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MIT Press and a Rebellious Journal Will Part Ways

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 28, 2014 - 2:56am

The deal The Baffler struck with the press in 2011 helped keep the publication alive. Now the journal has negotiated an exit.

Categories: Higher Education News

Steven Salaita’s New (Temporary) Career: Public Speaker

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 28, 2014 - 2:55am

Rejected by the University of Illinois for tweets critical of Israel, the scholar ponders his next move.

Categories: Higher Education News

Why I’m a Principal, Not a Statistic

U.S. Department of Education Blog - October 27, 2014 - 2:52pm

As October, National Principals Month, comes to an end, I cannot help but to reflect upon what led me into the principalship.

As a twenty-one year old African American male, I could have very easily become a statistic. Five months after graduating from IUP in rural Pennsylvania, I was shot and left for dead on a football field in Philadelphia.

Many people struggle to recover from such an experience and I am blessed to have a community that rallied around me and refused to let me succumb to the trauma that could have easily overwhelmed me. Instead, I was led to become a career changer, transitioning from counseling adjudicated youth to one of the most important careers in the world-being a principal.

As a teacher leader, my principal, Charles D’Alfonso, supported and encouraged me to take on the immense challenge of becoming a principal. He guided me, connected me with other mentors (like Yvonne Savior, who would serve as my new teacher coach and new principal coach years later), and provided various resources to spur my growth and success. And, although, I viewed myself as a leader of middle school students, my principal saw me as a leader of a school community.

Today, I make it part of my mission to encourage all my peers to mentor the brave, humble, and up-and-coming leaders in the principal pipeline. We need to do this to strengthen our profession and to ensure that there is a higher level of diversity in the principalship. By expanding leadership opportunities for women and minorities, we acknowledge the diversity of the students we serve. By harnessing the unique and life-impacting experiences and perceptions of culturally distinct principals, we will help to strengthen students’ outcomes – including and especially for the most vulnerable students in our communities. We will impact these students in ways that equip the next generation to master the incredible challenges and seize the incredible opportunities of our time.

It’s said Albert Einstein, the great scientist and philosopher, believed that one of the most powerful forces in the universe is the effect of compound interest in finance. I’m not sure if this attribution is true, but I do know that – like the power of earning “interest on interest,” – a great principal is a force that elevates, amplifies, and supports the great work of teachers and other school staff. And, that’s a mighty force! In my experience, it’s certainly one that moves mountains, uplifts communities, and accelerates student achievement.

My fellow Ambassadors Jill Levine and Rachel Skerritt and I have visited many cities and schools over the last several months, and we’ve spoken with over 875 principals. Research is clear about the tremendous lever that principals represent in school improvement efforts. Our conversations with our colleagues around the nation affirm the research below.

  • Principals’ actions have a have influence on why 70 percent of our best teachers leave the classroom
  • There are 90,000 principals, for 98,706 schools, employing 3 million teachers all of which serve the 55 million students in American public schools. On average, then, each principal impacts 611 students, each day, of each year, over their life at a school.
  • Principals account for 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student achievement, second only to teachers
  • Principals can have enormous impact on all students because principals ensure effective instruction year to year across the entire school

I am humbled and inspired daily by the work that we do and the impact that we have. As principals, we must continue to identify and develop those leaders in our buildings that can join us in this mission of the principalship – just as Charles D’Alfonso did twenty-two years ago.

Sharif El-Mekki is the principal of Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus in Philadelphia, PA, and a 2013-15 Campus Principal Ambassador Fellow of the U.S. Department of Education. El-Mekki serves on Mayor Michael Nutter’s Commission on African American Males and is an America Achieves Fellow.

Categories: Higher Education News

In San Francisco, an Accreditor—but Not Accreditation—Goes on Trial

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 27, 2014 - 2:56am

City College’s fight for its life has become a "cauldron of politics and emotion."

Categories: Higher Education News

Student Diversity at 4,725 Institutions

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

A sortable table showing the race, ethnicity, and gender of students at a broad range of two- and four-year colleges. 

Categories: Higher Education News

How to Get More Black Men Into Science

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Successful STEM programs have focused on students' strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Categories: Higher Education News

'I Wanted to Solve Problems'

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Ryan Charles Hynd talks about how the more math courses he took, the farther he found he could go.

Categories: Higher Education News

Look Beyond the Gender Gap

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Yes, there are more black women than black men in college. But that's just a small part of the policy picture.

Categories: Higher Education News

Helping Black Men Succeed in College

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Campus programs designed to help black male students succeed are spreading. And many of them appear to be working.

Categories: Higher Education News

Support, Don't Thwart

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Black males aren't failing our schools. Our schools are failing them.

Categories: Higher Education News

Counseling Black Men: The Thousand-Piece Puzzle

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

For young African-American men, attending college is as much about a search for identity as it is about obtaining good grades.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Week

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

What you need to know about the past seven days.

Categories: Higher Education News

Professors Look to New President for Closure on Past Scandal

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Faculty members at St. John’s University hope that their new chief, Conrado M. Gempesaw, will reveal details of an independent investigation into past leaders.

Categories: Higher Education News

UVa Provost to Lead Lehigh U.; Federal Official to Be Chief of Anderson U.

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

John D. Simon, a chemist who has been the University of Virginia’s chief academic officer since 2011, will assume his new post next July.

Categories: Higher Education News

Black Man in the Lab

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Plenty of research quantifies the scarcity of black men earning STEM degrees. But the reasons, and the remedies, go beyond numbers.

Categories: Higher Education News

The Education of a Scholar Who Chose to Become a Black Man

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

"When I was a black woman, I was hated. Now, as a black man, I’m feared."

Categories: Higher Education News

STEM Stories

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 26, 2014 - 10:00pm

Four black men who have earned STEM Ph.D.’s describe their different journeys.

Categories: Higher Education News

Widespread Nature of Chapel Hill's Academic Fraud Is Laid Bare

Chronicle of Higher Education - October 23, 2014 - 2:56am

A new report reveals broad involvement by a variety of actors.

Categories: Higher Education News

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