Fairfax Superintendent undermines authority of principals

Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale recently sent an email to the two teachers’ unions that focused on teacher workloads. As I noted in an earlier post, I believe that he is ignoring the time problems of students. I am troubled by this paragraph in his email:

I will speak to all the principals about ensuring we do not create inappropriate work load/time demands on our teachers this next school year. I will also ask you to help identify some kind of a process to deal with issues that arise from both teachers and principals perspective. To start that discussion, I will also talk with the Leadership Team.     –via FCFT.ORG

The principals are the instructional leaders in their schools. They are responsible for advocating for the needs of students.  Since Dr. Dale supervises the principals, it is troubling that he publicly mentions “inappropriate workload/time demands” before consulting with the principals about this issue. If some principals make inappropriate or unprofessional demands on teachers, their tenure should be re-evaluated.  However, it is wrong for the superintendent to make a statement that tends to undermine the authority of the principals as a group.  It could also have a chilling effect on the willingness of principals to speak out on policies that affect all of the schools.

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