Principals Are "Instructional Experts" Don't Ya Know!

This is beautiful. Over at Principal's Policy Blog they have a link to a private Yahoo group where they are voting on the efficacy of online teacher instruction. Read this quote:

The U.S. Department of Education recently released Evaluating Online Learning: Challenges and Strategies for Success, a guide that addresses challenges faced by school leaders with the implementation of online learning such as how to meet the needs of various stakeholders, how to solve data collection problems, and how to translate evaluation findings into action.

With the rapid increase in students' taking courses online, the release of such a document is timely.

But principals, while not Internet technologists, are instructional experts and likely have already formed educated opinions about the quality of the online courses available to their students. [emphasis mine]
That's right. Even though principals (or anyone, really) have no business opining on stuff they have no expertise in, they are being asked to opine about stuff they have no expertise in!

This myth that principals are "instructional experts" flies in the face of reality. They have the same level of teacher education as any other teacher, at least in California. They had to take a couple extra MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP courses to get their supplemental Administrative credential. But, they have no more instructional expertise than me, or the first year teacher down the hall. Indeed, most principals have been out of the classroom so long, many of them have forgotten how to teach, and are pretty unfamiliar with lots of the problems teachers encounter on a daily basis.

Jeebus I wish leaders would defer to the expertise of the experts (teachers) and stop tooting their own leadership horns and inviting only a select few--the wrong few--to make policy.

(I have taken 2 online teacher courses. They were ridiculous. They took about an hour or two of real work--research, writing--and I got my A. They are useless. They make money for the online university. I know this not because I am an expert, but because I have taken one, or two. Oh, and I don't think much of Teacher Certification programs either. They suck too--mine did!)

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