Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What kind of educator runs a charter school?

Educators who want to be principals in the top performing Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools don’t just walk in the door and get hired.

In fact, if they don’t already have lots of experience, they first go through a special training program as Miles Family Fellows. Then, the Miles Family Fellows grads and other, more experienced applicants have to do an additional preparatory year in the Fisher Fellows program before they can take the reins of a KIPP charter school.

With all of that required preparation, what kinds of applicants are willing to go through all these requirements to run a KIPP school?

Take a look at the qualifications of last year’s group of 11 in the Miles Family Fellows training group.

There are several Teach for America “graduates” plus college credentials from places like UCLA and Ivy League schools like Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia.

The Fisher Fellows program group is also loaded with educators from top-notch schools.

Their credentials read much like those mentioned above.

Why do these highly motivated people put up with all the training? They know that the KIPP schools are doing dramatic things in places like inner-city New York. They also know they will have a chance to really make a difference for kids without being stifled by all the red tape that tends to smother principals in regular public schools.

Sadly, Kentucky can’t attract any of these sorts of innovative educators. We don’t have charter schools where such dynamic leaders can really spread their wings.

Ask your legislators why Kentucky children are losing out while kids in high needs areas of more progressive states like New York and Texas get a chance to enroll in schools where the leaders have top notch backgrounds plus extensive preparation to be a school leader in a KIPP charter school?

1 comment:

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