Barack Obama: A Model School Leader?

By Stephen Sawchuk — January 12, 2009 1 min read

Here’s an interesting tidbit: K-8 teachers would, apparently, like to see Barack Obama as “Principal for a Day.”

Chicago-based educational publishing group Northpoint Horizons surveyed about 1,400 teachers on various aspects of education, including what supports and strategies they feel they need to be successful educators. But the question on principal for a day is indeed telling: Obama won three times as many votes as any other nominee.

The top-10 vote getters also included Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Franklin, and John F. Kennedy.

There’s no doubt about it, educators love Obama. One wonders, however, if Obama’s reputedly deliberative and collaborative approach would really translate well to administration. Principals, it seems, are being increasingly asked to make tough calls on hiring and firing and curriculum in order to hit achievement targets.

Other interesting findings: Teachers named inclusive small groups as most important for meeting the educational needs of struggling students, far above pullout programs and extended learning time; and nearly as many teachers said the No Child Left Behind Act was important for having a positive impact on students as those who said it was not important.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.