How the principal’s job has changed

Sep 28, 2015 by

Hand written "I Quit" on a greenboard

Following a school chief in New Orleans for one year shows why the job she holds is so tough – and reveals a lot about the state of education in America.

By Peg Tyre –

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. 

It’s a few minutes before 8 a.m. and Krystal Hardy, the principal of Sylvanie Williams College Prep elementary, a charter school in New Orleans, is greeting a line of third-graders as they shuffle down the hall.

“I like the way you keep your eyes forward and your voice turned off,” she says to a student with a green bow in her hair who has been ignoring a whispered conversation behind her. The girl shoots Ms. Hardy a cautious smile.

“Tuck in that shirt,” Hardy says to another. The young boy hastily shoves his green polo shirt into his khaki pants. “We need you to be ready to learn, so you need to look like you’re ready to learn,” says Hardy.

It’s the second full week of instruction at the start of the second year of Hardy’s tenure as principal, and the administrator, a wiry, intense young woman, is cautiously optimistic. This time last year, she and thousands of other public school principals around the country began their first year in the front office and stepped directly into what many consider one of the toughest jobs in America.

Source: How the principal’s job has changed –

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