Hettleman reflects on the year past, challenges ahead
If you haven't already, check out the op-ed in today's paper by outgoing city school board member Buzzy Hettleman about Dr. Alonso's first year and the challenges ahead. Whether you agree with Hettleman's analysis or not, he raises some key questions about the system's future.
Alonso's theory of reform hinges on having a great principal in every school. But is there an adequate supply of great principals to go around? Will the promise of autonomy and the freedom to be creative lure exceptional people who might not have gone into the profession otherwise? Or will the increased responsibilities overwhelm principals and drive them away? Hettleman says the system needs to provide more specific guidance to school leaders than it has done thus far.
The other question, according to Hettleman, is whether the state will provide enough money for Alonso's administration to be successful.
"No large urban school system in the country has scaled the heights of student proficiency," he writes. "I said a year ago when voting to hire Mr. Alonso that the obstacles may be too great for even him to overcome - but I was convinced that if anyone could do it, he could. Nothing about the first year has changed my mind."