The Department of Education - Empowerment Schools
- New York
Empowerment Schools are premised on the fundamental belief that decisions about how to educate students should be made as close as possible to those who work with them — principals in collaboration with their school communities. Such key decisions include broader authority over educational programming and curriculum, greater discretion over budgets, a significant role in selecting and evaluating the dedicated administrative team that supports each school, and the chance to decide what customized professional development is best for an individual principal and her staff.
The support provided to each Empowerment School is localized, relevant, and practical. Empowerment teams work hard to understand what works and does not work for their schools in order to develop the right supports and to advocate for the policy changes that make sense. As a network of approximately 23 schools, principals select a team of four or five individuals to provide support, guidance, advocacy, and coaching related to all issues from instruction through budget. The job of the network team is to support schools with all their instructional and operational needs so they can reach their accountability targets. By selecting their network of schools and network leader, hiring the network team, and providing regular feedback about the network team, principals are able to ensure that those who support them have the skills and knowledge to ensure excellent performance. The network team is accountable to their principals, who can replace the team if their needs are not met.
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