In Newark, New Jersey, six teachers produced by Teach for America are now in charge of Brick Avon Academy. Rather than running the school from a centralized principal’s office, they will serve as “teacher-leaders.” The teachers in Newark are part of an emerging trend of teacher-run schools. They hope to improve schools in the systems that are struggling most. Similar schools have opened in Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and Denver.
The “principal teacher” at Brick Avon, Charity Haygood teaches classes every day. The school has a total of 38 teachers, who have more say in what they teach than in more conventional schools. They will also have a longer school day, starting next year. “This is a fantasy,” said Dominique D. Lee, one of the teacher-leaders, also a veteran of Teach for America. “It’s six passionate people who came together and said, ‘Enough is enough.’ We’re just tired of seeing failure.”
But some worry that the teachers will not be able to handle their administrative duties. “Teachers should be teachers,” said the parent of one second-graders. However, the association Education Evolving found that teacher-led schools have higher morale, more motivation to improve, effective decision-making and lower turn-over.
Via The New York Times.
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