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Nice guy. Can’t run a school

October 16, 2013 pm31 3:12 pm

In some schools a staff hates the principal – thinks he’s horrible, doesn’t trust him. Sometimes a staff adores a principal – thinks she does a great job, takes her at her word.

But what would you think if a staff  likes the guy in charge, but doesn’t think he can run a school?

At one charter school in Manhattan, three out of four teachers trust the principal. But wait. Only one out of seven think she is an effective manager. At the Leadership Institute in District 9, in the Bronx, over 80% trust their principal, but only a third think she makes the school run smoothly.  And at Invictus Prep, a charter school in Brooklyn, 95% of the teachers trust the principal at his word. But only half think he’s competent.

The 2013 Learning Environment surveys reveal this situation to be more common than one might expect. At 96 schools, at least one in five staffers thinks the principal trustworthy, but not competent. And in over 200 more schools at least 10% of the staff makes the same assessment.

These schools are not distributed evenly across the City. Charter schools are over-represented (8% of city schools, but 17% of the top of the list). Fifteen districts have only 0 – 2 schools on the top of the list.

Think about the teachers filling in the survey. They bubbled a negative answer, so they weren’t so scared of retaliation that they were sugarcoating their responses. And they did check off “I trust him at his word,” so they weren’t, in anger, bubbling all bottom scores for their principals. This is a group of honest survey-takers. They considered each answer, and they meant what they wrote. Which is not to say that the message was always “my guy’s incompetent.”

Individual schools bear individual scrutiny. The slightly higher than expected numbers of middle schools may reflect the real challenges presented by that age group. The overrepresentation of progressive schools (Debbie Maier’s Central Park East I is right near the top, along with a copycat, River East Elementary) may indicate a mismatch of expectations between leadership and staff at that type of school. Or maybe not. There are schools with a recently appointed principal, who has not settled in, or with a principal appointed after the surveys were conducted. The principal of a school targeted by the DoE is sometimes treated like a lame duck by the staff. Consider this list a flag… a flag to look more closely. Being here does not mean that any individual school has a problem.

But 300 schools? There are not reasonable explanations for all of them, or most of them. This is part of Bloomberg’s legacy – swarms of incompetent principals. A tough old principal could tell all of Tweed to go to hell, because she knew she could teach, she had authority based on competence, knowledge, experience. But Bloomberg didn’t want that. His administrators have no real skill set to fall back on. And by crumbling our schools into mini-schools, Bloomberg created much more demand for administrators than there were qualified candidates. The Leadership Academy, especially, created scores if not hundreds of principals with insufficient pedagogical training, and lacking good management habits. Many are the authoritarian monsters that have been written about in these and other pages. But apparently many have chosen to be nice and fly below the radar.

So what should we do with nice guys who can’t run schools?  Help them get better??? (that seems like a lot of work) Worry about their ability to rate us? (yes, but they are nice) Worry about their ability to train us? (yup)  Send them for career counseling? The questions are insane, but that’s what Bloomberg has done to us.

Some technical stuff: I am reporting only part of the list, 231 schools. If 100% of the staff think a principal is trustworthy, and 80% think he’s competent, I don’t think that’s worth talking about. But if 60% trust her, but only 40% think she can do the job, I think that one belongs. So a rule? I put no school on the list where 80% of the staff reports the principal is effective.  All  schools with gaps of 20% or more are on the list. And if two thirds of the staff reported the principal to be an effective manager, I looked for a fall off of at least 15%. Otherwise, I used 10% as the cutoff.

Here’s the list. Please bear in mind, there are many possible explanations for a school’s inclusion. The reader is encouraged not to draw conclusions from a school’s presence on the list, but to use it as a starting point.

List of schools where many teachers agree or strongly agree “I trust my principal at his word” but disagree or strongly disagree “My principal is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly”

