Principals To The Exits (So What?)

Lots of commenters want to talk about retiring principals, so let's do that. Estimates range from 100 on upwards, which is certainly a lot of principals.  APs, too.  But I'm not sure I care unless they're good ones. There's no shortage of folks who want to be principals.  Maybe the new crop will be just as good or -- egads! -- better. Commenters on this blog like to bash anything that's new and anyone who's young (or white or male) but I can't believe that there's no such thing as a good young principal or a washed up old one who's better off playing golf (probably already is). They're not unionized, so they can't really do anything. So who's leaving, specifically?  Are they aging out, getting pushed out, or resigning in protest?  Last but not least, when's the deadline for them notifying their schools and the CO?


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  • i'm told that the official number of folks who put in for the the 3/30 deadline PEP were 92 principals and 50 APs -- a lot more than in previous years, to be sure, but there are 400-odd folks on the eligible list so there's no shortage.

    with testing all done by now, the schools should all know if their principal or APs are leaving -- i'm trying to get the list from CPS.

    according to CPAA, CPS can only put an interim in if a school deadlocks or if there's a removal -- not just probation status or whatever they call it these days.

    so anyway, there are lots of LSCs hiring this month and next -- one of the strange parts of the LSC calendar is that outgoing LSCs hire a new principal and then a new LSC shows up after the fact.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Dear Alex, here's the real problem about so many principals and assistant principals leaving in June. It takes about two or three years for a new principal to become a really good principal. So you can put in or hire new principals to take over these schools, but will they really know what their doing? Maybe yes and maybe no. Unless they have experience principals to help them out, the new principals will have a lot of sleepless nights and mad employees, parents and students! P.S.- It's not as easy as it looks to be a principal!

  • Won't the retiring principals be hired back as principal-mentor consultants?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Only if one can grease the right palm or have the right political connection. CEO may not be interested in those with solid proven experience.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    I'll betcha old Ed Klunk will somehow manage to continue lurking in the corners. Expect more bad decisions as long as he continues to "advise"

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Amazing he has lasts. Must know many skeletons and engrossed in the power.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Dear Alex, who told you there are over 400 people on the principals list? Do you have a copy of this list? If so, please publish this list. Thanking in advance.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Why has it been so difficult for Morgan Park High School to get a new principal? Is it going on two years now?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Because the MPHS LSC did/does not know what it was doing!
    (They screwed around with former principal Dr. Shingles and she showed them.-karma) The LSC there needs help, but they are not interested in it.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    NOT TRUE!!! Do you know that the schools don't even receive a lot of applications for Principals??? Some very prominent schools (and even some challenging ones) that have posted the position have only receive between 5-12 applications... either the candidate pool is slim or people are leaving CPS

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    How do you know there are 400 plus on the list? I thought the list is private?

  • Mr. Russo, I agree. It shouldn't matter how old or young, or if you're black, white, or purple. All that matters is that we have good principals. How many principals usually retire in a year? Is this higher than usual?

  • There are a great deal of principals retiring because they want to lock in their current benefits for retirement, I don't really know the details. This is why our amazing leader is leaving the system. Sad. Hopefully our school will be able to find someone to take her place. I'm not certain that there are 400 qualified applicants, unless a great deal of people were just approved on the CPS list. The process is a long and arduous one and I suspect that schools with unorganized LSCs will end up making rash decisions. At any rate I don't think next year will be a good time to get your feet wet so more power to those brave souls willing to fill these spots and try to impact children's lives in a positive way.

  • There's no principals list I'm aware of unless they're building it now. They asked for a 15 page packet earlier this year but have not followed up with criteria to become eligible. Have I fallen out of the loop? Tell me if I have.

  • There is a principal list with almost 500 names on it. Call OPPD and they will give it to you. They have been putting people on the list since 2009 - it's not a secret. They hold meetings all over the district and have deadlines all the time trying to get people on the list. Whether they are the best people or not is up for debate, but there is no secret list.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, I called the Office of Principal Preparation and Development and talked to Ted Williams and there are about 225 principals on the principal eligibility list not 400 or 500 principals.

  • Dear district299reader, correction, there are 485 candidates in the principal's pool, however, 250 of them are current principals (they already have their own schools) leaving only 235 candidates to fill the schools of all the leaving principals!

  • Even if there are 500 people on the list, there are over 300 schools in CPS, and most of the principals that are currently in those schools are on the list, so the pool isn't really that big. Also, a lot of the people on the list are elementary people and they don't want to be a high school Principal, which is a shame because that's where CPS needs strong leaders.

