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City to Increase Experience Criteria for Future School District Superintendents

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The schools chancellor has told most of the city's school district superintendents they will have to reapply for their jobs. It's part of the new administration's policy to hire education leaders with more experience in schools. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

A big part of a school superintendent's job is to hire, support and evaluate principals. Until now, though, the city hasn't said superintendents must have any prior experience as a school principal.

That's set to change, with candidates required to have been a principal for at least three years.

"Experience really matters. I was a principal a long time ago, but I felt that my superintendent that came and supported the work that I did knew what I was doing, walked in my shoes, and had a good understanding of the work that I did every single day," said Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson.

The new rule officially applies to the city's 32 community superintendents, as well as the nine high school superintendents. The only ones who will not be affected are the two who oversee schools serving students with special needs.

It's not just three years of experience as a school principal. Going forward, superintendents will also need to have at least seven additional years of education experience, like as a teacher, guidance counselor or dean. In the past, superintendent candidates needed only three years of education leadership experience.

Of the current 41 superintendents impacted, officials said six would not meet the new requirements.

Although the city is requiring almost all superintendents reapply for their jobs, they won't be subjected to the more rigorous experience requirements, which will only apply to new candidates going forward.

Still, the DOE says it's important they all must reapply, a process that will include interviews, essays and letters of recommendation.

"You have a choice to apply, and then, you're going to say, 'I want to do this work, I'm ready to be a part of this administration,'" Gibson said.

They said this is an administration that values experience.

The superintendent policy follows an earlier change that requires more years of teaching before becoming a principal or assistant principal.

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