D B Sch Name Type 2a. I trust the principal at his or her word. (Agree strongly or Agree) 1g. The principal at my school is an effective manager who makes the school run smoothly. (Agree Strongly or Agree) 2a minus 1g. (I trust the guy, but he can’t run a school)
84 M Broome Street Acad Charter Sch HS 86% 27% 60%
84 K Invictus Prep Charter Sch MS 96% 48% 48%
9 X Ldrship Institute HS 82% 36% 45%
4 M Central Park East I ES 69% 23% 45%
4 M River East Elementary ES 65% 21% 44%
14 K PS 250 George H. Lindsay ES 90% 52% 38%
84 K New Dawn Charter HS HS 88% 50% 38%
17 K Intl HS at Prospect Heights HS 90% 53% 37%
8 X Sch for Tourism & Hospitality HS 88% 51% 37%
5 M KAPPA IV MS 75% 38% 37%
8 X Archimedes Acad – Math, Sci & Tech Apps MS/HS 74% 37% 37%
7 X Young Leaders ES ES 55% 18% 37%
3 M WEST PREP Acad MS 93% 58% 36%
1 M Tompkins Square MS MS 95% 60% 35%
32 K Bushwick Ldrs HS for Acad Excellence HS 85% 50% 35%
7 X PS / IS 224 MS 73% 38% 35%
84 X New York City Montessori Charter Sch ECC 100% 66% 34%
29 Q Community Voices MS MS 87% 53% 34%
13 K The Urban Assembly Unison Sch MS 50% 17% 34%
84 X New Vsns Charter HS for Humanities II HS 100% 67% 33%
13 K Freedom Acad HS HS 55% 22% 33%
84 K Bushwick Ascend Charter Sch ECC 33% 0% 33%
2 M BUSINESS OF SPORTS Sch HS 83% 52% 32%
32 K Evergreen MS for Urban Explor MS 66% 33% 32%
9 X HS for Violin & Dance HS 82% 50% 31%
2 M Quest to Learn MS/HS 77% 46% 31%
12 X E.S.M.T- IS 190 MS 93% 65% 29%
3 M PS 242 Young Diplomats Magnet Acad ES 75% 46% 29%
28 Q JHS 008 Richard S. Grossley MS 70% 42% 29%
2 M PS 198 Isador E. Ida Straus ES 61% 32% 29%
24 Q IS 093 Ridgewood MS 81% 54% 28%
84 X Hyde Leadership Charter Sch ES/MS/HS 76% 49% 28%
25 Q PS/MS 200 Pomonok Sch & STAR Acad ES/MS 75% 47% 28%
28 Q Jamaica HS HS 94% 66% 27%
27 Q PS / MS 114 Belle Harbor ES/MS 79% 53% 27%
2 M Liberty HS Acad for Newcomers HST 77% 50% 27%
12 X Entrada Acad MS 50% 23% 27%
2 M MS 131 MS 93% 67% 26%
23 K Frederick Douglass Acad VII HS HS 88% 61% 26%
24 Q PS 088 Seneca ES 73% 48% 26%
1 M PS 134 Henrietta Szold ES 69% 43% 26%
84 Q Acad of the City Charter Sch ECC 67% 40% 26%
32 K PS 151 Lyndon B. Johnson ES 66% 39% 26%
12 X PS 044 David C. Farragut ES 39% 12% 26%
27 Q PS 045 Clarence Witherspoon ES 70% 45% 25%
84 K Bklyn Excelsior Charter Sch ES/MS 87% 63% 24%
30 Q Baccalaureate Sch for Global Education MS/HS 81% 57% 24%
7 X Samuel Gompers CTE HS HS 66% 42% 24%
84 X Academic Leadership Charter Sch ES 64% 40% 24%
4 M JHS 013 Jackie Robinson MS 50% 26% 24%
25 Q PS 107 Thomas A Dooley ES 100% 78% 23%
23 K Bklyn Democracy Acad HST 100% 77% 23%
13 K Acad of Arts & Letters ES/MS 88% 65% 23%
9 X Urban Sci Acad MS 87% 64% 23%
5 M Choir Acad of Harlem MS/HS 73% 50% 23%
11 X The Bxwood Prep Acad HS 71% 47% 23%
13 K MS 596 Peace Acad MS 61% 39% 23%
2 M THE HS FOR Lang & DIPLOMACY HS 58% 36% 23%
25 Q PS 164 Qns Valley ES/MS 93% 72% 22%
11 X Baychester MS MS 93% 71% 22%
25 Q North Qns Community HS HST 86% 64% 22%
11 X Acad Schol & Entrep’ship: A Coll Bd Sch MS/HS 85% 63% 22%
