Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DC style: falling up, principal leadership edition

Years ago, I wrote a blog entry about how a few years after the Washington Post ran a detailed series of failures on the part of some of DC's community development corporations, the DC Building Industry Association gave some of these organizations awards.  ("Falling up -- Accountability and DC Community Development Corporations").

Today's Post has a not dissimilar article, "D.C. principals, Georgetown launch leadership program."

DC Public Schools leaders, including Chancellor Kaya Henderson, are setting up a principal leadership masters degree program with Georgetown University. Yet, DCPS has a record of abject failure with regard to instructional leadership development and training.

And how is it possible for Kaya Henderson to NOT BE FIRED FOR NOT DEALING WITH SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF TEST-RELATED CHEATING IN AT LEAST ONE DOZEN SCHOOLS? See "D.C. Cheating Scandal: A Conspiracy of Silence" from the American Thinker blog and "Michelle Rhee: Reformer, Zealot, Both or Something Else?" from PBS.

That's certainly a leadership example that is deserving of analysis within a graduate education program.  But ought not to sanction being picked to develop the curriculum.

Why would anyone pick these people to set up a best practice graduate education program?

 Why not instead work with school systems that already have exemplary leadership development programs, as judged by the success of principals and schools in those systems.

For example, I'd go ask Montgomery County Public Schools and Arlington County Public Schools to help develop this program and of course, Kathleen Cashin from New York City (see "Bucking School Reform, a Leader Gets Results" from the New York Times).  Not DC people, especially Kaya Henderson.

From the article:

A group of 25 principals of D.C. public schools this week began a master’s-degree program at Georgetown University, part of an effort to improve the quality of leadership in the city’s schools.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson — who earned an undergraduate degree at Georgetown and later a leadership degree there in 2007 — helped launch the program after she determined that principal training programs were lacking what she believed are the essentials needed to elevate the school system. The program, which runs through the calendar year, mirrors Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Leadership program in the McDonough School of Business.

Henderson, working with academic leaders at Georgetown, created a curriculum that includes such topics as how to deal with uncertainty and how to lead tough conversations.

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At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why would anyone pick these people to set up a best practice graduate education program?"


This is actually the answer to the question, "What does the Growth Machine do?"

At 5:54 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

... like the article in the Post yesterday about the VA business community and elected officials to whom they give donations rallying behind Helen Dragas to keep her on the UVA Board.

again, talk about falling up.

It's a great gig if you can get it.

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Peter Principle Lives
Posted on April 01, 2009

Now 40, The Peter Principle resonates even more today, when a lust for accomplishment has led an unprecedented level of incompetence.
You're probably too young to remember this.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

i think about PP all the time. DC is the personification.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah. It's everywhere. That's why they were able to write the book "Corrupt Cities."



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