MNPS to cut central office staff, loosen reins on principals

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 4:27pm

Metro Nashville Public Schools officials said they will give more power to school principals after recommendations from an education firm called on the district’s central office to loosen the reins.

The result will be tapping three principals from high-achieving schools to work with other schools as “lead principals” to boost student achievement growth and close achievement gaps, for a total of 10 “lead principals” district wide.

“It’s about freeing up the school-level leaders to do their jobs. That means a different type of central office,” said David Moran who is directing reform ideas on behalf of Tribal Group, a U.K.-based firm MNPS hired to improve 34 of the district’s low-performing schools.

Tribal’s report on its first year working with MNPS found outcomes throughout the district were low and not improving fast enough. The report also stated that the school district’s central office is a bureaucratic obstacle to continuous improvement, and that principals lacked autonomy and a defined method for accountability.

To begin what he called a “radical change” in how the district operates, Director of Schools Jesse Register said he would also cut in half the number of people who report directly to him. He said the Central Office’s reorganization will be finished by Jan. 16.

School Board Chairwoman Cheryl Mayes said she’s behind the district’s plans to restructure and give principals more power.

“If I give them the ability to run their own schools and hold them accountable for it, the possibilities of them doing it and doing it to the best of their ability goes much higher,” said Mayes. “I’m very excited about what we’re doing.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/4/12 at 7:50

Not holding my breath for this one.

By: poppie on 12/4/12 at 8:29

Now its time for Wilson County to follow suit

By: BigPapa on 12/5/12 at 11:22

"rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic." "cant make chicken salad outta chicken poop."
any number of other sayings come to mind.

By: Specter47 on 12/5/12 at 11:59

"...cut in half the number of people who report directly to him [Register]." He tried this before, But like a pruned bush, the pruned district office just grew more thick with bureaucracy. And principal's reins should have been loosened long before now. Many great principals left the system or were "encouraged" to retire because of the so called leaders above them. So, just who will be cut? Who within this huge, top-heavy bureaucracy will be moved from reporting directly to Jesse to reporting to someone just below him? It's a shell game. Don't fall for Jesse "So-so-so" Register's BS. It really stinks.

By: wasaw on 12/5/12 at 6:26

The real sad story here is that MNPS had to hire a company based overseas to get a handle on the poor situation here in Nashville.

I failed to read any suggestions on how our local educators will improve the educational performance of the many single parented drug and alcoholic induced students who represent a growing percentage of the Nashville student population.

How does reducing Register's minions improve the learning skills of Nashville students. These problems are the very concerns that have driven so many of Nashville parents to place their children in private schools. When you pay your taxes and then pay your child's private school tuition, you'll make sure your child is doing what is expected of him/her. Too many parents of public schools students could care less.

By: pswindle on 12/5/12 at 8:56

I had to laugh at this one.