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Harvard University
Principal autonomy: too much of a good thing?
Principal autonomy: too much of a good thing?

Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton's proposal to roll back school autonomy has generated predictable controversy. Whether called decentralization, school-based autonomy or principal's autonomy, devolution of authority to schools has been a recurring battleground for decades in the education wars. To many, including former CEO Andrés Alonso, all-out school-based autonomy should be the central driver of school reform. Devolutionists reason that all schools and communities are different, central school boards and administrators are out of touch, and the professional judgment of on-the-ground principals and teachers must be respected. Without extensive autonomy, principals...