Putting Principals In Charge For Real

Those crazy folks in New York City have not only eliminated regional superintendents starting this fall (there were 10 regions before) but also are putting lots of cash and decisions in the hands of principals, whether they be autonomy schools or regular old neighborhood schools, according to this NYT article (Principals Act in Plan to Reduce Bureaucracy) and press release below.  At the same time, the principals agreed to a new payscale that would give $25K bonuses to principals taking on low performing schools.

Under the new setup, principals can choose who to buy their PD and school support services from -- the Board, local universities and nonprofits, or others.  Many chose the most conservative option -- working with former regional superintendents who have now set up show as school support organizations.  But a significant chunk went further, opting for empowerment/autonomy status. 

What do you think?  Could that work here, or is it already happening more than I know about?  We've got AAMPS schools, but many fewer, and some efforts to give schools fewer but theoretically better choices when it comes to choosing curriculum and support, but I'm not sure how extensive that effort is outside of the schools doing math and science.  Fill me in.

From: White Mary F. On
Behalf Of
Communications
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 2:49
PM
To: &All Tweed; &All
Regional Superintendents; &All LISs and Community Superintendents; &All
ROC Directors; &Senior Youth Development Directors
Subject: NYC DOE - PRESS RELEASE -
NEW YORK CITY
PRINCIPALS CHOOSE SCHOOL SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS

 

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION

JOEL I.
KLEIN,
Chancellor

 

FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            N-49,
2006-2007 

May
17, 2007

 

NEW YORK CITY PRINCIPALS CHOOSE SCHOOL SUPPORT
ORGANIZATIONS

 

For
the First Time, All Schools Given Power to Choose Services that Best Meet the
Needs of Their Students and Educators

 

Schools
Choose from Menu of 14 Organizations

 

New York City principals this week completed selecting the School Support
Organizations (SSOs) that they determined will help their students succeed. In
past years, schools had little say in the support they received and were
obliged to accept services, such as professional development or interventions,
that the Department of Education (DOE) offered. The DOE has now given every
school the power to choose a support partner that best meets the educational
needs of its students. Since January, schools have been learning about the 14
School Support Organizations, comprised of the Empowerment Support
Organization, in which principals affiliate into networks and hire their own
support teams; four Learning Support Organizations developed by leading DOE
educators; and nine Partnership Support Organizations, external, not-for-profit
providers with strong records of supporting city schools. Principals submitted
final decisions Tuesday.

 

According to preliminary numbers, which are subject to approval by
community superintendents, 35% of principals chose to be supported by the
Empowerment Support Organization, 54% elected to receive support from Learning
Support Organizations, and 11% chose to affiliate with a Partnership Support Organization.
Giving decision-making power to schools, rather than asking them to accept
undifferentiated supports from the DOE, is a critical element in the Department’s
Children First school reforms, under which schools are empowered with resources
and the ability to use them as they choose and are then held accountable for
ensuring that all students make academic progress.

 

“Principals, and the teachers and parents in their school
communities, know their students, their teachers, their strengths, and their
weaknesses best,” Chancellor Klein said. “We have created a
competitive market for educational supports and services, and the people
closest to the students are now the people making the key decisions.”

 

Based on preliminary tallies, three of the nine Partnership Support
Organizations did not attract enough demand from schools to remain eligible
providers of support. The remaining 11 SSOs were selected as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

% of schools citywide*

 

 

School
  Support Organization

 

 

 35%

 

 

Empowerment Support Organization ESO

 

 

 27%

 

 

Integrated Curriculum and Instruction
  LSO

 

 

 12%

 

 

Community LSO

 


 

 8%

 

 

Leadership LSO

 

 

 7%

 

 

Knowledge Network LSO

 

 

 5%

 

 

New Visions for Public Schools PSO

 

 

 4%

 


 

CEI-PEA PSO

 

 

 1%

 

 

Replications PSO

 

 

 1%

 

 

CUNY PSO

 

 

 1%

 

 

Fordham PSO

 


 

 1%

 

 

Academy for Educational Development
  PSO

 

 

* percentages don’t add up to 100%
  due to rounding. Additionally, ten schools have been granted extensions.

 

 Schools
will pay for School Support Organization services with new resources that are
being cut from the DOE bureaucracy this year. The Department distributed
$166,000, on average, to each school to pay for the new services, which range
in price from approximately $29,500 to $67,000. The cost of each SSO depends
upon its package of services, which typically include professional development
for principals and teachers, curriculum development, staff mentoring, and
interventions for struggling students. Of the total $230 million that the DOE
distributed to schools to pay for support services, schools will spend about
$56 million, according to preliminary estimates. This leaves about $174 million
for schools to spend on additional teachers, instructional materials, and
services of their choosing. 

SSOs will not manage or supervise schools, nor will they
have the power to hire or fire principals. Those critical functions remain the
responsibilities of Community Superintendents and High School Superintendents.
The Chancellor will maintain responsibility for ensuring that all schools and
support organizations are meeting the high standards set by the department. The
DOE will continue to centrally provide vital, system-wide services, including
among others academic standard-setting, student placement, school funding, and
teacher recruitment. Newly-created Integrated Service Centers in each borough
will offer schools assistance with mandated and operational services related to
human resources, payroll, budget and procurement, transportation, food
services, facilities and extended use, grant management, technology, health and
safety, student suspensions, youth development, and some elements of special
education.

 

###

Filed under: The World Outside CPS

Leave a comment