"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Principals Leaving New York City in Droves

Who is being hired to replace these principals? "young people — some still in their 20's — who have spent relatively little time in the school system."

NY Times Editorial, 5/27/06

The NY Times's Elissa Gootman reported recently that New York's most experienced principals have been fleeing the system in alarming numbers. Over the last five years, more than half have left their jobs. Most retired, but union statistics — which don't include detailed reasons for leaving — show that more than 200 left for reasons "other than retirement." As a result, a city system that once viewed educators with even 10 years' experience as too green to lead a school has grown increasingly dependent on young people — some still in their 20's — who have spent relatively little time in the school system.

Joel Klein, the New York City schools chancellor, invokes corporate metaphors about fresh blood when asked about the turnover. He admits losing some principals whom he would rather have kept. But he attributes the exodus to the normal process of retirement and the fear among some principals of being held more closely accountable for how their schools are run. The principals' union, for its part, says that some people have left the job because they have not been given enough administrative help to meet their new responsibilities.


  1. Well ... at least no child will be left behind.

  2. Good teachers are the best source of good administrators.

    As the system either becomes unable to retain teachers into their 5th or better, their 10th year of teaching, or

    as the system determines that it no longer will tolerate conditions that are conducive to teachers reaching their 5th or better, their 10th year,

    the number of trained, knowledgeable, classroom- and building-competent administrators will contimue to plummet. And as experienced teachers , the normal source of high-quality recruitment for school administration become exceedingly rare,

    Bloomberg's Chancellor will more and more hire the marginally qualified and the unqualified, the educationally inexperienced, and those without significant life experience,

    and claim that the change is for the good.