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.