About Confessions of an Urban Principal
Confessions of an Urban Principal
by Frank Murphy
In this book I offer my own story of school reform. It is a first hand account of the life of an urban elementary school principal in the era of No Child Left Behind. The story takes place during the 2004-2005 school year as the School District of Philadelphia has just been taken over by the state of Pennsylvania. Meade School has become part of the Temple University Educational Management Organization (EMO). The implications of the No Child Left Behind Act are starting to become painfully evident at individual school locations.
Through my writings I will share my interactions and experiences with students, parents and teachers during one full school year. The text is organized into ten chapters that represent each month of the school year. My objective is to provide an intimate view of the day-to-day life of a principal of an elementary school that struggles against the odds.
The names of all students and parents who are described in this story have been altered in order to protect their privacy. This is not a fictional account; the events and situations described are recounted to the best of my recall.
The observations I share were not made from a distance. They are derived from hard lessons, which I have learned from my daily encounters as an American educator. These will serve to hopefully illuminate the real challenges to achieving school reform; those that cannot be described or measured by standardized test score data charts or political sound bites.