14 K Frances Perkins Acad HS 64% 43% 22%
29 Q Qns Prep Acad HS 59% 36% 22%
84 M Harlem Village Acad HS HS 53% 30% 22%
24 Q PS 110 ECC 33% 11% 22%
17 K Bklyn Acad of Sci & the Environment HS 97% 76% 21%
11 X PS 021 Philip H. Sheridan ES 94% 73% 21%
9 X IS 219 New Venture Sch MS 90% 69% 21%
84 K Achievement First Crown Hts Charter Sch ES/MS 89% 67% 21%
27 Q PS 273 ECC 86% 67% 21%
1 M Neighborhood Sch ES 87% 65% 21%
21 K IS 096 Seth Low MS 84% 64% 21%
84 K The Ethical Comm’y Charter Sch (TECCS) ES 81% 59% 21%
15 K PS 261 Philip Livingston ES 78% 57% 21%
11 X PS 087 Bx ES 77% 56% 21%
84 M Renaissance Charter HS for Innovation HS 73% 52% 21%
1 M PS 137 John L. Bernstein ES 67% 47% 21%
84 K Fahari Acad Charter Sch MS 66% 44% 21%
18 K Urban Action Acad HS 64% 43% 21%
10 X HS for Teaching & the Profs HS 63% 42% 21%
19 K World Acad for Total Comm’y Health HS HS 45% 24% 21%
16 K Sch of Business, Finance & Entrep’ship MS 93% 73% 20%
84 M Harlem Village Acad Ldr’ship Charter Sch ES/MS 93% 73% 20%
31 R IS R002 George L. Egbert MS 82% 61% 20%
2 M PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island ES/MS 80% 60% 20%
14 K PS 059 William Floyd ES 80% 60% 20%
29 Q PS 134 Hollis ES 79% 59% 20%
6 M MS 322 MS 77% 57% 20%
17 K MS for the Arts MS 74% 53% 20%
8 X Gateway Sch for Envmntl Res & Tech HS 62% 44% 20%
9 X THE FAMILY Sch ES 60% 40% 20%
19 K PS 328 Phyllis Wheatley ES/MS 58% 37% 20%
1 M Henry Street Sch for Intl Studies MS/HS 97% 79% 19%
27 Q Rock’y Pkwy HS for Envmntl Sust’bility HS 95% 77% 19%
18 K IS 068 Isaac Bildersee MS 87% 68% 19%
11 X Bx Aerospace HS HS 82% 63% 19%
12 X PS 212 ES/MS 72% 53% 19%
18 K Cultural Acad for the Arts & Scis HS 72% 53% 19%
10 X JHS 080 The Mosholu Parkway MS 63% 43% 19%
2 M The Urban Assembly Acad of Govt & Law HS 48% 29% 19%
3 M MS 256 Academic & Athletic Excellence MS 44% 25% 19%
23 K PS 327 Dr. Rose B. English ES/MS 90% 73% 18%
11 X Bx HS for the Visual Arts HS 91% 72% 18%
29 Q Pathways College Prep Sch: Coll Bd Sch MS/HS 89% 72% 18%
21 K Rachel Carson HS for Coastal Studies HS 87% 70% 18%
29 Q PS/MS 147 Ronald McNair ES/MS 86% 67% 18%
17 K PS 167 The Parkway ES 83% 66% 18%
14 K PS 034 Oliver H. Perry ES 85% 65% 18%
30 Q PS 212 ES 83% 64% 18%
2 M Legacy Sch for Integrated Studies HS 81% 63% 18%
17 K Bklyn Sch for Music & Theatre HS 78% 59% 18%
12 X PS 195 ES 67% 48% 18%
8 X Bx BRIDGES HS HS 92% 75% 17%
10 X Kingsbridge Intl HS HS 83% 67% 17%
17 K Acad for Col Prep & C’r’r Explor: Coll Bd MS/HS 85% 67% 17%
84 K Success Acad Charter Sch Bed-Stuy 1 ECC 79% 61% 17%
11 X Bxdale HS HS 77% 61% 17%
13 K PS 270 Johann DeKalb ES 75% 58% 17%
15 K Sec Sch for Law MS/HS 72% 54% 17%
75 X PS X012 Lewis & Clark Sch D75 59% 42% 17%
19 K Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep Sch HS 92% 76% 16%
29 Q Jean Nuzzi Intermediate Sch MS 89% 73% 16%
2 M The UA Sch of Design & Construction HS 88% 72% 16%
16 K Upper Sch @ PS 25 MS 89% 72% 16%
26 Q PS 133 Qns ES 86% 70% 16%
28 Q PS 050 Talfourd Lawn ES ES 83% 69% 16%
1 M University Neighborhood HS HS 84% 68% 16%
