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  1. #1

    Carmen Farias game plan to undo (and redo) the Bloomberg years

    From Chalkbeat by Sarah Darville:
    Mayor Bill de Blasio has tasked schools chancellor Carmen Faria with helping to extend the Department of Education in new waysfirst and foremost though the citys much-hyped expansion of pre-kindergarten. But as she settles in to her job, Faria is simultaneously focused on turning back the clock.

    When we sat down with Faria this week, she made it clear that shes working to make the department look more like the one she left almost eight years ago, bringing back experts, positions, priorities, and entire divisions that got short shrift or eliminated altogether during the later years of the Bloomberg administration.

    She also revealed some concrete plans for changing how superintendents and network leaders interact, explained why calling individual parents will actually save her time, and told us how she wants her success as chancellor to be measured. (Spoiler alert: Its not by test scores.)

    Here are a few excerpts from our conversation, condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

    Chalkbeat: Its been only a short time, we see that, and its clear what City Halls big priorities on education are at the moment. But we feel like we havent heard all that much from you about your vision for K to 12 during the school day, which is of course what the meat is here. So what is that vision, and when is the public going to start hearing about it?

    I think youre going to get the rollout plan probably relatively soon. But at the very least, this is what weve already started to put in place.

    We have resurrected the professional development department. Anna Commitante is heading that, and were staffing it with someone whos going to have a special focus on literacy, social studies, STEM, science, technology, math. Their job is going to be to go back and visit the Common Core, and look at it with new eyesfigure out where its working out there in the city and finding schools that are doing it particularly well.

    A lot more selling of the Common Core to parents. I just did a short thing with the Manhattan elected officials about what it is and what it isnt, which I think surprised them. Because its not that difficult, but youd have to know what it is. So Id say certainly Common Core, professional development, make it easier for people to understand.

    The second thing is were focusing very strongly on middle schools. I have visited around 18 middle schools. The purpose of the 18 middle schools is to kind of get a sense of whats similar across the middle schools and whats different. And what Im finding is theres a lot more differences than similarities.

    Weve also kind of compressed the leadership team at Tweed. There are four deputy chancellors, each with a very definitive role, so that instead of 18 people I can have a meeting with five people.

    Note: Those four are Dorita Gibson, senior deputy chancellor; Phil Weinberg, deputy chancellor for teaching and learning; Kathleen Grimm, deputy chancellor for operations; and Corinne Rello-Anselmi, deputy chancellor overseeing students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

    Doritas job is really to look at principals, superintendents and network leaders, and one of her major tasks, which shes already set up is superintendents and network leaders should start working together. Which is really a really, really very different way of looking at things.

    Chalkbeat: What does that mean practically? Whats an example of something they werent doing that now they should?

    A superintendent in the past was not allowed to come to a school without an invitation from the principals. Network leaders I dont know exactly but there are 55 of them and they all do it differently. The task that we gave them is that each of them should figure out two schools in the district that need the most support.

    [Superintendents] should talk to the network leaders of those particular schools and they should go in together and develop a plan of support. Not a plan of closure, but a plan of support. And then let us know what support they need from us.

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  2. #2
    Can she get rid of the Joel Klein principals?

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