Innovations in Education

December 1, 2004

Contents
iv
L I S T O F F I G U R E S
Figure 1. Characteristics of Profiled Programs 4
Figure 2. Study Scope and Guiding Questions 7
Figure 3. Boston Principal Fellowship?s Competencies of Effective Principals 11
Figure 4. New Leaders for New Schools Candidate Selection Criteria 14
Figure 5. Interview Guide to Identify First Ring Superintendents? Priorities 17
Figure 6. Boston Public Schools? Essentials of Whole School Improvement 19
Figure 7. NJ EXCEL e-Mentor Responsibilities 21
Figure 8. LAUNCH Mentor Contract 23
Figure 9. Principals Excellence Program Self-Assessment 26
Figure 10. NJ EXCEL Program Standards and Performance Rubric 28
v
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
Foreword
I am pleased to introduce the sixth publication in the Innovations in Education series: Innovative Pathways to
School Leadership. This series, published by my Department?s Office of Innovation and Improvement, has already
identified concrete, real-world examples of innovations in five important areas: public school choice, supplemental
educational services, charter schools, magnet schools, and alternate routes to teacher certification.
As we approach the third anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act, early evidence shows that America?s schools
are meeting the challenge of moving our students toward proficiency in reading and math. The people most responsible
for this progress are the leaders of our schools, who play a critical and important role in developing a vision
for a high-quality education for every student and in implementing and supporting a learning environment that is
developed and shared by key stakeholders. No Child Left Behind puts enormous pressure on these leaders to increase
student achievement and close the achievement gap. We want to ensure that they are provided with the tools and
training they need to succeed in this endeavor. This guide is dedicated to them.
As readers may know, my father was a school principal, and my mother a librarian. They taught me the importance
of education?to individuals, and to communities. I have been proud to honor their examples by serving as superintendent
of the seventh-largest school system in the nation, and now as secretary of education. But I never forget
that the most challenging?and rewarding?leadership roles in education are on the front lines in the schools.
We know from decades of research and common sense that a strong school leader is an indispensable ingredient for
school improvement. Yet, for too long, we have been satisfied with preparation programs that often lack rigorous
standards and a coherent, systemic approach for recruiting, preparing, and supporting school CEOs. However, that
is changing. A consensus is forming across political and ideological perspectives that our nation needs to tap new
sources for school leaders, as well as support the talented educators already in the system.
We are still in the early days of this movement to create innovative, effective pathways to school leadership. In fact,
while many states have made great progress in tearing down the barriers that keep talented individuals out of the
teaching profession, similar barriers remain largely in place for potential school leaders. Nevertheless, even under
current constraints, entrepreneurial school districts, states, higher education institutions, and others have developed
promising programs that draw new talent into leadership roles and provide job-embedded preparation and support
to ensure the success of these leaders in today?s schools.
This guide highlights six of these programs. They are a diverse set?rural and urban, focused on traditional public
schools and on charter schools, and so forth. But they all have a few things in common: an unrelenting
vi
commitment to program rigor and quality; a clear vision of strong school leadership; a cohort structure that encourages
candidates to support one another throughout their careers; and a culture of continuous improvement.
Most of
these programs are relatively young. While they have not been
in place long enough to
have
extensive
data
proving
their
effectiveness,
they
do
appear
to
have
some
promise
for
success.
It
is
our
hope
that
these
pioneering programs will provide ideas
and strategies that
help to strengthen school leadership preparation and
professional development efforts.
Tho
se of
us a
t
the
federal
le
vel w
ill
contin
u
e
to k
eep
an
eye
on
these pro
mis
ing programs
and
root for the
ir
s
uc
c
ess
and
repl
icat
io
n
.
We
wil
l
also
continue
to
encourage
and
promote
the
ef
fo
r
ts
of
those
who
are
in
s
c
h
ools
and
on t
he
fro
nt
lines,
doing
the diff
icult but
exhi
lara
ting
work of
fulf
illin
g the
promi
se t
o leave
no
chil
d beh
ind.
Rod Paige
U.S. Secretary of Education
December 2004
1
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
Unequivocal
urgency
shapes our national
discussion
of public
education.
Students
strive
to meet new
academic standards while their teachers work to improve the quality and equity of education opportunities.
Yet achievement gaps
persist,
particularly
in
urban
and
rural schools.
The
demand
for
effective
leadership is
clear.
We
need
school
leaders who
visualize
successful
student
learning,
understand
the
work necessary to achieve it, and have the
skills to engage with others to make it happen. How can
we
prepare more individuals to meet these challenges?
This guide highlights six diverse examples of the hard work underway across the country to answer that
question.
These programs
are
offering
innovative
pathways
to
school leadership, and
people
like Kyle
Dodson are signing on.
Introduction
earn
a
Massachusetts Administrative
Credential
without
needing
to return to
school. And
at
the other
end
of this one-year program, he would be prepared to take
the helm of an urban school?a prospect that until that
point had seemed out of reach.
Dodson
says
BPF
spoke
to
him
because
he
wanted
to
make
a
difference
in
the
lives
of
urban
youths,
especially
African-American students ?who
need some hope
in
their
lives.?
Kyle?s philosophy
is,
?Deal
with
life
as
it
is
and
work
to
change
it
to
what
you
want
it
to
be.?
Being
a
principal would give
him
an
opportunity
to
do
that
work.
So,
with
his
family?s
support,
he
applied
to
BPF
and was
accepted
in
June
2003
as
a
fellow
in the
program?s first cohort.
Dodson was just the kind of candidate a nontraditional
program hopes to attract. In addition to a graduate degree
in management, Dodson brought a background of
Kyle Dodson hadn?t planned to become a public school
principal at this
stage
of
his
life. Although part of him
was
drawn
to
the
idea
of working
with
urban
youths,
his life had
taken
him
in
a
different
direction.
He had
earned
a
bachelor?s
degree
in
history
from
Harvard
University
and
an
MBA
from
Columbia
University.
In
January
2003,
he was working as the director of multicultural
student
affairs
at
Saint
Michael?s College
in
Vermont. The thought of enrolling once again at a university
just
to ?jump the hurdles? of
getting an
administrative
credential held no appeal.
But
when
a
friend
told
Dodson
about
an
expedited
principal
preparation
program
called
Boston
Principal
Fellowship
Program
(BPF)
that
focuses
on
developing
effective leaders for Boston?s most challenging schools,
something
resonated.
Taking
this
step
would
mean
moving
his
family,
but,
on
the
other
hand,
he
could
2
successful leadership experience; a deep understanding
of the most pressing issues facing urban education;
strong skills in building relationships with students and
adults; an ability to analyze and interpret data; and a
passion for the work.
In May 2004, Dodson was hired as the principal of a
new school in Boston. Looking ahead to the challenge,
he said: ?I believe that all young people want to and
can learn at high levels. I also believe that there are
some very basic principles and practices that will best
provide a young person with an opportunity to be successful.
