Friday, March 19, 2010

Bill to give school superintendents more say in principal hiring is back on

Surprise move in Senate yesterday has teachers union hopping mad

The Kentucky Senate’s Education Committee meeting yesterday must have been fun to watch (KET didn’t cover it for some reason).

In a surprise move, a proposal to once again give school superintendents some real control over the principals in their schools was tagged on to another piece of legislation.

Read about the details here.

This legislation is badly needed. KERA just about destroyed all the control our local superintendents and locally elected school boards had over the important things that go on in schools like curriculum selection, school-level spending decisions and principal selection. After a 2004 court decision, it was even possible for a superintendent to fire a principal and have the school based decision making council turn right around and rehire the same person as principal again!

It’s been madness – no one in the school system can be held accountable. The local board and the superintendents really can’t – they lost all authority to make changes. The teachers on the site base councils mostly have tenure, so they can’t be fired. And, thanks to the ill-advised court decision – a bad principal who appeases his staff can be beyond accountability, as well.

So, bring on the Senate bill, but watch the fur fly as the Kentucky House, which is under the thumb of the teachers union, squawks back.

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