New test for becoming a school principal

February 7, 2008 12:19:25 PM PST
New York City is overhauling the way school principals are hired. They'll have to pass a tough test, just to be considered for a job.Eyewitness News education reporter Art McFarland has more the changes for those who want to take these crucial positions.

"The challenges are enormous because of the responsibility of molding young lives," said P.S. 193 principal, Frank Cimino.

But before anyone gets to be a New York City principal like Frank Cimino, they will have to pass a strict new system of testing.

"They've given principals much more authority," said School Chancellor Joel Klein. "We want to make sure they're well qualified."

The new principal's test will be an hours-long process, which will involve observing and evaluating the performance of teachers, evaluating test scores and exhibiting leadership qualities.

Principals' Union President Ernest Logan points out the requirements are part of what current principals expect of themselves.

"They recruit and hire people," said Ernest Logan, council of supervisors and administrators. "The same standards they are using for principal recruitment are the standards that principals must meet."

The new principals' test simply places applicants in a pool of candidates.

Current principals will not be affected by the new test, but assistant principals who 'want' to be principals will be affected.

The test will be used for next school year.