Administrator Autonomy Key For Student Achievement, Says Report

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Boston schools that grant principals autonomy to quickly adapt to changing circumstances achieve the best results for their students, according to a report released Wednesday by the Boston Foundation.

Paul Grogan, the president of the Boston Foundation, detailed the study's results.

"One of the principal findings is that autonomy really matters," he said. "The freedom to select own staff, to control one's own budget, to alter the school day and school year, establishing that sense of ownership and control at building level."

The report looks at Boston's traditional, pilot and charter schools.

"It’s a very different process than (what) operates in the regular public school where, between the central bureaucracy and the very proscriptive teachers contract, you know very few decisions are made at the building level," Grogan said.

The report recommends lengthening the school day, suggesting charter school students are more successful because they get, on average, 400 more hours of schooling in a typical year.

This program aired on May 12, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.