Ask principals about the most frustrating aspects of their jobs and likely at the top of the list will be that they can't select who works on their team. That's because in most districts, HR calls the shots.
Even in districts like New Haven, with its much praised contract with the local AFT affiliate, principals at only a handful of schools will have this critical authority. In a new brief, NCTQ explores the reasons why districts are so loathe to give their principals more say, what remedies are available and some promising compromises reached by both districts and states.
Notably, the answers do not all lie in changing the teachers' contract. Just as important, principals won't get more meaningful authority until they begin to take evaluations more seriously. States too need to change the laws regarding dismissals that are on their books, which uniformly make it difficult to terminate teachers that no principal wants to hire. And HR needs to stick to its guns and uphold "mutual consent" hiring.
Check out the brief here.