Tuesday, November 8, 2011

But some of my best friends are administrators

As I've said before, most principals and superintendents I've dealt with have been dedicated and highly professional educators, so why do I keep picking on them? While it's possible that I do have a small problem with authority, my motives here are mostly pure. I'm trying to correct a cherished but dangerous piece of misinformation embraced by movement reformers.

For all their admirable traits, we have to acknowledge the world administrators live in: they are generally at least one step removed from the classroom and regular contact with students; their jobs are highly paid and highly political with badly aligned incentives and considerable temptations to abuse the system. Movement reformers like Jonathan Chait have convinced themselves that a major key (perhaps the key) to improving education is removing checks on administrators' power and upping rewards for manipulating the system. I'm just pointing out that some administrators need less power and fewer temptations.

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