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Principal In The Classroom: Can New Orleans School Make It Work?

When newly minted principal Krystal Hardy took over Sylvanie Williams College Prep elementary, a charter school in New Orleans, she had a vision. The children’s academic progress had faltered and disciplinary infractions were on the rise. A former classroom teacher turned instructional coach, Ms. Hardy was appointed principal so she could work closely with her relatively young, inexperienced teachers. Her vision was to help them be the best they could be.

Improving teaching, Hardy told her staff again and again, would improve learning and raise scores on standardized tests. And the children at Sylvanie Williams, which has 417 students in pre-K through Grade 5, would be sitting through a lot of those – including tests matched to the new Common Core standards in March and May, separate state tests, and two sets of three-times-a-year benchmarking tests.