20 K IS 30 Mary White Ovington MS 84% 68% 16%
84 K Lefferts Gardens Charter Sch ECC 83% 67% 16%
15 K PS 124 Silas B. Dutcher ES 74% 57% 16%
4 M PS 050 Vito Marcantonio ES/MS 68% 52% 16%
6 M IS 218 Salome Urena MS 63% 48% 16%
10 X Thomas C. Giordano MS 45 MS 54% 38% 16%
25 Q Leonard P Stavisky Early Chldhd Sch ECC 43% 27% 16%
18 K PS 233 Langston Hughes ES 95% 79% 15%
20 K PS 971 ECC 92% 77% 15%
84 K Community Partnership Charter Sch ES/MS 91% 76% 15%
5 M New Design MS MS 86% 72% 15%
4 M Mosaic Prep Acad ES 85% 71% 15%
19 K EAST NEW YORK MS OF EXCELLENCE MS 85% 70% 15%
10 X DeWitt Clinton HS HS 84% 70% 15%
13 K PS 054 Samuel C. Barnes ES 85% 70% 15%
8 X JHS 125 Henry Hudson MS 83% 69% 15%
75 M PS M094 D75 82% 67% 15%
31 R Gaynor McCown Expedit’ry Learning Sch HS 81% 66% 15%
10 X PS 246 Poe Ctr ES 80% 65% 15%
12 X PS 092 Bx ES 79% 65% 15%
3 M HS of Arts & Tech HS 77% 61% 15%
84 M New Heights Acad Charter Sch MS/HS 75% 60% 15%
13 K Urban Assembly HS of Music & Art HS 72% 58% 15%
6 M PS 325 ES 67% 52% 15%
10 X Marie Curie Sch for Med, Nurs, Hlth Profs HS 65% 49% 15%
10 X PS / IS 54 ES 47% 32% 15%
9 X PS 163 Arthur A. Schomburg ES 48% 31% 15%
5 M Acad for Social Action: A Coll Bd Sch MS/HS 45% 30% 15%
29 Q PS 038 Rosedale ES 43% 28% 15%
29 Q Math, Sci Research & Tech Magnet HS HS 42% 27% 15%
30 Q PS 151 Mary D. Carter ES 36% 22% 15%
3 M The UA Sch for Green Careers HS 21% 6% 15%
15 K Sec Sch for Journalism MS/HS 20% 5% 15%
9 X Bx HS of Business HS 78% 64% 14%
24 Q Pioneer Acad ES 70% 57% 14%
14 K JHS 050 John D. Wells MS 69% 55% 14%
8 X Banana Kelly HS HS 68% 55% 14%
22 K PS 052 Sheepshead Bay ES 53% 39% 14%
3 M Richard Rodgers Sch of The Arts & Tech ES 50% 36% 14%
31 R PS 030 Westerleigh ES 46% 31% 14%
3 M STEM Institute of Manhattan ES 29% 14% 14%
21 K PS 238 Anne Sullivan ES/MS 77% 63% 13%
23 K General D. Chappie James MS of Sci MS 76% 63% 13%
29 Q PS 156 Laurelton ES/MS 75% 62% 13%
12 X Wings Acad HS 74% 61% 13%
7 X PS 018 John Peter Zenger ES 74% 61% 13%
12 X THE CINEMA Sch HS 69% 56% 13%
1 M Collab Acad Sci, Tech, & Lang-Arts Ed’n MS 67% 53% 13%
84 K New Hope Acad Charter Sch ES 67% 53% 13%
22 K PS 236 Mill Basin ES 61% 49% 13%
31 R PS 74 FUTURE LEADERS ES ECC 60% 47% 13%
3 M PS 165 Robert E. Simon ES/MS 55% 42% 13%
9 X SHERIDAN Acad FOR YOUNG LEADERS ES 54% 41% 13%
17 K PS 022 ES 51% 38% 13%
13 K Sci Skills Ctr HS  Sci, Tech, Creative Arts HS 50% 36% 13%
31 R PS 036 J. C. Drumgoole ES 48% 35% 13%
7 X Mott Haven Village Prep HS HS 36% 23% 13%
28 Q Young Women’s Leadership Sch, Qns MS/HS 26% 13% 13%
84 M The Opportunity Charter Sch MS/HS 79% 66% 12%
29 Q Law, Govt & Community Service HS HS 76% 65% 12%
75 X PS 168 D75 77% 65% 12%
18 K PS 135 Sheldon A. Brookner ES 76% 63% 12%
23 K PS 178 Saint Clair Mckelway ES/MS 77% 63% 12%
4 M PS 096 Joseph Lanzetta ES/MS 75% 62% 12%
84 K Explore Excel Charter Sch ES 74% 62% 12%
9 X IS 313 Sch of Leadership Development MS 71% 60% 12%
21 K PS 288 The Shirley Tanyhill ES/MS 72% 60% 12%
84 K Summit Acad Charter Sch MS/HS 71% 59% 12%
12 X Sch of Performing Arts MS 71% 58% 12%
