Disqus

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Principals Need a New Contract, Too

Just so it's clear, the principals' association (PASS) is also up to negotiate their new contract this year. Word is that the district did not even want to take this on last year and just kept the old one. One major sticking point (and I'm not sure exactly why) is that the district wants the principals to be classified more as executives than hourly workers. The principals don't.

Clearly, the principals are not hourly workers; they receive a salary. But I think the issue might be that the principals have so much piled on them that they wonder how to get everything done.

What came to my attention (and my surprise) was how new the idea of the principal being the "academic leader" of a school is versus just a manager. Principals now have a lot on their plate. They must manage a school and its budget, provide academic leadership to teachers (and, if they are secondary schools, to departments), be available for PTA issues and, of course, be the public face of the school they represent. It's a lot to do. And, in our district, be prepared to move mid-year if Dr. Goodloe-Johnson waves her wand.

Here's a link to the district webpage with all the contracts.

3 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Note: SPS Principals are virtually guaranteed lifetime employment no matter how inept. Look for the Board to attempt to change this.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't look to the Board or to the Superintendent or to the Our Schools Coalition to try to bring any muscle at all to the Principal's contract and that's just too bad.

No matter what is negotiated in the teachers' contract it won't mean diddly if the principals don't implement it.

This is the problem when accountability is introduced backwards, starting at the bottom and working up instead of starting at the top and working down.

After all of the talk about accountability since the very start of education reform back in the 90's, so far only the students, the people at the bottom of the totem pole with the least power to influence the system, have been helf accountable.

Now they are starting to move one rung up the ladder to the teachers, the people with the next least power and authority in the system, for accountability.

I suppose that means that the principals are on deck and we won't be able to hold the superintendent accountable (nevermind the OSPI) for another five or six years.

Instead, accountability - not just merit pay - should have been introduced from the top down. In Seattle, the superintendent should have been held accountable first. Then her "C" level executives, then the education directors, then the principals, then the teachers and then, maybe, the students.

Sometimes I wonder if the hullabaloo over the teachers' contract isn't to distract us from the principals' contract negotiations.

If we drove a harder bargain with the principals then we wouldn't be talking about incompetent teachers who are hard to remove.

Lori said...

In Seattle, the superintendent should have been held accountable first.

I thought she was. After all, she *only* got a $5,000 bonus last year for meeting 4 of 20 goals. Right? That's sort of like merit pay, isn't it?