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New Face Joins Emerging Principals Project
by Melissa Bailey | Dec 4, 2012 2:23 pm
Posted to: Schools, School Reform
The schools have a new hand on deck in the quest to help teachers develop into leaders.
The school board has hired Alula Asfaw (pictured) as a consultant to the New Haven Public School Leadership Talent Initiative. The initiative includes a new “pipeline” by which teachers get groomed as “emerging leaders” and “future leaders,” and eventually administrators.
Asfaw will make $31,500 to work 100 hours a month from Nov. 19 to June 30, 2013. He was hired through private dollars from the Buck Foundation. He’s a contractor, not a public employee.
Originally from Seattle, Asfaw spent time in D.C. as a policy advisor in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. He said he focused on public-private partnerships promoting teacher effectiveness.
His contract is separate from the $53 million the city won in April from the federal government to support, develop, recognize and reward teachers and administrators.
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The mayor recently said that he saw a lack of effective leaders in our schools as a major problem or obstacle to school reform.
The mayor seems to believe that better or more effective management of our individual schools is what we need—excepting of course, much better teachers!
I think it is safe to say that we need to do more with less. Public education costs, in this city anyway, are way out of whack with the results.
The answer, I believe, lies in revamping the way the schools are run and who runs them.
A simplistic version would be:
1)De-centralize management. In fact, eliminate 90% of the non-teaching administrative positions.
2)Each individual school should be relatively autonomous, except of course, in areas where economies of scale would save cash. These areas can be professionally managed (non-ed managers) at half the cost of having academic or ed professionals do the same thing.
3)Teacher boards or committees should be in charge of the curriculum in each school. Teachers are well-trained and are in place and on the ground. The cost savings would be significant and I know that teachers would show all the management types just how wrong they are to pin the blame on us for low student scores.
4)Find a legal way to for us as a city to have some autonomy from the state and federal agencies so we can roll up our sleeves and do what is needed for this community.
5)Oh no! I just woke up! Nice dream, though