Saturday, April 09, 2005

A Principled Principal

My friend Ed introduces himself as "The teaching principal of XYZ High School". XYZ is a teeney high school in rural Oklahoma and I would work for Ed in a second. He speaks of teaching the way a teacher does, mixing the ideal of good curriculum and practices with the reality of children in a way I seldom hear from his Urban/Suburban counterparts. He seems to balance those worlds masterfully (I was going to say effortlessly, but that's what I love about him, it's not at all effortless and he knows and appreciates that!).

A couple of years ago when my district had to cut a coupla million from their budget, we were asked to email our recommendations for cuts to the superintendent. My friend made the suggestion that perhaps district administrators ought to spend at least one day a week subbing in the schools. Her answer (this is as direct a quote as my memory will allow) was "Certainly you don't think that is really a valid use of my time.". Um, yeah, we do.

For education to solve its problems from within, the answer is some combination of curriculum, discipline, and management. State Senator Bob Beers of Las Vegas is proposing a law that would require school administrators teach one semester every five years. Wouldn't it be great to see school districts adopt such a policy? It would seem that the best principal would be experienced in all of the areas that contribute to school sucess. We know they handle discipline and management, they ought to keep in the practice of delivering the curriculum they advocate.

Via Edwonk, via Education Intelligence Agency.

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