From the Department of Bad Ideas: Creating federal certification for "highly qualified" principals. We would delight in eviscerating proposals like this, but Sheryl Boris-Schacter has already done a fine job of it. In a recent Education Week piece, Boris-Schacter--a living, breathing school principal--rejects the idea that education leadership can be improved or managed from Washington. "Legislated, standardized, and prescribed requirements leading to a new ‘highly qualified' principal status would stress professional educators already weary from endless accountability measures, wasted resources, and the inevitable paperwork that cuts into time for instructional leadership," she writes. Indeed. Boris-Schacter also notes that more mandates are likely to impede the recruitment of genuinely highly qualified individuals to lead schools. From the Department of Better Ideas: Allowing principals more autonomy but holding them accountable for the academic achievement of their schools' students. Dispense, please, with the arbitrary and muddled regulations. They haven't gotten us anywhere.
"Good Principals by Fiat?," by Sheryl Boris-Schacter, Education Week, February 27, 2008