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After floating the idea, city formally proposes experience requirement for principals and APs

Patrick Wall

Would-be principals will soon need seven years of school-based experience and aspiring assistant principals will need five years, according to a proposed change to hiring regulations that the Department of Education posted online Friday.

The proposal, which drew gasps when Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña previewed it at a principals meeting last month, marks a sharp break from the Bloomberg era, when educators could quickly advance from the classroom to principal training programs. Many criticized that policy, saying it led to unprepared principals.

The NYC Leadership Academy, a city-funded program that has trained new principals since 2003, previously required only three years of experience. As we noted last month, the program updated the eligibility section of its website soon after Fariña’s speech.

The proposed changes specify that experience can include prior full-time work as a teacher, dean, instructional coach, guidance counselor, school social worker, assistant principal, and a few other school-based positions. Principal applicants with fewer than seven years of experience can be “evaluated for admission” to the pool of eligible candidates, but cannot apply for a principal position, the proposal adds.

Applicants who want to request a waiver from the new requirement will need to appeal directly to the senior deputy chancellor, the proposal says.

The Panel for Educational Policy will vote on the proposal at its April 9 meeting in Prospect Heights. Read the full proposal here.

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