One of the primary tasks seems to be creating
an environment where the dizzying array of societal
and personal challenges that each student brings to
the building can be stabilized and brought under control
long enough to develop the skills and competencies
that will give that young person options.?
It?s too soon to know the full impact Dodson will have
at his school, but he brings with him the skills, the leadership
qualities, and the understanding of students?
context that promise success. These include the determination
and ability to create a culture of high-quality
performance that energizes, motivates, and supports
teachers who, in turn, can help their students hurdle
the achievement gap.
Dodson embodies the promise of new pathways to
school leadership such as BPF and the five other unique
programs introduced in this guide. All are based on the
premise that by inventing new pathways to school
leadership, attracting experienced and successful leaders,
focusing on the essential elements of school improvement,
and clearing unnecessary hurdles along
the path, they can attract high-quality professionals to
lead schools where they are most needed. Most of these
programs are relatively young in their development.
They are testing and learning new ways to do things
that are creative responses to the urgent need in their
particular settings for high-quality principals. In doing
so, they demonstrate innovative strategies that can be
adapted to other settings.
Preparing the Next Generation of
School Leaders
Great schools have great leaders. That?s the compelling
if obvious message from two decades of research on
effective schools.1 Yet finding effective leaders is not
easy. As with many things, when it comes to principals,
the central issue isn?t quantity, it?s quality. While most
states have plenty of people who are credentialed as
school administrators?often more than they need?
many school districts report having too few highly
qualified candidates to fill their vacant positions. The
shortage of top-notch principals is worrisome in the
face of the escalating demands of No Child Left Behind.
The job of a principal, always challenging and complex,
is becoming even more so.
New expectations for principals run well beyond traditional
requirements of managing school operations.
Recent and ongoing research2 points to some key actions
that effective school leaders consistently demonstrate.
Notably, successful principals3 establish an intense
focus on learning and communicate its centrality
in everything they do. Their high expectations combine
with a sense of urgency to focus attention on learning
for all subgroups of students, including the economically
disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities,
students with disabilities, and English language learners.
No excuses override their commitment to student
learning. Effective school leaders understand that they
are in a position to mobilize others by:
3
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
?? articulating and modeling core values that support
a challenging and successful education for all;
?? establishing a persistent, public focus on learning
at the school, classroom, community, and
individual levels;
?? working with others to set ambitious standards
for learning; and
?? demonstrating and inspiring shared responsibility
and accountability for student outcomes.
Current research4 also suggests that effective school
leaders set a tone of mutual trust and respect among
teachers, students, parents, and community members.
They take deliberate action to understand their school
communities and form partnerships that focus on
learning both inside and outside of the school.
These leaders garner the full range of resources available
for their schools, and they develop alliances to proactively
seek support for student and professional learning
goals. Moreover, they deeply understand effective
instructional strategies and help teachers learn them.
Indeed, they create structures and time for teachers
to collaborate, examine student work together, identify
instructional improvement strategies, and learn
from one another. They frequently visit classrooms and
coach classroom teachers in how to analyze student
achievement data so that they can make more effective
instructional decisions.
These leaders act strategically to: define and guide
needed improvements in teaching and learning; identify
teacher-leaders who have the potential to guide
and support others? learning; create opportunities to
share responsibility and leadership for learning; make
workplace improvements that contribute to improving
instruction and learning; build organizational
coherence; and engender confidence among students
and teachers that, individually and together, they will
successfully achieve their learning goals and sustain
continuous improvement over time.
Traditional education administration programs and certification
procedures are producing insufficient numbers
of these leaders. State laws and regulations generally
set forth certification requirements for public school
principals,5 which typically require a set number of years
of teaching experience and the completion of university
coursework in education administration. Customarily,
students self-enroll into traditional preparation
programs, rather than being recruited, and selection
procedures in these programs rarely include a screening
to determine candidates? leadership experience and potential
along with other preferred qualities and dispositions
(e.g., belief that all students can learn, ability to
handle pressure, commitment to excellent teaching).
In most cases, once accepted, individual candidates
progress through a curriculum that includes a series of
discrete courses that are not connected to the reality of
a school leader?s actual work. Often such coursework
presents the complexity of what principals do as a set of
independent components, leaving candidates to put the
pieces together on their own with little practical school
administrative experience or context. Moreover, traditional
preparation programs are unlikely to customize
or personalize coursework to prepare potential principals
to effectively lead schools with the particular characteristics
of those in which they will work (e.g., highpoverty,
low-achieving urban schools; schools with a
majority of English learners; isolated rural schools).
The pressing need for a greater number of principals
capable of meeting higher expectations has generated
4
FIGURE 1. Characteristics of Profiled Programs
Program/Location/
Program Initiated Admission Requirements No. of Applicants No. of Participants Participant Demographics
BOSTON PRINCIPAL
FELLOWSHIP
Boston, Mass.
2003
Bachelor?s degree; three years
experience in teaching, youth
development, or management;
pass state licensure exam
(2004) 65 (2004) 10
(2005) 11
2004 Gender: 60% female
2004 Ethnicity: 64% White
26% Afr. Am.
5% Asian Am.
5% Hispanic
2005 Gender: 70% female
2005 Ethnicity: 70% Afr. Am.
20% Hispanic
10% White
FIRST RING LEADERSHIP
ACADEMY
Cleveland, Ohio
2003
First Ring superintendents
nominate participants with
teaching credentials who are
employed in First Ring Schools
and have demonstrated leadership
potential
1?3 per district (2004) 26
(2003) 26
2004 Gender: 62% female
2004 Ethnicity: 70% White
30% Afr. Am.
LAUNCH (Leadership Academy
and Urban Network for Chicago)
Chicago, Ill.
1998
Master?s degree; Illinois Type
75 Administrative Credential;
six years teaching experience;
previous leadership
(2004) 175 (2004) 21 2003 Gender: 76% female
2003 Ethnicity: 44% Afr. Am.
28% Hispanic
28% White
NJ EXCEL (New Jersey
Expedited Certification for
Educational Leadership)
Monroe Township, N.J.
2003
Master?s degree; five years
teaching experience; requirements
specific to four different models
(2005) 145 (2005) 100
(2004) 109
(2003) 66
2004 Gender: 76% female
2004 Ethnicity: 83% White
8% Afr. Am.
8% Hispanic
1% Asian Am.
NEW LEADERS FOR
NEW SCHOOLS
New York, N.Y., Chicago, Ill.,
Washington, D.C.,
Memphis, Tenn., and San
Francisco Bay Area, Calif.
2000
Bachelor?s degree; five years
professional experience;
two years K?12 teaching
experience; demonstrated
leadership
(2005) 1,100 (2005) 90
(2004) 56
(2003) 52
(2002) 31
(2001) 13
2004 Gender: 60% female
2004 Ethnicity: 60% Afr. Am.
30% White
7% Hispanic
3% Asian Am.
PRINCIPALS EXCELLENCE
PROGRAM
Pike County Schools
Pikeville, Ky.
