We found out yesterday during our weekly Wednesday staff meeting that our principal is being removed from our school. He didn’t go into major details as to the stated cause for the central office’s decision, just stating that it wasn’t his choice.
Obviously, I have many mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I’m going to be gone next year, so shakeups at the school won’t have any direct effect on me. And I have definitely had my direct disagreements with and criticisms of my principal at several steps of the way. However, it can’t be denied that he’s been the leader of the school and instrumental in the turnaround of what was once one of the most notorious middle schools in the district. No one is perfect, and given what I know about administrators across the district, it seems like it would be difficult to find someone who could be an improvement.
Maybe more insight into what happened will be forthcoming. Many of the staff members are already taking up arms and planning how they can fight the system. For my part, I wonder if its a winnable fight in the first place. Our principal is being removed in his second year, which is a very unusual or severe thing. In my mind, that can happen for one of several reasons: very low academic performance, extreme behavior management issues (better known in the district as you school being “off the chain”), misconduct, severe political misstep, or–somewhat more positively–the desire to “replicate” the relative success of our school elsewhere. In my estimation, there’s no way this situation falls into either of the first two categories. And as far as politics are concerned, our school has gotten nothing but the most glowing press, so if it’s political, it’s must be something that’s gone down behind the scenes. And obviously we’ll probably never know if there’s been some sort of formal complaint that’s led up to this, but I’d like to think this wouldn’t b ethe case. Lastly, it is quite possible that our principal is being reassigned to another failing school due to the amount of acclaim our school has received from certain sectors. But, to me, this doesn’t quite resonate. Our school is improving, but it’s far from demonstrating unequivocal success. Why on earth would the district risk torpedoing one school on the chance that lightning might strike twice and they can turn around another school? Some of the central office decisions aren’t so bright, but I give them more credit than that. So I’m stumped.
In any case, today will be the beginning of what could be a very tumultuous couple of weeks. The kids are going to find out, so we’re going to be having a morning meeting to discuss what actions we’re going to take as a staff. Most likely there will be an all-school assembly this morning, where some level of information will be revealed to them. More updates to come…