The No. 2 administrator in Minneapolis schools said Friday he's directing the district's expanded corps of associate superintendents to stay out of its central office.

He wants them in schools, Michael Goar told a visiting delegation of business people from Charlotte, N.C. in a education panel discussion at the Guthrie.

The district's chief executive officer said the recent expansion of the group of associate superintendents from four to seven will allow them to spend more time with individual schools.

And that's where he wants them.  "They are forbidden to come to the central office," Goar said in his remarks.  Actually, he said afterwards, the seven associates might be allowed in to 1250 Broadway one day a week for meetings.  But otherwise, they should be in schools.

He said a time analysis done earlier found that the four associates previously spent only 17 percent of their time in schools, which is where he said they should be.

The seven will average about 10 schools apiece.  Previously, he said, the associates served mostly as a broker of resources between the district office and schools.  Now, they should be coaching and evaluating principals as instructional leaders, observing their principals in those roles, and walking their schools and getting into their classrooms.

He said he's even fighting the inclination of the superintendents to base themselves at one of their schools.  That's because he doesn't want them disappearing into offices while they should be working with principals. He said he told the associates they can use cars and laptops as their offices.

He said working more with principals is one of four strategies that could help improve how principals and schools perform. The others include more autonomy over curriculum, hiring and firing power over teachers, and more budgetary control.