Education news. In context.
Are Children Learning
Future of Schools
Future of Teaching
Future of Work
In the Classroom
Movers and Shakers
Sorting the Students
The Other 60 Percent
Who Is in Charge
Find a Job
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our News Partners
Work with Us
September 4, 2018
What Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to not seek re-election means for schools
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to drop his reelection bid has serious implications for several big public education initiatives in Chicago and for…
August 10, 2018
How do you improve schools? Start by coaching principals, says new study
To develop teachers, principals needing coaching too, says a new study by Vanderbilt University and Mathematica Policy Research.
July 25, 2018
Chicago schools pass $7.5 billion budget despite calls to halt vote
On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education voted to pass Chicago Public Schools’ $7.5 billion budget for the 2018-2019 school year, despite calls…
July 19, 2018
New budget gives CPS CEO Janice Jackson opportunity to play offense
Running Chicago’s schools might be the toughest tour of duty in town for a public sector CEO. There have been eight chiefs in…
Who's In Charge
July 5, 2018
New Local School Council members face challenging first task: filling council vacancies
When Englewood community organizer Erica Nanton was out of a job and struggling a few months ago, she didn’t think she would…
How I Lead
November 20, 2017
Meet Colorado’s distinguished elementary school principal of the year
A Colorado principals talks about she gets to know students, why social and emotional learning is important and who gave her the best advice she’s ever received.
November 17, 2017
Here are 26 assistant principals being groomed to lead Tennessee schools
Gov. Bill Haslam announces educators chosen for his 2018 Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, as well as the 26 principals who will mentor them.
November 7, 2017
McQueen wants teacher pay to go up and local costs to go down for Tennessee’s student intervention program
As Gov. Bill Haslam prepares the final budget of his administration, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen is asking to increase teacher pay for a third straight year.
draining the atr pool
July 10, 2017
New York City plans more aggressive steps to move hundreds of unassigned teachers out of Absent Teacher Reserve
The city's latest attempt to shrink the ATR pool may require principals to hire teachers.
An education U-turn
June 20, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio has made many education promises. Here’s what he’s delivered so far — and what he hasn’t
With the mayoral election approaching, we've taken stock of de Blasio's progress on education.
An education U-turn
June 20, 2017
From power to paperwork: New York City principals adjust to a reined-in role under Carmen Fariña
This story is the first in a Chalkbeat series about Mayor Bill de Blasio's vision for education.
Movers and shakers
May 24, 2017
Memphis Raleigh-Egypt principal will return to Bolton High School
James "Bo" Griffin led the school to some of the highest gains in Shelby County Schools, sparing it from state takeover.
April 3, 2017
Principals matter — and Tennessee wants to do a better job of equipping them
The State Department of Education launches an initiative to cultivate aspiring leaders who want to become principals, as well as to support existing principals.
November 15, 2016
Here are 25 assistant principals who Gov. Haslam wants to see at the helm of schools
The 2017 Governor’s Academy for School Leadership will cultivate and nurture 25 assistant principals from across the state.
August 16, 2016
Tennessee teachers are still happier in their jobs. But here’s how they aren’t seeing eye-to-eye with their principals
Tennessee’s annual educator survey is out, and it shows that teachers and administrators don't see eye-to-eye on discipline policies.
April 5, 2016
How New York City principals are thinking about the opt-out movement
For principals like Stacy Goldstein, who runs the School of the Future in Manhattan, the prospect of a big jump in opt-outs creates new logistical hurdles.
'aspirational ice cream'
March 18, 2016
Principals and AP’s earned $6.9M last year in bonuses tied to evaluations
More than 330 principals and nearly 660 AP's received bonuses, which were based on principal evaluations instead of school ratings.
February 29, 2016
Indianapolis school leaders visit Memphis iZone with eye on increased autonomy for principals
Four years into their school turnaround initiative known as the Innovation Zone, education leaders in Memphis are seeking to move schools from triage to sustainable…
June 10, 2015
After judge says school leadership meetings are public, city tells principals they are not
The city told principals that leadership team meetings are not open to the public while it appeals a judge's April decision that they are subject to open meetings rules.
