Selection of DeKalb School Principals, Policy Change

In our continuing effort to keep parents and the public engaged, we wanted to advise you of a significant policy change now being considered by the DeKalb Board of Education. On Monday, December 7, the Board will consider amending a Board policy (action item J 5, By-Law BBFA,) to significantly reduce the role of school councils in the selection of school principals.

Currently, pursuant to a regulation issued by the Superintendent, school councils play a significant role in the interview and recommendation process for principals. Parents, teachers and a business representative now hold a majority of 5 out of 7 positions on each Interview Committee, which interviews all candidates selected by Human Resources and recommends two candidates to the Superintendent, who makes the final decision. The recommendations are advisory only.

The proposed Board policy (we assume the corresponding regulation will be changed) eliminates the Interview Committee. The Superintendent would only be required to ask for very general input from the school council about the traits the new principal should have, but only if the principal is to be hired from outside current DCSS personnel. The school council would have no input if someone is to be reassigned from within DCCS.

We believe this change is counter to an open, accountable and community-based model for governance of our schools. Significantly reducing or eliminating the role of school councils potentially undermines the sense of community which is a critical element of a school’s success.

Click on the link below, then look under "Meeting Agenda" on left, look for "J" Action Item, then #5, Amendment to the Bylaws.