It looks like Reuven Carlyle's bill, HB 1593, to provide a 3-year alternative waiver for people who want to be principals. Basically, this is TFA for principals. The candidates have to be able to present their qualifications (but they do not have to have them from working in a school setting) and be working towards a principal certification.
(i) Strategic planning;
26 (ii) Supervision and evaluation of personnel;
27 (iii) Budgeting and allocation of resources; and
28 (iv) Employee professional development.
29 (b) The standards must also include a consistent record of
30 satisfactory performance in previous employment.
Just like TFA, it will expand the pool but you can be someone who just needs a job for a couple of years (with no intention of staying in education).
This is all fine and well if you are looking to extend the pool of people to be principals. Two things though:
- being good in one leadership position doesn’t mean those skills translate directly to running a school. Florida is having a horrible problem with a former CEO elected to be governor who does not seem to get that government has three branches of leadership and is trying to run the state like a business. Government is different from business.
-keep in mind the costs of doing this. Everyone has gone on and on about teacher evaluations, gotta make sure we assess the teachers and SPS, at least, recently signed a contract with new teacher assessments in it. The SPS principals just signed their contract, with raises, because of all the extra work because of the new teacher assessments.
I could see where teachers could get a little miffed if the person assessing them was someone who had NO education background and knew very little about what pedagogy looks like (not to mention classroom management skills). Districts (and I asked Michael and Susan about this) might have to use other (read, more qualified) people to come in and do those assessments. That’s an extra cost to districts.
That said, I know the importance of a good principal for EVERY school. I just worry that it creates more problems than it solves and that, in the end, you'll get a couple of good people and the rest will be mediocre or unsatisfactory.
Then we have the dueling "innovative" versus "innovation" bills. HB 1521 the so-called "innovative schools" bill passed out of the House last week and was in the Senate Early Learning committee last Thursday. This one calls out Thorton Creek as an example of this type of innovation. I support this bill because it encourages innovation within the system we have already.
Meaning, innovation CAN happen within a district but districts have to encourage and support it. I honestly believe innovation is less about the teachers' union and more about districts either too busy/lazy to encourage it or afraid or maybe just have a sheer lack of imagination. I have a thought about this issue I want to break out into another thread and I'll need your help.
(Just an aside, the folks over at the Center for Reinventing Education recently had a study lamenting how many charter schools are not as innovative as they should be and - oh no - look more like regular schools.)
HB 1546 for "innovation" schools is regarded as something of a backdoor charter bill. I don't support this because I'd rather try working within our districts than adding another layer of bureaucracy. At the heart of this bill are waivers to allow these schools to break away from the teachers union in various ways from length of school day to pay.
I think it would be something of a disaster if BOTH bills passed. Very confusing.