April 16, 2015
Celebrated North High School principal to leave at end of year
Nicole Veltzé, the principal of Denver's North High School, will leave the school after four years.
March 3, 2015
Memphis principal and turnaround leader to leave Shelby County Schools
Memphis principal Antonio Burt, who has received national attention as a turnaround specialist, is leaving his school and his job.
February 10, 2015
IPS won’t say if Arsenal Tech’s principal is on his way out
Several Arsenal Tech teachers and staff members came to a school board meeting Tuesday to protest what they said was an administrative decision to remove Yarrell and several administrators because of academic underperformance. IPS officials and Yarrell himself won't comment on the situation.
February 9, 2015
DPS announces new principal for Manual High School
Nick Dawkins will be principal of Manual High School.
Call for change
January 7, 2015
Educators remain cautious as city prepares to lift cell phone ban
At the news that the city would soon be ending its ban on cell phones in schools, many students and parents reacted with excitement. No longer would students have to pay a bodega to store their phone, concoct schemes to hide or sneak phones into school buildings, or worry about being able to reach their child.
Lead the way
December 23, 2014
Denver pins high hopes on new leadership programs, incentives
Denver plans to offer incentives and a slew of new training and professional opportunities to its school leaders.
December 9, 2014
Principals will be able to swap schools for a year under new contract
Principals could earn a bonus by swapping schools for a year under an unusual — and under-the-radar — provision of the city's contract agreement with the school-administrators union.
November 14, 2014
Principals union, city enter mediation as contract dispute drags on
The city and the principals union have entered a mediation process after failing to agree on the terms of a new contract, union officials said Friday.
October 16, 2014
Candidates say IPS needs more Hispanic principals
More than 20 percent of Indianapolis Public Schools students are Hispanic. Yet the district has no Hispanic principals. Challengers for IPS school board, and three…
July 24, 2014
To build a principal pipeline, city tries an 'all-of-the-above' approach
Hoping to develop a steady supply of new principals, the city has designed training programs of its own and partnered more closely than ever with outside groups. Meanwhile, it's anyone's guess how the new chancellor's views will influence principal preparation.
July 23, 2014
City and principals union at odds over back pay for former teachers, union says
Hundreds of teachers-turned-administrators could lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in retroactive pay due to teachers if the city has its way in contract…
July 16, 2014
Former top DOE official tests out experimental principal-training program
A new principal-training program designed by a former top Department of Education official replaces lectures and research papers with role playing and projects.
June 6, 2014
Principals can now hire new teachers in most subjects, ending five-year freeze
Principals can now hire new teachers in almost every subject area and grade, officials said this week, ending a half-decade hiring freeze that cut costs but also frustrated would-be teachers.
June 5, 2014
At Coney Island transfer school, award-winning principal pushes students beyond graduation
When they come home from college, Liberation Diploma Plus High alumnae Ashley Brown and Nijah Preacher make a point of seeing their high school principal. This visit was a special one, however: Principal April Leong was receiving a 2014 Sloan Public Service Award.
May 17, 2014
In talk to principals, Fariña describes an educator-driven agenda for next year
In her remarks at the annual principals conference, Fariña described a series of initiatives for the coming year meant to strengthen the school system, rather than overhaul it, reflecting her vision of an educator-driven district where collaboration and professional growth lead to changes “on the ground level.”
April 21, 2014
New Leaders present visions for Memphis schools
As LaSandra M. Young described it, the challenges facing the fictional Isaac Hayes Middle School were stark: Declining enrollment, a 10 percent decrease in students…
March 22, 2014
Fariña shares advice with new principals, but avoids touchy topics
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña spoke to school leaders who have been in that role for three years or fewer at a conference for new principals at Stuyvesant High School on Saturday. She offered big-picture inspiration and "very granular" advice, attendees said.
March 20, 2014
Memphis principal highlighted in new school leadership resource
Two national leadership development groups held up a Memphis principal’s work on teacher mentoring as a model in a series of videos on school leadership.
