John_Hancock_(27_of_27)From The Atlantic: Karen Boran reads and replies to about 200 emails a day. The first meeting of the day for the petite 56-year-old principal of John Hancock College Prep High School is with a senior afraid she won’t graduate because her attendance is below 90 percent. Second, Boran has to call in a teacher who’s fallen behind on grade entries. Then comes the mother of a boy with special needs to discuss whether Hancock–a spunky neighborhood school in a yellow brick building that towers over the small square houses surrounding it–will still be the right placement for him as a fifth-year senior. By late morning, at last, Boran gets to the place where the Chicago Public Schools administration wants her spending the majority of her time: a classroom, to observe and assess the teacher’s performance. As of early April, Boran and two assistant principals had collectively done 98 observations using the city’s new teacher evaluation system. Boran’s assessments take her three hours apiece, from reviewing pre-observation lesson plans to a post-evaluation conference and data entry.

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