Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.
Join the conversation
We encourage our readers to leave comments and engage in dialogue about our stories. But before you do, please check out our "rules of the road."
Recent Notebook Entries
- Take 5: New rating system OK'd, Oppenheimer awards end, Advance Illinois report
- Another change proposed to rating policy
- Take 5: Discipline reporting push, CPS schools in football semi-finals and Senate Bill 16
- Most teachers get high ratings in second year of new system
- Take 5: Emanuel on risky bond deals, charter closure, selective segregation, teacher ed
Right Now On Notebook
I agree with you except for the fact that this teacher has a high rating/high student scores so if she was such a poor teacher wouldn't the administrator have used the rating system to get rid of...
I have learned over the years before siding with anyone on their evaluation, you should see their work first. NBCT does not mean that you are always an excellent teacher; the same way superior or...
Subscribe to catalyst-chicago.org by e-mail
Principal recruiting strategies touted
The $10 million Chicago Leadership Collaborative is training 75 principal candidates to be ready to take the helm at a school this fall. Yet CPS leadership is not quite sure how many job openings will be available.
After a large number of principals retired last year, Chief Talent Officer Alicia Winckler says it is hard for her to predict how many will be leaving this year. She noted that she will know more about principal vacancies once decisions are made about which schools will be closed.
With schools closing and more than 450 candidates already on the eligibility list, the need for new candidates might not be clear--- but this year, when 159 principals left because of an expiring early retirement program, 25 local school councils couldn’t find a principal they wanted to hire. Catalyst reported on the collaborative, first announced last year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in its Fall 2012 issue of Catalyst In Depth.
On Wednesday, Winckler provided more information on the collaborative, one of five principal leadership initiatives touted Wednesday. The other four initiatives are new evaluations, mandated by the state and announced earlier this year; revamped support, including leadership development for new principals and targeted training for more experienced principals; a revamped eligibility process; and Principal Achievement Awards that will provide up to $20,000 for principals whose schools meet specific improvement criteria that are now tougher to achieve. Last October, Emanuel announced similar performance bonuses for 82 principals
Overall, the district’s goal is to have “strong and effective” principals in place at every school by the 2014-2015 school year.
A “day in the life” of a principal
Rather than take principals from a variety of training programs, the leadership collaborative is focusing on four and is meeting with them regularly to make sure that the programs and CPS are aligned. CPS expects 100 principals a year will be trained.
The new eligibility process will include undergoing a “day in the life” of a principal. In this mock environment, principals will not only be confronted with the standard duties of being a principal--such as meeting with staff and reviewing data--but also with the unexpected, such as handling an upset parent.
“We are really trying to mirror the complexity of being a principal,” Winckler says.
To show that they can work with communities, principals will have to lead mock LSC or parent meetings.
Winckler says that LSCs will be given some indication of the areas in which candidates performed well in the eligibility process and the areas in which they showed some weaknesses. Also, CPS officials are taking pains to get these candidates in front of LSCs, who ultimately still have the power to choose principals.
The candidates have been introduced to network chiefs, who work in tandem with local school councils, Winckler says. In the spring, the candidates also will be brought in to meet with LSCs.
In recent years, CPS has made it increasingly difficult to become eligible for the principalship. The district is also introducing new state-mandated evaluations that include student test scores as one component. On Wednesday, Winkler released a breakdown of how much each measure will count in principal evaluations. (See pdf below.)