March 14, 2014
Rise & Shine: Common Core delay approved in Tennessee House
February 21, 2014
After floating the idea, city formally proposes experience requirement for principals and APs
Would-be principals will soon need seven years of school-based experience and aspiring assistant principals will need five years, according to a proposed change…
January 29, 2014
Fariña and de Blasio to bring their message to city principals tonight
City principals will get their first chance to hear in person from their new boss tonight when Chancellor Carmen Fariña convenes them for a meeting…
September 18, 2013
Thomas Edison HS student-turned-principal aims for relevance
When Moses Ojeda graduated from Thomas Edison Career and Technical Education High School three decades ago, he quickly learned he was not prepared for the real world. Now, as the school's principal, his driving motivation is to prevent students from experiencing the same thing. Ojeda has spent nearly 25 years at Thomas Edison, as a student, teacher, assistant principal and now as its principal, making him an anomaly in a system where administrators often take over schools with which they have no connection. Today, Ojeda has used his unique perspective to bring the school up to speed by updating its technical programs and academic standards.
May 17, 2013
City principals say they won't use test scores to screen students
Distressed by state tests that they say did not reflect the way they want students to learn, several city principals are pledging not to use the scores to help them pick their students. Selective middle schools consider students' fourth-grade reading and math scores, and selective high schools look at students' seventh-grade scores. But after the first round of state tests tied to new standards known as the Common Core, about a dozen principals have announced — in an open letter to parents, students, educators, and others with an interest in education — that they are abandoning the use of test scores in admission, at least for now. "We welcome rigor, high standards and accountability, but demand that these three crucial words and concepts not be thrown around loosely; and, even more importantly, we demand that they be implemented in a proper, respectful and effective way," write the principals, who come from a range of selective schools in three boroughs. "Therefore, we cannot grant these recent tests the value others claim they have until [our] concerns are addressed."
May 17, 2013
On Saturday, Chancellor Walcott to give a “major speech”
Per the Department of Education’s advisory, Walcott talk at this year’s citywide principals conference will amount to a “major speech.” Two years ago at the…
April 4, 2013
ACTvF aims to avoid common post-founding principal struggle
On his first day as principal of the Academy for Careers in Television and Film in January, Edgar Rodriguez had his hands full. The two…
March 22, 2013
City schools budget still in flux, but rainy-day funds are restored
Principals who were in the final stages of a school-supplies spending spree might want to put their wallets away. Back in January, Chancellor Dennis Walcott told principals that they would not be able to save any of their school's funds from this year to use next year, a practice that allows schools to plan ahead in an uncertain budget climate. That gave the principals an incentive to spend down their last dollars this spring. But hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a state budget deal earlier this week, bringing the Department of Education's financial situation into clearer relief, Walcott announced that he had retracted the decree.
January 18, 2013
Walcott to principals: We rejected evaluation deal to protect you
Chancellor Dennis Walcott told principals today that he was thinking about them when he rejected a teacher evaluation deal. Then he warned them that their schools could see budget cuts as a result. In his first communication with school leaders since months-long negotiations with the teachers union fell apart on Thursday, Walcott said the union had asked to be able to file more grievances over teacher ratings than a previous agreement had allowed. If the city had acceded to the union's request, Walcott said, principals would face union attacks over the data they collect from students, the way they communicate with teachers, and what they ask teachers to work on. "In the end, I could not agree to the UFT’s demands because they would have stripped principals of much of your existing authority," he said.
September 28, 2012
Survey finds shift in principals' favored city education initiatives
The city's presentation on the results of last year's Principal Satisfaction Survey show that some initiatives have fallen out of favor with school leaders as new ones have emerged. The Department of Education's tools to assess schools are falling out of favor with New York City principals, according to results of the city's most recent survey of school leaders. Instead, principals are getting behind new reforms that are aimed to strengthen individual students and teachers. Released this week, the findings are based on principals' responses to the ninth round of the survey, known as the Principal Satisfaction Survey. Since 2007, the education department has administered the surveys to principals to get feedback about the support they are receiving. Overall, about three out of four principals said they were generally happy with how the city helps them do their jobs, slightly more than last year but lower than in 2009, when an all-time high of more than 80 percent of principals said they were satisfied. But the department initiatives that won the strongest approval have shifted, and principals reported being much less happy with the support they receive for students with disabilities. In the past, the survey has also polled principals on their satisfaction with the chancellor and the Panel for Educational Policy, the school board that has never rejected a city proposal. But those questions were not on the survey when it was administered at the end of 2011-2012 school year.