  • The list is not as extensive as stated. Many current principals are on 'the list'. It is true that a limited number of candidates are applying to replace seasoned principals. Heard about 12 candidates total applying to a former AMPS School near me.

    Principals with the years and days accrued are leaving in droves because they can, and the loss of benefits definitely kicks in for administrators as of June 30th.

    The problem with so many new leaders is the 'churn' it creates. Think of our system having four leaders in less than four years (Duncan, Huberman, Mazany, Brizard).

    The new leaders are frequently from outside of the system, often from outside of the state....and quite often, they are not acclimating well....students lose out. I am aware of at least three that have been pushed out of schools where they were selected in the last year OR they have chosen to leave.

    Principals will continue to leave up until June 30th as more demands are placed on them, very little support....'bounded autonomy'. Orwellian language- this should scare everyone.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CURRENT PRINCIPAL APPLICATION DEADLINE: The Application for Principal Eligibility must be emailed to on or before the application deadline date. The Application will only be accepted via email by June 4, 2012. To become part of the CPS Principal Candidate Pool you must acquire a Type 75 Administrative Certificate, Prepare for the Principal Eligibility Process and Pass the CPS Principal Eligibility Process.

  • 3,000 CTU members will be retiring June 30, 2012.

  • Oh my goodness!!! Every time I hear these numbers I get a really sick feeling in my stomach because it adds up to so much experience and knowledge lost.
    Does anyone know what happened to Lynda Williams who was CAO 18? She went to the Fullerton network and disappeared.... Is it true Pat Rocks is leaving? (clutches pearls while waiting for answer)

  • So there are between 225-and 400 potential principals on the list? But there are over 90 vacancies and some on the list are sitting principals. So that leaves about (at most) 3 applicants per school?

  • If an LSC do not or cant select a principal by what date do CPS get to pick an interm?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    If a LSC cannot agree on one principal candidate, CPS can put an interim principal in to that school until the LSC can agree on one choice. If the LSC can never agree on one person, the interim principal can stay there forever!

  • 3000 teachers? is this number an over guesstimate?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Dear district299reader, no! 3000 CTU members are retiring June 30, 2012. This number includes teachers and paraprofessionals. In addition to this, some teachers and paraprofessional are not retiring but are leaving CPS and are going to work in other school systems and some into private industry, therefore the number is actually higher.

  • 170 comments and then some on the principal search / quality / shortage problem at CPSO via @sethlavin

    sounds like the problem isn't the number really but the quality of the candidates from the LSC perspective

  • I am at a school with high test scores, a former AMPS school. I am on the teacher selection committee and the pickings are slim. Yes, we have had teachers interview but none were stellar. The teachers who are retiring will be a difficult act to follow-really awesome teachers. I really think the residency requirement is an issue. Many college graduates have loans and must live with their parents and unfortunately can not afford to move to the city. We need the best and the brightest to choose from to teach in CPS. Also, there are two teachers in our school who have their TYPE 75s and would be great administrators but will not apply because they would lose the residency waiver. One is a divorced teacher who relies on her parents in the suburbs for child care help. I really do not understand CPS' stance on the residency as it narrows the applicant pool for both teachers and administrators. Yes, Brizard has brought in people from other states but they seem very transient plus they are making huge salaries. I do not see a suburban administrator uprooting his family to move into Chicago and taking a chance that his contract might not be renewed in four years-it would not be worth it financially. So, CPS just does not/will not attract the talent it should-very sad.

  • I agree the residency requirement just allows poor teachers and administrators to be moved around the system....Morgan Park High School is still looking....I am glad they are being selective as a poor principal will cause a mass exodus as seen in some Area 11 schools...why aren't staff transiency rates examined? When you have 50% of a staff trying to leave a school to escape from a new principal it is more than a minor philosophical issue.

  • Washington H.S. is in the middle of a big controversy with their principal selection process. It appears that the principal is retiring, not because she has full benefits at this point, but because she has so many grievances and lawsuits against her that she is afraid to LOSE benefits. But alas, she has been in the system long enough to know how to "work" the system and has gotten her friend on the finalist list who has promised to hire her back as a consultant. This candidate is leaving a failing school to get a "retirement spot" as apparently they are at the tailend of their career and will allow Florence Gonzalez to continue to bully and intimidate Washington staff as she has been doing since she got there. What I am wondering is what she's promised these LSC members who are blindly voting as she asks them to.

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