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August 11, 2009

MPS struggling to create stable corps of principals

Alan Borsuk:

To be a successful principal, Julia D'Amato says, you need to be "a 29-baller."

That's someone who can juggle 29 balls at the same time, not dropping any of them. That's what it feels like to run a school, says D'Amato, principal of Reagan High School, the south side school she has led from birth in 2003 to the top bracket of Milwaukee high schools now.

It's hard to find people who can juggle like that.

And it's hard for Milwaukee Public Schools to find top-notch people to lead approximately 200 schools.

As a new school year approaches, MPS is struggling with creating a strong, stable corps of principals. How so?

More than 20% of elementary and kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools have someone different at the helm now than a year ago, and turnover in recent years has, in general, been high. MPS officials say there are 58 principals with three years of experience or less, almost one-third of the total.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at August 11, 2009 1:00 AM
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