School & District Management

Hurricane Recovery, Superintendent Severances, Principal Workloads: The Top District Dossier Posts of 2017

By Corey Mitchell — December 20, 2017 2 min read
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In 2017, District Dossier blog readers were captivated by Education Week‘s coverage of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the impact on schools, an examination of the cost of superintendent severance packages, and a deep-dive look into the daily routine of a Maryland principal who also teaches.

Readers also flocked to stories on school secession, corruption in the Chicago public schools, and districts honored for supporting and encouraging their teachers.

Here’s a look at the 10 most-read posts of 2017:

10. How a Florida School District Prepared for Multiple Hurricane Irma Scenarios

Through the eyes of the Orange County, Fla., schools chief operations officer, a look at how the district prepared for the devastating hurricane.

9. As Hurricane Irma Lashes Florida, Educators and Schools Offer Refuge

For many Floridians, schools across the state were their only shelter from Irma.

8. More Than 1 Million Students Affected by Hurricane Harvey So Far

More than a million students were affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in some way, according to the Texas Education Agency

7. Topeka Superintendent Tiffany Anderson to Walk Oscar Red Carpet

Topeka, Kansas, schools Superintendent Tiffany Anderson, a 2015 Education Week Leader to Learn From, walked the Oscar red carpet ahead of the 89th Annual Academy Awards.

6. Schools Become Whiter and Wealthier in Communities That Secede From Districts

Since 2000, 47 communities broke away from their old school districts to form new ones, often creating school systems that are wealthier and less racially diverse, according to a report from EdBuild, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that focuses on school funding inequity.

5. What Are the Top Districts for Supporting and Retaining Great Teachers?

The National Council on Teacher Quality names eight school systems as “Great Districts for Great Teachers” for programs and policies that encourage and support teachers.

4. Students Displaced by Hurricane Protected by Federal Law on Homeless

The vast majority of students who end up temporarily or permanently displaced by hurricanes are entitled to protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act that covers homeless students.

3. Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Former Chicago Schools CEO, Sentenced to Prison

Byrd-Bennett was sentenced to more than four years in prison for her role in steering no-bid contracts to an education consulting company in exchange for kickbacks in a $20 million corruption scheme. For bonus reading, here’s a post from this month on another Chicago schools CEO resigning, amid allegations that he repeatedly lied to investigators during an ethics probe and a post from Education Week’s Inside School Research blog on the Windy City leading the country in academic growth.

2. School Boards Give Superintendents Hefty Severance Packages to Quit Early

When school boards offer hefty buy-out packages to get rid of superintendents with whom they no longer see eye-to-eye, do taxpayers get the shaft? It depends.

1. The School District Where Principals Also Teach

For the past 15 years, Dana McCauley has been the principal and a teacher at Crellin Elementary School, in the small Maryland town of Oakland, where she dedicates at least three hours a day to the classroom. For bonus reading, here’s a 2016 story on principals working nearly 60 hours per week.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.