Monday, March 23, 2009

Principals Must Be Held Accountable for SLT's

Dear Parents, Educators and Community Leaders,

Comptroller William Thompson testified at the Assembly's School Governance Hearing in Brooklyn yesterday. Part of his testimony expressed concerns about School Leadership Teams.He stated his office was "shocked" to learn that most parents do not even know what SLT's and CEC's are.He quoted an OFEA SLT survey last year which showed that nearly half that were surveyed did not have a functioning SLT. He went on to say that where they do have a functioning SLT, principals too often fail to work collaboratively, as State law requires, in preparing school budgets and developing a CEP.

The Comptroller recommended that principal's be evaluated, in part, on their record in developing an effective, collaborative School Leadership Team.

Today's NY Daily News reported on Mr. Thompson's testimony. In the last sentence, it states, "to help shore up parental involvement,Thompson said principals should be held accountable for creating effective school leadership teams".

Principals must be held accountable. In the revised draft for SLT Regulation A-655, required by the Pollicino decision of the Commissioner, there is no real accountability. Appealing to a district OFEA official and/or a District Leadership Team that meets infrequently, does not provide effective conflict resolution when principals are not cooperating with the process. We must remove the clause that gives principal's final determination on the CEP if consensus is not reached and provide a more effective measure for conflict resolution that will insure accountability.SLT's should also have access to the school's Galaxy Budget System, which would provide transparency concerning school spending and better able SLT's to align the budget with the CEP. I urge District Leadership Teams that are reviewing the draft A-655 on SLT's to demand changes before endorsing the document.

In addition, we need to restore SLT's ability to collaboratively develop the school budget, which was in place until A-655 of Dec. 2007.We can do that by strengthening the language of the law (2590-h-15 and 2590-r) which is up for renewal in June. I hope Assembly Member Nolan and State Senator Oppenheimer will push for SLT law strengthening as heads of their respective education committees.

James Calantjis
718 458-4237

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