July 31, 2012
City hands long to-do list to principals of ex-turnaround schools
For principals, August is usually a time for putting the final touches on staffing and curriculum decisions for the year — and for sneaking in a long-awaited vacation. The principals of 24 schools that the city tried to "turn around" will spend the month putting their schools back together. The turnaround process would have meant new names, shaken-up staffs, and new programs for the schools. But those changes were undone when an arbitrator ruled earlier this month that staffing plans for the schools violated the city's contract with the teachers and principals unions. Now, on the last day of July, the schools' principals are finding out which teachers intend to return in September, according to a letter they received from the Department of Education this evening. The letter, which the city released to reporters, offered the most detailed guidance the principals have gotten yet about how to proceed after months of uncertainty and disorder. In the email, the department official in charge of turnaround offers instructions ranging from what to call their schools in formal communications (by their original names) to what to do with all of the files generated by the hiring committees that were reviewing teaching candidates for the overhauled schools (lock them in a filing cabinet).
April 25, 2012
For skeptical parents, 'turnaround' principal change brings hope
Vivian Selenikas, right, sits with Long Island City High School principal Maria Mamo-Vacacela, left, at the school's closure hearing. Last week, hundreds of parents, teachers, and students crowded Long Island City High School's auditorium for a hearing about the school's planned "turnaround." On Tuesday evening, just a dozen parents attended a meeting to hear directly from the Department of Education's latest pick to run the revamped school. Gathered in the school's band room, they learned that Vivian Selenikas, the proposed school leader, speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Greek and Italian. They found that she started her career in the 1980s as a Spanish teacher at Richmond Hill High School, another school on the turnaround list. And they learned that she believes careful curriculum planning will lift Long Island City out of a slump of low attendance (the rate last year was 80 percent) and poor city progress report grades. They also learned that Selenikas is not afraid to stand up and cha-cha. When the school's cheerleading coach led parents through impromptu dance exercises at the end of the Parent Association meeting, Selenikas joined in. As a Queens network leader, Selenikas is no stranger to the large high school on Broadway, which required help from her and other Department of Education officials last year to resolve massive scheduling problems. "It's important that someone who knew the community and knew the needs of this neighborhood helped to move the school forward, should the decision be made that Long Island City will no longer be Long Island City," she said. But many parents say they are worried that the city is not planning adequately for turnaround. Some say they are wary of the abrupt leadership change, which would be the third in less than four years. The current principal, Maria Mamo-Vacacela, came under fire last year for overhauling most students' schedules two months into the academic year.
April 20, 2012
Shuang Wen School inquiry reveals deep "dishonest behavior"
A parent stands in front of the Cherry Street entrance to the Lower East Side's Shuang Wen elementary school. A sprawling investigation into the leadership of a controversial dual-language school in Chinatown concluded that the school's principal had falsified attendance data and accepted money from a non-profit hired to administer after school language lessons. The Department of Education will move to fire Ling Ling Chou, who was removed from the school in September while as many as 16 different investigations were underway. According to the report, she frequently faked numbers when reporting information about the school to the city and the United States Department of Education, including student attendance records and the length of the school day. The report does not conflict with a different report released last year by the special commissioner of investigations, which found that Chou and other staffers committed multiple improprieties, but did not outright steal public money. "For years, Principal Chou engaged in dishonest behavior, unbeknownst to her students and school community," said Chancellor Dennis Walcott in a statement. "Principal Chou’s conduct has failed to meet the standard we set for our principals, and I am filing charges to terminate her employment.” Shuang Wen consistently boasts some of the strongest test scores in the city, but divisions between the staff and parents at the Lower East Side school have led to numerous allegations of and investigations into misconduct.
In your inbox.
Chalkbeat New York
How I Teach
Rise & Shine Colorado
Rise & Shine Detroit
Rise & Shine Indiana
Rise & Shine Tennessee