City principals will get their first chance to hear in person from their new boss tonight when Chancellor Carmen Fariña convenes them for a meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School.
“Chancellor Fariña will offer remarks and host a casual reception to share ideas on instruction and leadership,” according to the Department of Education’s online invitation, which notes that only principals are invited. Mayor Bill de Blasio will also speak at the meeting, according to his public schedule.
Fariña partially filled principals in on her vision in a message two weeks ago that emphasized changes coming to the department’s approach to instruction. In the same message, she announced tonight’s meeting and promised to provide more details soon.
Now, after nearly a month on the job, Fariña still has not named her top deputies or shed any light on her plans for one pressing area of concern for principals: how they get support from the department. Currently, principals choose networks to provide teacher training and operational support, but some principals have pressed the de Blasio administration to provide those services by geography instead.
Brooklyn Tech has hosted citywide principals meetings before. In 2011, the architect of the Common Core standards, David Coleman, was the keynote speaker. The following year, Bloomberg administration officials took a more somber tone as they cautioned school leaders about the challenges posed by the Common Core. And last year, then-Chancellor Dennis Walcott used the annual convention as an opportunity to tout the Bloomberg administration’s education legacy in a speech that was criticized as overly political.