2002
Holds or is eligible to hold
principal certification
(2004) 25
(2003) 21
(2004) 15
(2003) 15
2004 Gender: 33% female
2004 Ethnicity: 100% White
5
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
Cost Per Participant Percent Placed Following Program
$60,000 fully paid
residency and
coursework
$4,000 optional
expense to fellow for
UMASS credits/
degrees
2004: 60% as Principals
30% as Asst. Principals
10% Other Administrators
$21,000 for coursework
and site-based practice
$4,000 optional
expense for CSU units
2004: 25% as Principals and
Asst. Principals
$65,000 fully paid
internship and
coursework
2004: 42% as Principals
34% as Asst. Principals
24% as Central and
Area Administrators
Tuition-based
Model 1 $6,500
Model 2 $7,500
Model 3 $9,500
Model 4 $3,000
2003 (January cohort):
51% as Principals, Asst. Principals
2003 (July cohort):
35% as Principals, Asst. Principals
$65,000 fully paid
coursework and
yearlong full-time
residency (within the
LEA salary schedule)
2004: 60% as Principals
35% as Asst. Principals
$12,000 fully paid
coursework, residency,
instructional materials,
substitute costs
2004: 73% as Principals, Asst.
Principals, Deans
promising reforms in some traditional administrator
preparation programs, such as cohorts of candidates
who train together, field-based experiences, and more
practical application of coursework. These reforms are
hopeful and well-intentioned, but insufficient. The urgent
and compelling need for large numbers of effective
school leaders requires more. It calls for accelerated
and intensely focused preparation programs that strategically
recruit and rigorously screen potential candidates,
then immerse them in authentic coursework and
integrated field experiences that prime candidates for
success in challenging and demanding school settings.
Bold New Approaches
This guide looks at six pioneering programs that recruit
and prepare principals in inventive ways. Building on
their states? modifications to leadership credentialing
requirements6?and the ability of state-approved preparation
programs to apply for waivers from existing
certification requirements?these innovative and entrepreneurial
programs are developing new recruiting
strategies to attract potential leaders from beyond the
traditional pipeline of experienced teachers who selfselect
into the profession through university-based
coursework. One way they are streamlining the preparation
process is by accepting candidates who meet
highly selective criteria, including successful leadership
experience along with effective skills in communication,
interpersonal relationship-building, data analysis
and interpretation, strategic thinking, and problem
solving. These programs concentrate learning experiences
on the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as
a principal in challenging circumstances. They provide
intensive supports such as mentoring and coaching
by experienced successful principals. Moreover, they
6
emphasize
the principal?s role
as
a
catalyst for
change
and prepare principals to hold
themselves accountable
for student achievement results.
All
of
these
programs
have
the
same
aim:
generating
highly qualified principals. But each does it in a way that
reflects
its
unique
roots
and
context:
an
urban
school
district?s need
for
well-prepared
leaders
who
can
carry
out its school reform agenda; a rural district building an
internal leadership
pipeline;
a consortium of ?first
ring?
urban-suburban school districts developing a shared pool
of
highly
qualified
principal
candidates;
a
state
school
administrators
association
determined
to
create
an
expedited
route
to
the principalship; a
large urban school
district?s administrators? union committed
to recruiting,
preparing, and supporting fledgling principals; and a national
nonprofit
organization
focused
on
developing
a
new generation of highly skilled urban principals.
The
six
programs featured
in
this
guide
offer
promising
practices for others who aim to develop innovative
solutions
to
our
schools?
urgent
demand
for
greater
numbers
of
effective
school
leaders,
particularly
in
high-need
urban
and
rural
schools.
While
each
program
is unique,
they
collectively
reflect our
emerging
understanding of what it takes to be an effective school
leader and of what it takes to develop that leader.7
The
innovative
programs
profiled
in
this
guide
have
attracted
a
range
of
experienced
and
talented
leaders,
including
many
who
otherwise
would
not
have
considered
becoming
school principals
because
of
the
barriers?real
or
imagined?they
encountered.
These
programs appeal to individuals who want to lead challenging
schools in specific
urban
or rural settings and
those who
want
a
deeply
practical, ?real-life? preparation
experience. They illustrate commitment, ingenuity,
and a
variety of
practices
from
which
other
programs
may learn
and
which can
be
adapted to
other
settings
and school leadership contexts.
Case Study Sites and Methodology
The
six
programs
featured
in
this
guide
are:
Boston
Principal
Fellowship Program, Boston,
Mass.;
First
Ring
Leadership Academy, Cleveland, Ohio; LAUNCH (Leadership
Academy
and
Urban Network for Chicago),
Chicago,
Ill.; NJ EXCEL (New Jersey Expedited Certification for
Educational
Leadership),
Monroe
Township,
N.J.;
New
Leaders for New
Schools, New
York, Chicago, Washington,
D.C.,
Memphis,
and
San
Francisco
Bay
Area;
and
Principals
Excellence
Program,
Pike
County,
Ky.
Basic
statistics
about
these
sites
appear
in
figure
1.
For
a
narrative
summary
of each
site?s context and
program
description, see Part II of this guide.
These sites were selected from a larger pool
of possible
programs
through
the
benchmarking
methodology
that underlies this study.
Adapted from the four-phase
benchmarking
process
used
by
the
American
Productivity
and Quality
Center, as well
as general case study
methodology,
the
study
proceeded
through
several
phases (described more fully in appendix A).
A study scope or conceptual framework was developed
at the
beginning
of the project
to
guide site
selection
and
analysis.
Developed
from
an
examination
of
relevant
research
literature, the
framework was
reviewed
and refined by
a panel of experts. Figure 2 outlines the
final study scope and guiding questions.
Initially,
60
potential
sites
were
identified
using
online
search
descriptors
such
as
?alternative
leadership
preparation,?
?alternative
principal
certification,?
7
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
FIG
URE 2. Stu
dy S
co
pe
and Gu
iding Questions
1. The program?s vision of high-quality school
leadership and what it takes for school leaders to
be ready to succeed.
?? What is your vision of high-quality school
leadership?
?? What are the mission and goals of the program?
?? What are the differences between your program
and other school leadership preparation
programs?
2. The innovative and entrepreneurial strategies the
program employs to identify and recruit potential
school leaders.
?? What kinds of participants is the program
designed to attract?
?? Where do you market the program?
?? What criteria do you use to identify and select participants?
3. The program?s design and participants? practical
learning experiences.
?? What are the components of the program?
?? How do program participants interact with
mentors, experts, coaches, and models?
?? What follow-through experiences and support
does the program offer program participants during their induction phase of development?
4. The evaluative strategies the program uses to
determine its effectiveness in preparing highquality
school leaders.
?? What performance standards does the program
use to evaluate its effectiveness in preparing highquality
school leaders?
?? How are school performance and student
achievement data used to evaluate the program?s
effectiveness?
?? How are data used to revise and refine the
program?
?? Are any external evaluation or research studies of
this program available?
5. The program?s long-term sustainability.
?? How is the program financially and
organizationally sponsored?
?? What are the prospects for long-term viability of
the program?
?? How is the program building organizational and
financial sustainability for the future?
