Update: Turnarounds Lacking Promised Leaders

image from graphics8.nytimes.comNew leadership is one of the core elements of the $4 billion Obama turnaround program, and yet there aren't enough principals ready and willing to handle them, according to this New York Times article (US Plan to Replace Principals Hits Snag). Pictured is Terrence Little, the new principal at Phillips Academy High School in Chicago, observing a class on Monday. I'm not entirely clear how completely different it is to run a turnaround school than to run any other challenging building except for figuring out what to do will all the extra SIG money. The principal replacement rule only applies to those in place before 2007-8, anyway.  And schools in other parts of the country are getting around the rule by swapping principals between two turnarounds or hiring "executive" principals but leaving an old principal in the building.  Are they doing too much in Chicago turnarounds, or too little?  Tell us what's going on in your building or neighborhood school.


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  • Well, I can very well understand why an experienced principal who has a proven track record would not want a turn around job. First, you know going in there are very major problems at the school and likely the community itself. Second, an experienced principal has more to lose than to gain by taking such a position.

    If they turn around the school do they become a superintendent, not likely. Possibly they can hang out their sign and do subcontracting in relation to turn arounds, but really how much money is there in that. I read alot about principals who are up to the challenge, rarely do I read about really good urban principals who apply for suburban positions. But that does happen too.

    The hardest turn around situations are not in urban centers, but in poor low income rural communities. In these areas when a failing school is restructured, effectively you are putting the teacher living next door on the street. You have to bring in teachers from other areas along with a new principal too. This is not an easy thing at all.

    Rod Estvan

  • like what? all PD can be annoying -- what's so mucxh different or worse about OT's?

  • Look at Orr, it has been turned arounded multiple times. Bad, good and great teachers thrown out with the neediest students that are pushed out during turnaround. Until society addresses the issues that are visible at Orr as a microcosm of the community with a comprehensive stategy nothing will change. How long before we see the next Orr tunaround? Will it be another turnaround or a change in leadership?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Another turnaround will happen June 23, 2011. Poole is out and already he has his little people at Orr thinking they are going to South Shore with him. Oh how silly they are to think that CPS, the LSC and the parents of South Shore High School are going to allow all the people he has molded into his personal flunkies to treat him like a God and game play happen. You know who's going already with him because the braggers are really so stupid of course and they better understand being his friend will not be the same there as it was in Orr. So the drunken friendships and his many women friends will join him in September. Jammie Poole is known for his drunken words: "You are not a good fit" because he let go of many good teachers to hire his friends. That is what he will hear come June 2012 along with all the idiots that are about to follow him and his long stories of how great he is and who all wants him in their circle. The many women that are about to follow him will make his life even harder at South Shore High School because he can't focus without a circle of beautiful around him at all times.

    [comment edited 03/19 -- unsubstantiated allegations, personal behavior. contact me if you have substantiation or provide links to verified information.]

    Each day that I am at Orr now I feel so much more calm in the building since he is no longer there to make me feel that my teaching skills are not worthy of his liking. Jammie Poole Jr ruled with an iron fist that carried the weight of a pencil. He never evaluated 9 of that teach and he gave me an evaluation form. He's funny. If you are a drunk, fraternal brother, pretty girl with low self esteem or a friend from the bar you can be hired at South Shore High School very easily. Go apply. The job is yours.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CPS will no loner have to worry about Mr. Jammie Poole. He has been hired as the new "turn around" principal at Rich Central in Olympia Fields. His contract begins on May 2, 2011.

  • Most turnaround principals are appointed by the CEO!

  • Most turnaround schools are used to get rid of principals, teachers, staff and students!

  • Turnaround schools are all smoke and mirrors! "A sucker is born everyday"!

  • Is it true that Mr. Poole is going to be the principal of the new South Shore High School?

  • In reply to chijas:

    [comment edited 03/19 -- unsubstantiated allegations, personal behavior. contact me if you have substantiation or provide links to verified information.]

  • WHEN WELLS COMBINES WITH CLEMENTE HS , is that a turnaround...or a merge...two schools in one...two principals or one...combined staffs or one whole school fired....THIS SUMMER OR NEXT FALL? please let me know...Only the leadership teams knows for sure...johannabrocker@yahoo.com

  • [comment deleted - personal attacks, unsubstantiated, etc. -- keep it focused on professional performance, folks]

  • In reply to Meatmeat:

    It was all true and 70 others will say it was, but okay. Let's keep it clean. Orr did not get better because of him.

    [comment edited 03/19 -- unsubstantiated allegations, personal behavior. contact me if you have substantiation or provide links to verified information.]

  • AUSL don't seem so bad. They are doing what they know how to do. It's just the leader that was placed in Orr that pulled their creditability way down. I mean, like give me a break whatever was suppose to happen at Orr was the fault of one man and all the hell he started in that place from the very start. Orr could be so much better, but one man shot it down with his nonsense and his bragging PD days.

  • Maybe now he can walk the floor during PD days and brag to a new staff of his Harvard College days. Holding our time while we sit at tables like children as he paced back and forth, while talked about himself for 30 minutes of our 45 minute PD.

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