teachers? Answer: Hire great principals. When given a choice of methods to retain good teachers, the most popular response from the teachers was supportive leadership, 68 percent saying it was absolutely essential.

By Jay Mathews  |  11:25 AM ET, 03/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Gates Foundation survey, double principals' pay, teachers endorse good leadership, time for collaboration with other teachers

Posted at 05:30 AM ET, 02/24/2010

Let me pick my kid's teacher

Would it be so bad if parents had a chance to tell the principal, without fear of being shunned as pushy jerks, that their child might react better to one brand of teaching than another? Many parents do this anyway, quietly. I don't see the harm in a note on the school Web site, or in the parent bulletin, telling parents the principal would be happy to hear their teacher preferences, although would of course can make no promises.

By Jay Mathews  |  05:30 AM ET, 02/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Jay on the Web | Tags:  Ben Jimenez, Jaime Escalante, parents picking their child's teacher, principals let parents pick teachers, pushy parents, teacher shopping

Posted at 01:45 AM ET, 07/06/2009

New School Board Member Has Influenced a Legion of Educators

When I first met him a dozen years ago, Mike Durso struck me as an okay principal. He didn't say much about himself, but his school, Springbrook High in Silver Spring, was well-run. The students liked him. He had been...

By Washington Post Editors  |  01:45 AM ET, 07/06/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Metro Monday | Tags:  Mike Durso, Springbrook High School, principals