?? How can your financial, structural, and
organizational procedures serve as models for
school leadership programs with similar goals?
8
?alternative
administrative
certification,?
?expedited
certification,? and ?accelerated certification.? A screening
process
honed
the
list
to
18
sites.
These
secondround
sites
were
selected
based
on
four
criteria:
(1)
candidates
are
recruited
into
the
program
based
on
demonstrated
leadership
experience;
(2)
the
program
offers
an
accelerated
route
to
certification;
(3) the program is currently accepting candidates; and
(4) it has evidence of promising practices in the 24 areas
of
the
study
scope,
such
as
screening
candidates
using
stated criteria,
having tailored,
field-based programming,
and
providing strong
mentor support. The
18 potential sites were then screened using a weighted
criteria
matrix
based
on
the
study
scope.
The
final
six
sites
scored between 24 and 20 on
a
scale of
24
possible
points and were ranked as the top six. In addition,
they
represented a range
of geographic
locations and
types of programs.
Data
collection
took
place
through:
two-day
on-site
visits; interviews
with
program administrators,
faculty,
current candidates, and graduates; and review of documentation.
This guide is synthesized from a more comprehensive
research
report
that
includes case
descriptions
and cross-site analysis of key findings.
This
descriptive
research
process
suggests
promising
practices?ways
to
do
things
that
others
have
found
helpful, or lessons they have learned about what not to
do?and
practical
?how-to? guidance.
The
recommendations
in this guide are based on a qualitative analysis
of data from each site and do not represent experimental
research or quantitative analysis that can yield valid
causal claims about what works. Therefore, readers are
advised
to
judge
the
merits
of
these
suggestions
according
to their understanding of the reasoning behind
them and their fit with local circumstances.
9
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
The
six innovative programs in this
study
evolved in
response
to school districts?
frustration in
finding
and keeping adequate numbers of well-prepared school principals who are willing and able to lead challenging
schools
to
high
performance.
In
each case, the founders
of
these ?grow-your-own?
programs
determined that existing ways of attracting and preparing principals for these jobs were falling short of
what was needed in their particular context.
Part I: Elements of
Innovative Pathways
to School Leadership
These
pioneering
programs
seek
to
recruit
successful
and experienced leaders from both within and without
public education and
prepare them to be ready to succeed
as
leaders
in
challenging
public
school
settings.
To
do
so, each
program has started with a clear vision
of the kinds of leaders needed to meet the needs
of its
constituent districts and regions. In
addition, each
has
developed
rigorous
recruiting
and candidate
selection
criteria, a meaningful and relevant program of coursework
and fieldwork, and processes for building and sustaining
the program over time.
Guiding Vision of Powerful School Leadership
Driving
the development
of each program
was a compelling
belief
in
the
importance
of
highly
committed
and
high-performing
school
leaders?individuals
who
were
prepared
to
successfully
mobilize
the
necessary
knowledge,
skills,
resources,
and
energy
to
challenge
and
overcome
institutionalized
barriers
to
student
achievement
and
to
generate
conditions
in
which
all
students
achieve
successful outcomes. Each of
the
six
programs began with a clear and highly focused vision
of the kinds
of
leaders needed within its specific context,
and each continues to relentlessly pursue
that vision
through its program structure and design.
The vision of Kentucky?s Principals Excellence Program
(PEP), which serves rural districts, exemplifies the deliberation
that characterizes each program: ?The Principals
Excellence
Program will
transform the principalship in
underserved rural school districts from school management
to visionary
instructional leadership that assures
high-quality learning for all rural students.? That vision
permeates all
facets of PEP?s
program and
is
the
basis
for
decisions
about
program
design
and
refinement.
Eight
program objectives
define PEP?s
path to
achieve
the vision.
10
FOCUSING THE PROGRAM: WHAT MAKES A
GREAT PRINCIPAL?
Extensive
research
over
the
last
two
decades
has
contributed
to
our
understanding
of
what
it
takes
to
be?and
to
develop?an
effective
principal.8
Analysis
of
these
data
yields
a
clear
picture
of
what
effective
principals do, what they know, what they believe about
student learning, how they interact with teachers, and
how
they
reach
out
to
parents
and
the
broader
community.
The
most
significant
and
instructive
finding
emerging
from
the
research
is
this:
Leadership
matters?
a lot. Simply stated, it takes an effective principal
to
make
a
successful
school.
When
leaders
mobilize
action by
declaring
a
focus on
learning and then
lead
from
a
set
of
fundamental
values
and
beliefs
about
learning
and
about
students?
ability
to
achieve,
their
schools are more likely to identify, set, and achieve ambitious
goals for student learning.
While it?s clear that good school leaders share common
characteristics,
it?s
equally
clear
that
effective
leaders
are
deeply
attuned and responsive to the environment
in
which they operate. It
makes
sense
that
productive
community
outreach
and
parental
engagement
are
likely to
look
very
different
in
the hills and
hollows of
rural Kentucky than in the densely packed urban neighborhoods
of Boston, Chicago, or New York City.
Similarly, successful instructional leadership and teacher
development
may
require
a different
approach
in
a
high-turnover district where a significant percentage of
teachers
each
year
are
new
to
the
profession as
compared
to a district
with
large numbers of veteran educators
and
an
active
mentoring
program.
So
while
all
six sites
highlighted
in
this
guide
have
grounded
their
program development and goals in the significant body
of research
about effective
school
leadership, each
has
interpreted
that
research
against
the
backdrop
of
the
districts it serves. The aim is to prepare the next generation
of leaders to
be able
to step in
and
do well by any
school but, most of all, to be effective in each program?s
constituent district or districts, able to engage with the
district?s vision of school improvement, and ready to undertake
the hard work
required
to
realize
it.
Operating
on the
belief
that
?great principals lead
great schools,?
the
New
Leaders
for
New
Schools
program
defines
a
great principal
as
one who coaches and inspires teachers
to reach and teach every child and collaborates with
students?
parents,
families,
and
communities
to
make
schools work.
The
program boldly
aspires
to
transform
American education
by
creating a critical mass of such
principals in urban school districts.
The
B
oston
Principal
Fellowship
Program
(BPF)
evolv
ed
from
the
district?s
ambitious
whole-s
c
hool
reform
initiative
and
its
superintenden
t?s
conviction
that
sch
ool
leadership
is
the
single
most
important
factor
in
each
school
?s
success.
In
support
of
th
at
conviction,
he
allocated district
funds
and
other
resources
to
c
reate an
internal leadership
de
velop
ment
program to enhance the skil
ls of the district?s current
principals,
p
reparing
them
to
carry
ou
t
their
critical
role in Boston
?s whole-school reform plans. The superinte
ndent also launched a ?grow-your-own? preparation
program?Bost
on
Principal
Fellowship
Program
(BPF)?that
imme
rses
par
ticipants
in
the
daily
work
of
effective
prin
c
ipals a
nd
then
places t
hem
in some
of
the
city?s
neediest
schools.
