Principals as agents: “failing” schools and illusions of remote control

Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, has announced a plan to provide states with money to provide to school districts which undertake certain “rigorous interventions” in schools deemed to be failing. The program is said to be based on that employed when Duncan was “CEO” of the Chicago schools. I don’t know, but I’ll assume that his rigorous interventions in Chicago were a success (Seyward Darby, writing in The New Republic, certainly thinks so) and that’s why they’re being used as a national model. Unfortunately, we can expect this new, federally-funded effort to be far less successful.

There are four models of intervention on Duncan’s menu: Continue reading