6 M Washington Heights Acad ES 69% 57% 12%
9 X Acad for Lang & Tech HS 68% 56% 12%
19 K PS 306 Ethan Allen ES/MS 63% 52% 12%
7 X Hostos-Lincoln Acad of Sci MS/HS 64% 52% 12%
4 M PS 007 Samuel Stern ES/MS 56% 43% 12%
11 X PS 068 Bx ES 56% 43% 12%
22 K PS 139 Alexine A. Fenty ES 53% 41% 12%
75 K PS K140 D75 49% 37% 12%
10 X PS 024 Spuyten Duyvil ES 48% 37% 12%
15 K Bklyn Sch for Global Studies MS/HS 36% 24% 12%
10 X PS 091 Bx ES 35% 23% 12%
84 K Explore Charter Sch ES/MS 77% 66% 11%
28 Q PS 048 William Wordsworth ES 75% 64% 11%
75 M Manhattan Sch for Career Development D75 74% 63% 11%
14 K PS 018 Edward Bush ES 75% 63% 11%
19 K Bklyn Lab Sch HS 67% 56% 11%
7 X JHS 162 Lola Rodriguez De Tio MS 67% 56% 11%
84 X Tech Intl Charter Sch MS 67% 55% 11%
10 X In-Tech Acad (MS / HS 368) MS/HS 67% 55% 11%
28 Q PS 082 Hammond ES 60% 49% 11%
22 K PS 361 East Flatbush Early Chldhd Sch ECC 50% 37% 11%
8 X Antonia Pantoja Prep Acad: A Coll Bd Sch MS/HS 40% 29% 11%
9 X PS 073 Bx ES 70% 61% 10%
16 K PS 005 Dr. Ronald Mcnair ES 70% 60% 10%
31 R PS 022 Graniteville ES 68% 58% 10%
27 Q PS 043 ES/MS 68% 58% 10%
5 M PS 200- The James Mccune Smith Sch ES 59% 49% 10%
9 X PS 199X The Shakespeare Sch ES 58% 49% 10%
8 X Women’s Acad of Excellence HS 58% 47% 10%
11 X PS 111 Seton Falls ES 59% 47% 10%
31 R PS 016 John J. Driscoll ES 48% 37% 10%
8 X JHS 123 James M. Kieran MS 45% 36% 10%
75 M PS M079 Horan Sch D75 47% 36% 10%
19 K Essence Sch MS 40% 30% 10%
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. FMidy permalink
    October 17, 2013 am31 12:59 am 12:59 am

    Nice person can run school if he/she follows the script or implements the set of policies regulating all aspects of the education process and when in doubt to go with the majority while recognizing the rights of the minority and to a great extent possible to seek wisdom from a team with a variety of life experiences. School works best when all concerned parties have a say in the decision making process. The learning institution itself should be in the business of turning law-abiding citizens with a sense of national and international communities, a sense on how to become a contributing member in the community, a sense of our Judeo-Christian tradition, a sense of our multicultural heritage, and a sense of the common American heritage to preserve.

  2. Diane Pearl permalink
    October 24, 2013 pm31 7:28 pm 7:28 pm

    How did Blige get such a high rating? She must have the Stepford teachers all lined up. So many who fled or were gotten rid of, despise her. Do numbers make sense? (not a Math Teacher).

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 25, 2013 am31 7:55 am 7:55 am

      Tweed made possible.

  3. fsmeduwp permalink
    October 25, 2013 am31 8:36 am 8:36 am

    I agreed that Tweed made it possible.We are talking about Tweed numbers or bogus numbers.Fake, Phony or Tweed.

    Remember BossTweed.http://cartoons.osu.edu/nast/images/the_brains25.jpg

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