T
he
program?s
driving
vision
is
that
principals
are
?instructional
leaders
w
ho
effectively
improve
the
te
aching
and
learning
process
in
their
schools.?
(See
figure
3
for
Boston?s
competencies of effective principals.)
11
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
FIG
URE 3. Boston Pri
nc
ipal Fellowship?s Compe
tenci
es
of E
ffective Principals
Boston School Leadership Institute
Competencies of Effective Principals
Effective Principals:|
Understand how children and adults learn.|
Analyze instruction and student learning through regular classroom observations and provide detailed
feedback to teachers that supports instructional improvement.|
Use data to measure student learning, instructional improvement and to drive planning.|
Create a school community that is devoted to social justice, high expectations for all, and equity in students?
opportunity to learn.|
Understand the achievement gap and implement explicit strategies to close the gap.|
Develop and communicate a shared vision and common understanding of effective classrooms and instruction
and organize the school on it.|
Create a collegial environment in which leadership is shared, professional practice is made public, risk-taking
and innovation are supported, and consistent, high-quality instruction is paramount.|
Understand the needs and assets students, parents and the community bring to schools and build strong
relationships with all constituents.|
Use the school budget, human resource functions, and other resources strategically to support improved
student learning.|
Develop and maintain a safe and disciplined learning environment and manage building operations in support
of student learning.|
Reflect on practice and continually refine leadership, based on learning and experience.
12
MOVING FORWARD IN A FOCUSED DIRECTION
New Jersey?s EXCEL (Expedited Certification for Educational
Leadership) program intends to prepare its candidates
to be ?visionary leaders with the knowledge, skills,
dispositions, and readiness for them to be effective agents
of change and improvement and effective instructional
leaders who actively advocate for and guide the achievement
of high academic standards by all students.?
The concept of the principal as a ?change agent? also
guides the First Ring Leadership Academy in Cleveland,
which defines an effective principal as ?a change agent
able to lead a school community to improve instruction
so that all students in First Ring schools achieve at high
levels.? Similarly, Chicago?s LAUNCH identifies a highly
qualified principal as one who is ?ready to lead the
school to high achievement by continuously improving
teaching and learning so that every child realizes his
or her educational potential.? Each of these programs
delineates?in a set of standards?the knowledge, skills,
attitudes, and behaviors one needs to grow into the
role of instructional leader, and then structures selection
criteria, curricula, an apprenticeship, and performance
measures around those standards.
The critical importance of the program vision in these six
programs is illustrated in the many significant ways their
visions have provided a clear focus and sense of purpose
for them. LAUNCH incorporates its vision and focus into
a standards-based assessment program. Twenty-four indicators
of effective leadership serve as the foundation
for both its instructional program and its formative assessment
of candidates? leadership competencies.
Invest in Being Selective
All six programs offer an accelerated pathway to becoming
a principal. While the programs differ from one
another in design and structure, they share such characteristics
as a rigorous curriculum, demanding fieldbased
projects, and an expedited timeline. All of the
featured sites agree that their programs do not have
the luxury of time to shape a candidate?s belief system
about student learning or to develop foundational
leadership skills. Candidates must come with these
qualities fully developed. In short, they need to be able
to hit the ground running. Furthermore, each program
invests substantially in its candidates. (Figure 1 details
the cost per participant in each program.) Ensuring a
good return on that investment is a high priority.
All programs strongly emphasize that they are not
remedial; instead, they aim to transform individuals
with a proven track record of leadership into school
principals who can effectively promote great instruction
and learning in their schools. They say the secret
to their success is not so much the specifics of their
instructional program?important as that effort is?as
it is to enroll the right candidates.
Each program deliberately screens and selects participants
who are already equipped with the appropriate
A Powerful, Guiding Vision:
?? Conveys a clear, focused picture of what
an effective school leader does to improve
instruction and learning;
?? Reflects evidence-based research;
?? Mobilizes action to attain it; and
?? Keeps the program on track.
13
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
experiences and dispositions to become powerful
principals. And each provides those participants with
an accelerated program whose every element powerfully
radiates from its vision.
Each of the six programs defines the ideal candidate
slightly differently, but the personal traits and leadership
competencies sought are similar in all. The programs
seek people with a passionate and demonstrated
commitment to academic improvement for every
student, a genuine belief that all children are intelligent
and will learn and make progress, given the right
circumstances. They want self-aware individuals who
understand great teaching and learning, are creative
problem solvers, and have strong communication and
collaboration skills. To that end, each program starts
with a comprehensive screening process based on program-
specific criteria that reflect its guiding vision of
powerful school leadership. (See figure 4 for an example
of screening criteria from New Leaders.)
All programs require at least a bachelor?s degree; in
New Jersey and Chicago, candidates must have a
master?s degree. All require professional experience,
including some teaching, although Boston accepts
those with a youth development background. In some
instances, programs are designed specifically to develop
new principals; others also look to further develop
individuals who are already working as principals or
assistant principals.
Beyond such basic requirements, the programs also
look at more qualitative factors. Boston, for example,
asks candidates to articulate their personal theories of
leadership. New Leaders seeks people with an unrelenting
commitment to ensuring that every child achieves
at high levels. Its selection criteria (see figure 4) are
based on its vision of effective school leadership that
consists of high expectations and respect for every
child, instructional leadership, school-family-community
partnerships, data-driven decisions, collaboration
and distributed leadership. The PEP screens its candidates
for a strong knowledge of instruction, curriculum,
and assessment, along with an understanding of
Kentucky?s statewide reform program. PEP looks for a
commitment to improving rural schooling conditions
and an appreciation of Kentucky?s rural culture; it also
screens for a belief in the capacity of every student to
achieve Kentucky?s academic standards.
RECRUITMENT
The starting place for attracting good candidates, as
well as for dissuading those not qualified, is the recruitment
process. Program directors spoke of beginning a
Tested Recruiting Strategies:
?? Market in places where you are most
likely to find the ideal program candidates
(e.g., relevant conferences, publications,
local media);
?? Use word-of-mouth (e.g., current participants?
connections and networks);
?? Expand outreach through partnerships
with related organizations (e.g., local
colleges, teacher unions, community
youth centers); and
?? Seek nominations from other respected
leaders (e.g., superintendents, principals,
curriculum supervisors).
