The federal Education Department’s What Works Clearinghouse just released a review of the city’s Leadership Academy, the principal training program that Joel Klein brought in with the help of “Neutron” Jack Welch, the former General Electric chairman.
Apparently it doesn’t work.
According to ED, there was no statistically significant differences in student math or English performance between those elementary and middle schools with Leadership Academy principals and comparison schools led by other principals.
In the high schools, LA principals delivered significantly lower pass rates on math and global history Regents exams. There were no differences with comparison schools on the English and Biology Regents.
A failed experiment might have been OK when it was privately funded. But starting last year taxpayers are publicly footing the five-year $53.8 million contract for the program.
The Clearinghouse cautioned that the results are not conclusive because they couldn’t be sure the schools were totally equivalent. However, the results are of a piece with reports in the New York Post two years ago that found half of all LA-led schools got Cs, Ds, or Fs and that the program itself had a high drop-out rate.
Neutron Jack is the management figure closely associated with the idea of cutting out the bottom-performing 10 percent from your organization. One can’t help wondering if that would apply to the Academy?