The Jacksonville Summer Principal Academy (SPA) combines rigorous leadership training at Columbia University in New York City and a full-time assistant principal/principal residency with Duval County Public Schools in order to prepare individuals to serve as exceptional school leaders. Selected candidates will be outstanding educators, have three-years teaching experience in urban education, emerging or demonstrated leadership experience, and a commitment to pursuing school leadership within our schools.
First you should know that thus far this program has been an expensive give away for Teach for America members as most of the scholarships have gone to them.
Think about it, the super is saying, hey lets have some 25 year old assistant principals, that’s what the district needs. When I started teaching it was about my third year that I started to figure things out. My first year I didn’t know what I didn’t know. My second I knew most of it but not what to do about it and around my third I started hitting a groove. This isn’t to say I was a bad teacher my first couple years but I don’t know anybody that says, my first year, now there was some teaching.
This is a terrible idea from a man who became superintendent at the tender age of 35, and we see how well that has worked out.
Leadership has been a problem here in Duval and just because you can pass a test or get a degree does not make you a leader, furthermore there has been way to much patronage going on as who you know rather than what you could do often takes priority. Bringing in 25 year old assistant principals however is just going to make things worse.