This summer, New York City will lose a well-known fixture on the education scene. In the midst of his fourth three-year term as president of the city’s principals union, Ernest Logan announced he will retire from the role effective August 1.
Logan’s retirement caps a career he began decades ago as an English teacher at P.S. 224 in Brooklyn. He has been involved with the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators since 1993, when he was first appointed a CSA chairperson for District 23 in Brooklyn, and has served as president for nearly 11 years.
As CSA president, Logan was known as an outspoken leader whose statements often made headlines. In early 2016, he lambasted Mayor Bill de Blasio and his top education officials for their “Renewal” school improvement program, which he called a “recipe for disaster.”
Early in de Blasio’s administration, 94 schools were identified as “struggling” and targeted under the program to receive additional resources. But a year after its launch, Logan said Renewal was not working as planned, and instead resulted in the micromanagement of many of his principals.
“To keep such a challenging initiative on track requires focus and clarity, a streamlined process and principal discretion,” Logan wrote in a January 2016 CSA newsletter. “Sadly, in the timeworn tradition of the DOE, there are so many cooks running around the kitchen, the chefs don’t know what kind of dish they’re concocting.”
He revived his criticism later that year, slamming the initiative for failing to show significant results in its first two years of operation.
Among his recent achievements, Logan helped his union secure a contract in 2014 that included salary increases, retroactive pay, and more incentives for principals to work in low-performing schools. And in 2016, he negotiated pay increases, health benefits and professional development funding for early childhood center directors, according to a CSA press release.
“Ernie Logan was a great partner with us,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said in an interview with Chalkbeat. “Especially during the challenging time under the Bloomberg administration years.”
CSA Executive Vice President Mark Cannizzaro will be the new CSA president and finish off the remaining years in Logan’s term.
In a statement, Cannizzaro praised his soon-to-be-former boss. “His belief in public education and his love for children served as his moral compass for the past 44 years,” he said, “and that compass has served him well.”
Logan was born in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, alongside twelve siblings. He attended the same public schools system he would later help influence.
Logan said his retirement won’t mean the end of his work in education. In a statement, Logan said he plans to continue advocating on educational issues in his position as executive vice president of the American Federation of School Administrators.
“There is still work to do, especially within the current climate,” Logan said. “I plan to stay busy.”