'Turnaround' czar needed
March 8, 2008
We're looking to
hire the best school administrator in Arizona and have nothing to offer this top
performer but four of the lowest-performing schools in the state.
We're looking for a mini-superintendent to oversee four schools within the
Roosevelt Elementary School District in south Phoenix.
We're looking for a fearless person with a passion for the most important work
in the nation: to find, inspire and lead teachers to educate the next faltering
generation before it, too, falls into poverty.
In the past few months, readers from Anthem to Ahwatukee have learned about the
troubles at Roosevelt. But the problems are not of recent vintage. They have
divided the community and worried parents for decades. In recent years, they
have led to an unprecedented exodus of thousands of students to other districts,
charter and parochial schools in the area. There are almost as many charter
schools in south Phoenix as there are in all of Mesa.
The "turnaround administrator" will assume daily operations of T.G. Barr, Brooks
Academy, Sierra Vista and Cesar Chavez schools. These are the schools designated
as "failing" by the state Department of Education. And if you check the 2007
AIMS test scores, you can see why. If you follow the scores through the eight
grades, the longer the kids are in these schools, the worse they do matched to
their peers. For example, 67 percent of the Brooks Academy third-graders "met or
exceeded" state standards in reading, but only 39 percent of its eighth-graders
When the "employment opportunity" listing comes out, it will say the "Partner
Administrator" will report to the state Board of Education, assume daily
operational control of the schools. Roosevelt District will pay half the salary,
the state the other half. The turnaround czar will be in charge of curriculum,
instruction and assessment, and is supposed to have full authority to make staff
Sounds like a job full of trap doors and blind alleys.
Or a job they make movies about - and change lives.
Who is the best school administrator in the Valley or state we can find? Let's
recruit some of them to apply for Roosevelt.
The contact? Kimberly Allen, deputy associate superintendent at ADE, in charge
of school improvement and intervention. Contact her with a suggestion at
firstname.lastname@example.org. - Wedneday