LeeAndra Khan, the Brooks Middle School principal who resigned last month, recently wrote a blog post that was informed by her experience as a principal in Oak Park and Chicago.
Khan, who left Brooks for a charter school network in Chicago, published the post on July 5 on the education reform website headinthesandblog.org.
The post is called “As I leave my suburban school, lessons I’ve learned on what makes or breaks a principal.”
Khan doesn’t get specific about her time at Brooks, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to read the essay as an extension of some of the critiques she made of the Oak Park community at the time of her resignation — namely that the whole school community didn’t seem ready to push beyond simply changing D97’s long history of race-based disparities at the margins.
Khan’s most pointed commentary is near the end of her post, in the section about central office, which she says “should function as the platform, the mirror, the shield and the sword for schools leaders,” “should disrupt inequities” and should “be working tirelessly to support (publicly and privately) any school leader who is a change agent, social justice warrior and movement starter. This lift helps the school leader feel more confident and higher impact in their pursuit of excellence.”
Although Khan doesn’t reference D97 specifically, it’s reasonable to speculate whether or not there may have been some disagreement between the former Brooks principal and the D97 administration about how much disruption was too much.
— Michael Romain