There’s a concept being tested in districts around the country to open teacher-run schools. Instead of a building principal in charge of the intricacies of leading a school, the teachers work together to address instruction, budgets, discipline, and other traditional aspects of a principal’s job. Consequently, the My Two Cents question for the January/February issue of Principal is: What do you think are the risks of teacher-run schools?
Norma E. Rodriguez, principal of A.J. Dorsa Elementary School in San Jose, California, argues against teacher-led schools. “A great team cannot exist without a great coach. Similarly, a great coach cannot exist without a great group of team members,” she says. “The risks of having teacher-run schools will be poorly run schools with overwhelmed, burned-out teachers having little time to prepare and execute powerful, engaging and meaningful lessons. I’m a believer that everything and anything is possible, but someone needs to be the ultimate decision-maker and hold the big picture.”
On the other hand, Paul R. Bohn, principal of Portal Elementary School in La Vista, Nebraska, proposes suggests reviewing the research before making a decision about the model. “As with any idea for improving schools, evidence of success must be carefully examined,” he says. “If such an approach can show results, using agreed-upon authentic measures, then it should cause us all to pause and consider it.”
What are your experiences and thoughts about teacher-led schools?