The Sherman story has been told, in parts, in the papers and on the radio, but six weeks from the end of the school year Sherman principal Lionel Allen tells an interesting story about stealing faculty from other teachers, the challenge of folks not wanting to come to Englewood, the 12 interviews it took for him to get the job (he was formerly an AP, and a former union rep). Most of it is pretty standard -- the necessity of walking the neighborhood last summer, hiring African American males as role models, the wisdom of keeping on some previous staffers (including a school security officer) who knew the neighborhood, and -- simple but true -- the visceral importance of renovation. "There wasn't a matching chair and desk in the building," remarked Allen.
Allen sounds subdued but not at all unnerved by his first-year experience. He quotes Arne Duncan and Alan Bersin (from San Diego). He says that being a regular district school hasn't been as big an issue as some would think, though he got to hire his own staff and wishes he could lengthen the school day and pay some teachers more to do that. "I don't have to tell a teacher than having kids copy words out of the dictionary is not best practice."
Still, I hear and have read
that things haven't gone so easily, in terms of attendance, safety, and -- we'll see soon enough -- student achievement. Does anyone know anything specifically (or first-hand) about how things are going? No, this is not the place to rant about Ren10 or what's going on in other schools. Sherman only. Here's what GreatSchool.net has to say about the school.
Filed under: Communities & CBOs