School Administration – Improvement Matters

School Administration – Improvement Matters


The NY Times has an absolutely fabulous article on PS 172,  a school in the city that works fabulously well. 

The principal, Jack Spatola, has been the principal there since 1984 and his AP has been there for more than twenty years.  School administration continuity matters.  He also has a fanatic dedication to continuous improvement.  The Times article says:

“teachers, students and administrators are engaged in a constant process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t….Professional development is an experience that is not relegated to occasional seminars but is lived daily.” 

He trusts his teachers; in fact rather than purchase curriculum, the school creates its own curricula (*note to Times, the plural of curriculum is curricula).  The article doesn’t say how they create the curricula.  Nor does it discuss how they create the time for professional development,  nor how they test and use the information gained from good assessments—but I bet they do.

PS 172 has more than 85% of all students eligible for free lunch.  But they had 98% of third, fourth and fifth graders pass the math test and 76% passed the language test, numbers that compare to the low 30’s for both tests citywide. 

Maybe there’s something worth learning about school administration and continuous improvement?

Jared Gellert is the Executive Director for CITE.

CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Literacy, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Online PhD) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.

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