14
FIGURE 4. New Leaders for New Schools Candidate Selection Criteria
New Leaders for New Schools Selection Criteria (listed alphabetically)
1. Belief in the Potential of All Children to Excel Academically|
Believe each and every child can excel academically|
Take personal responsibility for ensuring high academic achievement for every child|
Demonstrate the personal drive and commitment to eliminate the disparity of educational quality that exists
2. Commitment to Ongoing Learning|
Seek feedback and reflect on experiences to grow and develop|
Demonstrate humility and willingness to continually improve|
Commit to the coaching and the development of adults
3. Communication and Listening|
Possess written and verbal skills to communicate with clarity, conciseness, and appropriateness to multiple audiences|
Demonstrate poise and professionalism in diverse situations|
Listen actively
4. Interpersonal Skills|
Build successful one-on-one relationships|
Value each person?s perspective and treat people with respect|
Relate to adults and children: understand where they are coming from, what they need, and how to meet their needs|
Diffuse anger and find common ground to move people towards solutions|
Exhibit confidence and competence under pressure
5. Knowledge of Teaching and Learning.|
Identify exemplary teaching|
Provide feedback and guidance to improve instructional strategies|
Enable students to attain results despite significant challenges
6. Problem Solving|
Work proactively to solve problems and reach effective solutions|
Analyze and diagnose complex issues to develop strategic plan|
Identify concrete outcomes as a way to evaluate results
7. Project Management to Deliver Results|
Articulate a clear vision, set agenda, and implement goals|
Select, prioritize, and communicate strategies effectively to reach goals|
Balance day-to-day tasks and urgent needs with progress towards goals|
Delegate decision-making and authority in responsible manner
8. Self-Awareness|
Identify accurately personal strengths and areas for development|
Demonstrate integrity by acting in a manner that consistently reflects stated values and beliefs|
Understand how you are perceived by and impact others
9. Team Building|
Collaborate effectively|
Read group dynamics accurately|
Mobilize adults to take action and hold them accountable for reaching common goals|
Engage and empower others to take responsibility in decision-making to achieve results
10. Unyielding Focus on Goals and Results|
Confront difficult situations head-on and implement diverse solutions to get results|
Achieve results despite obstacles by demonstrating persistence, determination, and relentless drive|
Exhibit resilience to persevere and overcome setbacks|
Take personal responsibility for finding solutions when faced with challenges|
Be decisive and hold people to core values when it counts
15
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
year ahead of their start dates to publicize and promote
the opportunity. Chicago?s LAUNCH, for example,
issued 3,200 brochures in November 2003 to spread
the word to prospective 2004 participants about what
the program is, who might qualify for admission, and
where the application could be found online. New Jersey?s
EXCEL relies largely on word-of-mouth generated
by its graduates, but also recruits via the publications
of its parent organization, a statewide principals and
supervisors association.
New Leaders for New Schools targets its marketing
and recruitment in hopes of attracting not just those
currently working in a school system, but also those
who have led community organizations, nonprofits,
and youth development programs. It utilizes an executive
search-style approach of creating local, regional,
and national networks. As a result, more than half of
the new leaders are considered ?nontraditional? in that
they were from outside the public school systems with
which New Leaders works, although all participants
have strong K?12 experience. For its first 150 fellowships,
New Leaders received over 2,600 applications
representing a selection rate of 6 percent.
Several programs, such as LAUNCH and PEP, seek
nominations from school or district administrators. In
Cleveland, participants are handpicked by participating
superintendents based on their perceived potential as
schools leaders or, in the case of assistant principals or
officially designated teacher-leaders, their actual performance.
Program staff report that this recruitment
approach has the added bonus of sending a message
that the districts value the capacity development of
their own staff.
THE SCREENING PROCESS
Each program has structured a clearly defined and multiphased
process for screening applicants. The first phase
may be the application itself, designed in some cases to
help ensure that candidates self-select based on rigorous
criteria. Succeeding phases involve interviews and,
in some programs, performance assessments.
In New Leaders, the application is a weeding tool. It de-
fines criteria (e.g., skills in project management, communication,
listening, relationship-building) and requires
would-be candidates to answer 14 complex questions
designed to reveal how well their backgrounds,
An Effective Selection Process:
?? Defines the ideal program candidate
and establishes application requirements
that reflect that ideal;
?? Screens applicants using criteria that
reflect the vision and the application
requirements;
?? Uses multiple measures such as interviews,
on-demand writing, performance
tasks, observations, and assessment
rubrics to select participants;
?? Takes place over multiple days to
evaluate the candidate in a variety
of contexts; and
?? Involves multiple assessors with a
variety of perspectives, knowledge, and
experiences.
16
experiences,
and
personal
qualities
meet
the
criteria.
Similarly,
Chicago
and
Boston
applicants
receive
prompting questions for which they must develop essay
responses that are scored by program teams.
In most programs, the screening process is followed
by
an
interview
phase.
The
most
intensive
and
elaborate
of these is New Leaders. The roughly 50 percent
of
applicants
who make it through the
first
screening
must
then participate in a second screening that includes an
hour-long
interview
with
two
staff
members
and
requires
applicants to produce a written analysis of a case
study. About half of the applicants are successful. These
individuals then go on to a full-day interview with staff
and program mentors, which includes role-playing and
the evaluation of a simulated classroom lesson.
In
Boston, teams
of
principals,
teacher-leaders, district
administrators, and higher education faculty interview
candidates,
who
are
also
rated
on
a
performance
assessment
in which they are asked to conduct a teacher
observation
and
assessment
at
a
designated
school.
Chicago
uses
a
similar
panel approach
(theirs
consists
of
principals,
administrators,
and
staff
from
Northwestern
University)
for
interviewing
the
30
percent
of
candidates who
make it past
the initial
application
screening.
New
Jersey?s
screening
requires
candidates
to
formally
present
a professional
portfolio,
complete
a
writing
sample
that
includes
a
statement
of
their
educational philosophy
and
personal vision for
school
leadership, and respond to problem-based scenarios.
Design a Meaningful, Relevant Program
For all
these
programs,
six key elements help to ensure
an
experience
that
is
meaningful
for
candidates
and
relevant
to
the
needs
of
their
students
and
schools:
1)
knowledgeable,
committed
leadership
within
a
partnership
structure;
2)
a
standards-based
curriculum
incorporating
clear
performance
indicators;
3)
instructional design based on adult learning theory;
4)
an intensive, focused induction;
5) a supportive cohort
structure;
and
6)
a
school-based
practicum,
involving
expert mentors.
CREATE A PARTNERSHIP STRUCTURE
All of the programs studied operate as partnerships between
a school
district
or
multiple school jurisdictions
and
other
entities,
notably
universities
and
foundations.
Such partnerships
often
support the
initial
costs
of program staffing, design, and development, and they
contribute to the program?s long-term sustainability.
Cleveland?s
First
Ring
Leadership
Academy,
for
example,
is
led by
a
collaboration of
the 13 school
districts
that encircle the city. Their superintendents, working in
partnership
with
Cleveland
State
University,
launched
the
academy
in
response
to
the
critical
shortage
and
high turnover
of
qualified
principals
in
their
districts.
Figure 5 is the interview guide that academy staff used
to
identify
the
superintendents?
program
priorities.
Each
superintendent
commits
to
identifying
two
or
more
promising
leaders
for each academy
cohort and
supporting
them
through
the
academy,
then
sharing
the
pool
of
academy
graduates
across
First
Ring
districts
to
fill
principal
vacancies.
The university is
committed
to customizing the program for participants and
making personalized services and resources available to
them
so
that
they have
every
opportunity
to
become
effective school leaders.
The New Leaders national team is a diverse mix of social
entrepreneurs
and
leaders
from
education,
business,
17
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
FIGU
RE 5. In
terview Gui
de
to Ide
ntify
First Ring Supe
r
int
endents
?
