Magazine article District Administration

Teacher-Led School Trend Takes DPS

Magazine article District Administration

Teacher-Led School Trend Takes DPS

Article excerpt

DETROIT IS THE NEXT CITY TO throw away the administrative reins and open the doors for an all-teacher-led school. Serving pre-K through eighth grade and roughly 450 students, the Palmer Park Preparatory Academy (P3A) will open in Detroit Public Schools this sans principal--replacing the Barbara Jordan Elementary School, which dosed in spring 2010 to become a turnaround school after being identified as low performing, q-he school, which DPS students and families will apply to, is modeled after similar schools in Boston, Milwaukee, Denver and Los Angeles. P3A will partner with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to form a robust, individualized curriculum.

Many teachers felt so passionately that they offered to sacrifice their tenure to prove they didn't fear the added responsibility of accountability, says Ann Crowley, DPS teacher and co-founder of the group Detroit Children First, an organization who had been wing for an all-teacher school for several years.

"Many excellent teachers felt they could get more for their children if they had a greater voice in the decisions that are made in their schools," says Crowley.

While the governing structure is still being developed, Crowley says the skeleton has been drafted and includes different committees of teachers working on specific issues throughout the school that need to be addressed through shared decision-making. During the first years of operation, an executive administrator will be assigned to create lesson plans and designate office roles and responsibilities for the teachers. …

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