Friday, October 12, 2018

School Hopping - Good for Anyone?

"Hey, Tom," I said, "How have you been?"

I ran into the principal in the foyer of the technology building, his smile catching me like a deer in the headlights. I'm not good with putting names to face, which apparently is a bad thing, so it took me a second to recognize him as a principal.

From there, we started the positive, yet uncomfortable journey of exploring how he's coping with the transfer from one school to the next. He'd been a fantastic principal (or so I thought) at one campus but then ended up being moved to another campus. The reason? He was going to improve the new campus.

I'm not sure what research says about moving principals from campus to campus, but I know it irritated the heck out of me. Do you know how much time and effort the Instructional Tech team had put into cultivating relationships, only to see the school go into a tailspin when they moved the veteran principal?

When I read the following excerpt over at Linking and Thinking with JoAnne Jacobs, I had to ask myself again, Is school hopping ever good for anyone?
Frequent school switches is linked “to lower academic outcomesincreased behavioral problems and a higher likelihood of dropping out,” reports Richards.
Research shows students who switch schools frequently are less engaged and make less improvement in reading than their stable peers. Churn also harms the students who stay put. One large Chicago study showed classrooms where many students moved in and out were operating a full year behind classrooms where the majority of kids stuck around.
School hopping creates chaos in high-poverty Detroit schools, report Erin Einhorn and Chastity Pratt Dawsey of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. Last school year, the 31 eighth-graders in Bethune’s ‘8B’ homeroom had collectively attended a total of 128 schools — an average of more than four schools each.” Only three had attended the K-8 school since kindergarten.
 It's not surprising, but consider this news story that expresses a similar view:
Superintendent Rick Smith is moving 22 principals for the 2012-2013 school year. No Hamilton County Superintendent has ever moved more.

"Signal Mountain is lucky to have her (Copp)," Thurman says. "But I'm hoping we're gonna get some stability. I just don't like moving these principals around."

Channel 3's Facebook responders tend to agree.

Mariah writes that it makes Hamilton County Schools look unstable.  

Jessica adds: "everybody does better on a constant routine, especially children."

And Kelly believes that "a principal who stays gets to know the staff, students and parents."

Tracye Wonders: "would you be comfortable with the shuffling of doctors and nurses every year at your family clinic?"
 No, Tracye. I wouldn't. Why do school boards tolerate this top-down shuffle of folks?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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