District impedes progress with rotations

With four new assistant principals out of five, the change in administrative staff creates issues in leadership as the school adjusts to new faces in the office. When the Alhambra Unified School District constantly shuffles its administrators around different schools, it disturbs the flow of the school climate. As such, the district should have administrators remain in a consistent place for the benefit of its students and the teachers.

The administration helps set the tone of the school, implementing goals and policies to improve the school. A national study conducted by the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto concluded that school leaders were shown to be the second-highest influence, next to teachers, on student achievement. Administrators cannot carry out their visions of school-wide improvement since they are given little time to achieve their goals.

It takes effort and time to identify issues, to develop improvement plans, and to implement such policies. Furthermore, the sustainability of programs and curriculum can be difficult to maintain when leaders are often rotated around. This issue ultimately impedes student success and long-term school improvement.

Furthermore, teachers have to adjust to their new superiors and the new expectations placed upon them. Confidence in the administration translates to smoother collaborations in new school initiatives, but it takes time to build relationships. Thus, a steady administration can ensure that progress can be made efficiently and effectively.

Along with faculty, administrators work with students on matters like club fundraisers and other issues. It is important that students have a chance to build relationships with their administrators. The best way for administration to understand the problems that students face is for them to personally talk to the students who are affected by the decisions they make.

For that reason, a constantly changing administration fosters a disconnect between the student body and the administration. They become faceless authority figures to students; the school should be an environment where students feel comfortable communicating with the adults.  

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Anna Kuo said, “A couple of [administrators] actually got promoted to become principals at other sites.” Administrators may also be moved to other schools for poor performance in hopes that a new environment would improve their work.

However, it does not justify rotating nearly all of the assistant principals in a single year. If the district intends to improve its schools, it should work toward a consistency in leadership to build a strong, stable support system for its students and teachers.

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