Priori
ties
18
and public policy. They staff a program that operates as
a
partnership
of
five
metropolitan
school
districts?in
New
York
City,
Washington,
D.C.,
Chicago,
Memphis,
and the San Francisco Bay Area?and several of the nation?s
leading
venture philanthropists.
Further support
comes
in
the
form
of
strategic
consultancy
from
the
Monitor Group, a
leading
strategy firm,
and
pro
bono
legal
assistance
from
Kirkland
and
Ellis,
a
major
New
York City law firm. New Leaders provides the framework
for
public
and
private
sector
leaders
to
join
together
and commit time and resources to transforming public
school leadership.
Boston?s
and
Chicago?s
district-based
programs
also
benefit from
partnerships. Boston?s
operates
as a
collaboration
of
the
Boston
Public
Schools
and
the
University
of Massachusetts. Chicago?s LAUNCH is operated
by the Chicago
Principals
and
Administrators
Association
in collaboration
with
Chicago
Public
Schools and
Northwestern
University.
NJ
EXCEL
partners
with
the
New Jersey Principals
and
Supervisors
Association and
the
Association?s
Foundation
for
Educational
Administration.
Kentucky?s
PEP
is
a
dynamic
partnership
between
the
Pike
County
School
District,
a
deeply
rural
Appalachian
community,
and
the
University
of
Kentucky
in Lexington.
DEVELOP A STANDARDS-BASED CURRICULUM
Across
all
six
p
rograms,
stan
dard
s
guide
the
structure
an
d sequence of
the
leadershi
p curriculum and
establish indicators of eff
ectiv
e practi
c
e. In each case
the curr
iculum derives f
rom loc
alor
state-a
dopted
perform
ance-bas
ed sta
n
dards, such
as
the
New Jers
ey
P
rofessional S
tandards
for School Leaders.
All of
them
delineate
what
scho
ol
leaders
need
to
kno
w
and
be
a
ble
to
do at
various points
in
their
careers,
and
all
of
them
d
raw
from
the
Inte
rstate
School
Lea
de
rs
Lice
n
sure Consor
tium (ISLLC)
Standard
s
deve
lo
pe
d by the Council
o
f Chie
f State
School Officers
in 1996.9
In
each
case,
overarching
leadership
standards
are
integrated
with
the
specific
kinds
of
knowledge
and
skills
the
particular
program
was
founded to
develop.
Boston,
for
example,
focuses
on
effective practices as
defined
by
Boston?s six Essentials of Whole School Improvement
(see
figure
6),
which emphasize
principals?
need to deeply understand instruction and organize the
entire
school
enterprise
to
improve
student
learning.
Likewise, New Leaders
focuses on 12 essential competencies
that reflect
research
on
the
practices of
urban
school principals who have
successfully
turned around
low-performing
schools.
Chicago?s
program
is
guided
by
the
seven
leadership
proficiencies
in
that
district?s
educational improvement plan.
The
Fi
rst
Ring
Leadership
Academy
(FR
LA)
in
Cleveland
dev
eloped
its
curriculum
by
ide
ntifying
and
prioritizing
the recurring and challenging iss
ues
and
concerns that the next
gen
eration
of leaders will encoun
ter
in the
schools
FRL
A
serves. From
a
prioritysetting
process that used a
focus
group consisting of
a cross section of d
istrict and community leaders, five
persi
stent
leade
rship
challenges
emerged
as
cr
itical:
increasing
student
diversity
;
parent
and
commun
ity
involvement;
communication;
legislati
on
and
politics;
and
the
need
to
balance
priorities.
F
RLA
then
cross-che
c
k
ed these five them
es with the ISLLC standards
to ensure that th
ey were embedd
ed in all learning
experiences. The end
result is
a
curriculum scope
that inte
gra
tes FRLA contextual iss
ues
with the ISLLC
standards and indicators.
19
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
BASE THE INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN ON ADULT
LEARNING THEORY
The structure and focus of the instructional part of each
program
varies,
but
each
involves
a
combination
of
coursework and fieldwork, and each is organized around
a
cohort and
small groups.
This approach is
in keeping
with adult learning theory, which holds that significant
learning results
from
experiences that allow adults
to:
1)
engage with meaningful
content; 2) socially
process
the
information;
and
3)
construct
their
own
meaning
through a self-regulated process.
BEGIN WITH AN INTENSIVE AND HIGHLY FOCUSED
INDUCTION EXPERIENCE
Most
of the
programs initiate candidates with a rigorous
induction experience
designed to
help
participants
develop
a
strong
conceptual
framework
for
understanding?
and later applying?a
deep knowledge of the
leadership theory that drives the program. Whether it is
a
summer residency
or an accelerated
course sequence,
these
experiences
demand
an
intense
commitment,
leading
candidates
to
describe
them
variously
as
a
?drop-everything-else
dedication?
and
?the
most
challenging
and powerful learning experience I?ve ever had.?
They serve multiple purposes, including testing a participant?s
commitment and drive to take on the challenging
role of being a fully invested and effective school leader
and arming candidates
with the
conceptual knowledge
and informational
resources that they will need on the
job.
In
effect,
these
induction
experiences
serve
as
a
final screening. Participants who cannot or do not want
to make such a commitment opt out.
The
New
Leaders
program,
which
aims
to
equip
participants
to
be
catalysts
of
urban
change,
starts
with
a six-week
summer institute at the Wharton School of
Management
in Philadelphia where the group focuses
on developing instructional, transformational, and operational
leadership
skills.
At this
early
stage, bonding
FIG
URE 6. Boston Public School
s? Essent
ials of
Whole Scho
ol Improveme
nt
Six Essentials of Whole School Improvement
Essential 1: Effective instructional practice and a collaborative school climate lead to improved student learning.
Essential 2: Student work and data drive instruction and professional development.
Essential 3: Investments in professional development improve instruction.
Essential 4: Shared leadership sustains instructional improvement.
Essential 5: Resource use supports instructional improvement and improved student learning.
Essential 6: Schools partner with families and community to support student learning.
20
and
network-building
are
valuable
natural
outcomes.
Chicago holds a five-week summer leadership academy
at Northwestern University?s Kellogg
Graduate
School
of Management,
emphasizing instructional
leadership.
Skills
are
built
around
the
school
district?s
principal
leadership competencies, including creating a studentcentered
climate,
improving
teaching
and
learning,
and
increasing
parent
involvement
and
community
partnerships. During
this
beginning
phase,
the fellows
in
the
program have
opportunities to
build
an
?urban
network?
that
offers
networking
connections
for
fellows
throughout their careers.
NJ EXCEL initiates candidates during a demanding twoweek
summer residency. This expedited learning experience
introduces candidates to the rigorous theory- and
research-based
curriculum
and
the
action-research
projects
they
will
be
expected
to
complete.
At
this
point,
candidates also begin
to assess their knowledge
and skills against specific standards and criteria.
