Principal Assignment Process
To Improve District Leadership, We Will:
- Recruit, develop, retain, and promote highly effective and diverse leaders system-wide by:
- Increasing the number of leadership staff who reflect the diversity of the student population;
- Developing a targeted and coordinated professional development program that includes cultural competence;
- Revising the principal selection, assignment, and transfer process to enhance family and community involvement and make the process smoother;
- Improving morale and working conditions (environmental health, physical health, and emotional health);
- Working with our higher education partners to improve their teacher and leader training programs for urban school districts; and
- Developing and implementing a staffing plan for Seattle Public Schools that includes, but is not limited to, workforce diversity, staff recruitment, staff retention, staff recognition, staff deployment, compensation, and instructional needs;
This excerpt raises several issues.
1) This five-year plan is both too detailed and too vague. Five goals, all worthy, are vague enough that they could mean anything and everything. Just this one point under the leadership goal has six bullet points, all of which would be time-consuming efforts to fully accomplish. It is not possible for the district to realistically pursue all the efforts outlined in this plan. The district should pick fewer objectives, and then truly focus on accomplishing them.
2) The objective the district should focus on now is the one I highlighted above in bold:
"Revising the principal selection, assignment, and transfer process to enhance family and community involvement and make the process smoother"
I have not been able to find any official district policy on how the principal selection, assignment and transfer process is supposed to work, but the reality I have observed and read about is appalling.
3) A well-written five-year plan with a realistic scope and appropriate focus should be guiding all policy decisions and discussions. It would ensure consistent direction by staff and Board members, and help improve communications with a clear message. The five-year plan, as written, is useless for any of these purposes, which is probably why I have not heard a single staff person or Board member refer to it during policy discussions.