Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gotta Somehow Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

The Reno Gazette-Journal had a big article today about all of the lemons--er, principals--who are being promoted or moved around because either the incumbents were failures or new ones are taking the failed ones' places. The failures meanwhile get moved into the central office where they are never heard from again instead of fired.

The myth is that it is bad teachers who are moved from place to place when they screw up, but it is far easier to get rid of them entirely--and they don't have to be "bad" to "get it"--than to get rid of a worthless principal.

The first wave of principal changes started earlier this month when the district announced a grouping of 10 elementary schools and one high school into what Martinez named an “acceleration zone.” The 11 low-performing schools have high numbers of students living in poverty and learning English, and received one or two stars out of five on a district ranking.

Martinez removed six of the 11 principals in the new zone, but said they were eligible to apply for other jobs in the district. To date, two of the six have jobs at other schools, and two have taken newly created district positions that oversee performance evaluations and the Signature Academies, niche programs in high schools.

Replacements at six of the acceleration zone schools were made with some of the district’s best-performing principals, who either succeeded with similar student populations or had backgrounds that made them a good fit for understanding some of the hardest-to-reach students.

Of course even good principals can't do much of anything to overcome transience and poverty.

What a shocking admission:

David Fullenwider, president of the Washoe County Principal Association, said the district had six active investigations involving principals during the year — what he called a shocking number. In his 23 years with the district, he said he only recalls the district firing two employees for “egregious things.” He said he could not remember the circumstances.

This year, Fullenwider said there was only one case — involving a principal put on administrative leave because of a past incident — that seemed valid enough to warrant an investigation.

In other words, this superintendent may not feel he has to save face and is not beyond firing these assholes if necessary.

Unfortunately, too few are. "Jobs" are still being created for people who should be let go from the district.

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