Senate Bill 1 is the Enemy of Collaboration in Principal Selection

One common thread emerged from all the speakers who testified both for and against SB1—the importance of collaboration. A superintendent who testified in support of Senate Bill 1 said it well when she talked about the commonalities between the effective districts and councils. She explained that the one thing they had in common was that there was “collaboration among all of those groups.”  She said that even if Senate Bill 1 passes and the superintendents were given the power to select the principal, she wouldn’t change anything about the current process. 

Collaboration is vital and shouldn’t have to rely on the willingness of good leaders. So why should our state change the current principal selection process that ensures collaboration? Under the current system the superintendent and the council members must interview principal candidates together and then discuss as a group the pros/cons of the applicants. Now that’s collaboration.   SB1 takes away with this required joint effort. How can the school council members truly evaluate the merits of candidates unless they listen to the principal applicants? If SB1 changes the SBDM law, will there be superintendents who maintain meaningful collaboration? Of course, many superintendents are committed to  shared decision making, but SB1 will encourage a process that bypasses collaboration.  

Let’s stick with the current principal selection law that guarantees meaningful collaboration among the superintendent and the elected parents and teachers at the school.  

Collaboration is key and the word “collaboration” is not found in SB 1. 

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