The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the School District of Philadelphia is going to start evaluating principals by, among other things, how many students eat breakfast at school.
I liked these comments from a principal:
Should a principal be blamed for a student who ate breakfast at home and therefore doesn’t eat in school?, asked Lerner, who was a principal for 22 years.
“Are we going to get to forced feedings?” he continued. “I think it’s wrong to assume no parent in Philadelphia is providing breakfast each day.”
I can see how providing breakfast could boost achievement if some students don’t have enough to eat at home. A breakfast program with such a goal has already succeeded if it makes food available. We can assume that students who don’t take advantage just aren’t hungry. (All students in Philadelphia are eligible for free breakfast, even students from high-income households.)
This is an example of a district focusing on minor details that have no link to classroom instruction, and missing the big picture. We’ve seen that happen in St. Louis, too.