The Stuff of Dreams

It’s something many principals must dream about: the ultimate autonomy.  Interviewing and choosing your own teacher candidates for your school.  The Hechinger Report is running a series following Principal Erskine Glover of the Quitman Street Renew School in Newark, NJ, as he wades through teacher applications and interviews to bring in the strongest teacher cohort possible.  One of the key qualities Glover looked for in his candidates was the ability to collect, understand, and use student data to inform instruction.

Principal Glover’s experience brings us to two ideas we come back to time and again:

  1. In order to create the best conditions and build the most capacity, principals need the ability to hand-pick the teachers who, together, can renew the school’s culture and ultimately strengthen student achievement.
  2. The ability to collect, understand, and use data to enhance student learning is key to school improvement.  If teachers and school leaders alike are trained to understand student data to inform school planning and classroom instruction, academic improvement becomes much more likely.

We look forward to seeing the Quitman Street Renew School’s scores and culture at the end of this year, and learning how far they have come.