Metro Nashville Public Schools officials said they will give more power to school principals after recommendations from an education firm called on the district’s central office to loosen the reins.
The result will be tapping three principals from high-achieving schools to work with other schools as “lead principals” to boost student achievement growth and close achievement gaps, for a total of 10 “lead principals” district wide.
“It’s about freeing up the school-level leaders to do their jobs. That means a different type of central office,” said David Moran who is directing reform ideas on behalf of Tribal Group, a U.K.-based firm MNPS hired to improve 34 of the district’s low-performing schools.
Tribal’s report on its first year working with MNPS found outcomes throughout the district were low and not improving fast enough. The report also stated that the school district’s central office is a bureaucratic obstacle to continuous improvement, and that principals lacked autonomy and a defined method for accountability.
To begin what he called a “radical change” in how the district operates, Director of Schools Jesse Register said he would also cut in half the number of people who report directly to him. He said the Central Office’s reorganization will be finished by Jan. 16.
School Board Chairwoman Cheryl Mayes said she’s behind the district’s plans to restructure and give principals more power.
“If I give them the ability to run their own schools and hold them accountable for it, the possibilities of them doing it and doing it to the best of their ability goes much higher,” said Mayes. “I’m very excited about what we’re doing.”