DEVELOP A SUPPORTIVE COHORT STRUCTURE
All programs
use
a
cohort
group structure and all report
that
participants
find
cohort
interactions
to
be
the
most
valuable
element
of
the
program.
Cohorts
allow
participants
to
proceed
through
the
program
with the
safety and support of a learning community.
Members of the
cohort construct
meaning
and make
sense of new
contexts by comparing experiences, and
they generalize theories
of action
by sharing individual
successes
and
failures.
In
short,
over
the
course
of
their
time
together,
they
adopt
new
identities,
in
essence
?becoming?
principals.
Together,
they
evolve
from
teacher
or
other
professional
into
an accountable
educational
leader
who
knows
how
to
manage
a school and improve teaching and learning. Far from
disbanding at
program completion,
the
cohort
tends
to be an ongoing source of support as people progress
in their careers.
In
the
Principals
Excellence
Program,
the
cohort
of
approximately
15
is
a
uniquely
defined
community
of
learners
that
remains
intact
throughout
the
entire
program
year.
Early
and
ongoing
community-building
strategies
help
to
create
a
sense
that
the
cohort
is a
safe haven for problem solving and brainstorming.
Boston?s
fellows
report
that
this
kind
of
ongoing
interaction
led
them
to recognize
the
expertise of
their
colleagues
and
allowed
them to
benchmark
their own
progress with that of other cohort members.
Cleveland?s
program
puts
a
premium
on
developing
trust and reliance among cohort
members as
a
means
of creating a strong network of
new leadership
within
the 13 First Ring school districts. The expectation is that
cohort
members
will
sustain
and
support
each
other
as
they
begin
and
continue
through
their
careers
as
school principals, directors, and superintendents.
New Jersey?s cohort structure develops collegiality, collaboration,
and peer support as candidates engage in a
range
of
program
activities.
All
candidates
participate
in
regional
inquiry
groups,
which
meet
regularly
and
continually
communicate
online
to
discuss
readings,
problem-based
activities,
and
day-to-day
challenges.
Members
of
each
regional
inquiry
group
also
support
one another with peer reviews and
feedback related to
action research and school-based projects. Each
group
works
with
an
?e-mentor?
who
facilitates
the
group?s
activities and serves as its primary advisor. (See figure 7
for a description of e-mentor responsibilities.)
21
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
FIG
URE 7. NJ EX
C
EL e-Ment
or
Respon
sibilitie
s
e-MENTOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Communication|
Plans minimum of 18 hours face-to-face Inquiry Group meetings scheduled at time/site by the group|
Conducts ongoing communication with candidates using NJ-EXCEL?s On-Line Learning Community
(e-mail, Discussion Board, Instant Messenger)|
Conducts additional individual/group meetings as needed at discretion of candidates and e-Mentor
Coordinating and Guiding Inquiry Group Meetings and Other Ongoing Activities|
Extends discussions from cohort seminars on critical topics and tasks|
Conducts discussions of research and readings|
Conducts problem-based and critical analysis activities (case studies, in-basket activities, simulations, ect.) within group meetings and/or
continuing discussion as Discussion Board activity using NJ EXCEL?s On-Line Learning Community|
Stimulates information sharing and networking activities|
Plans peer reviews that provide feedback to candidates related to their projects and portfolios|
Arranges inter-district activities as appropriate
Providing Individual and Group Guidance, Support, and a Collegial Environment|
Guides ongoing self-assessment, reflection, feedback for development of Professional Growth Plans (PGP)|
Guides development of Action Research and Job-Embedded Projects|
Conducts peer reviews of projects and portfolios to encourage feedback and continuous improvement
Candidate Assessment and Recordkeeping|
Maintains the NJ EXCEL Requirements Checklist for each assigned candidate, submit complete Checklist to NJ EXCEL Coordinator for Research
and Evaluation at end of program|
Conducts quarterly reviews of candidates? portfolios to determine progress toward completion of program requirements:|
Professional Growth Plan (PGP)|
Personal Educational Platform (professional philosophy, vision for school leadership, personal professional code of ethics)|
Reflective Journal|
Inquiry Group Log|
Internship Log|
Action Research Project|
Action Research Project Presentation|
Job-Embedded Projects|
Leadership e-folio|
Module Activities|
Completes formal assessment of Action Research Project, Action Research Project Presentation, and Job-Embedded Projects using NJ EXCEL
Rubrics|
Completes an e-Mentor Assessment Report at the end of the program that reflects the e-Mentor?s summative assessment
of the candidate?s overall performance
Participation in Other NJ EXCEL Activities|
Attends Candidate Orientation scheduled at beginning of program|
Attends training for NJ EXCEL?s On-Line Learning Community scheduled at beginning of program|
Attends Action Research Project Presentations for Inquiry Group scheduled at end of program|
Attends External Portfolio Reviews scheduled at end of program|
Attendance at 1-2 e-Mentor Organizational Meetings during the year as needed
(Revised February 2004)
22
INCLUDE A SCHOOL-BASED PRACTICUM WITH
EXPERT MENTORS
Participants in all six programs identified their fieldwork?
a
school-based internship, or residency?as second
only
to
cohort
interactions
in
effectiveness
in
engendering
powerful professional learning. In most of the programs,
participants
are
paired
with
mentor
principals?professional
experts committed to sharing successful practices
and supporting the development
of
effective new principals.
These
programs
use
specific
practices
for
identifying
and
selecting
mentors.
Several
have
published
guidelines
for
mentoring
and
require
mentor
training
that is focused on key instructional components, expectations,
and program beliefs and value systems.
In
Boston,
the
residency is
the primary framework for
learning.
Each
fellow
has
a
paid,
yearlong
residency,
four
days
a
week,
with
one
of
Boston?s
most
effective
principals.
As
with
all
of
these
programs,
Boston
puts
forth
great
effort
into ensuring
that theory and
practice are integrated. Therefore, a course on learning
theory,
for example, is
coupled with
classroom
observations
of students and teachers during the residency.
These observations are
guided by the mentor principal
to
hone the
fellows? skills
in
understanding
students?
learning
processes
and
the
instructional
strategies
of
effective
teachers.
As
one
former fellow
said,
?The
school
was
my
classroom,
and
my
teacher
was
my
mentor principal. He identified what I needed to know
by having
me do the
real work,
and then
he
gave
me
feedback.?
That
kind
of
mentoring
helps
the
fellows
construct
meaning from
the
theory
they
are
learning
in their 70 days of coursework.
S
ince
th
e
fe
llow-m
entor
relati
onship
is
the
linchpin
of
the
prog
ram,
g
reat
ca
re
is
tak
en
to
ident
ify
excellent mentors based on demons
trated leadership
and
mentori
ng ski
lls, their schools? success in impleme
n
ting the six
Esse
ntial
s of Whole Sc
hool Improveme
n
t, and raising student achi
evement. Equal care i
s
then tak
en in matching a
fellow to a mentor.
Chicag
o?s
fellow
s
b
eg
in
a
yearlong
pa
id
interns
hip
(a
gain,
wi
th
exemplary
mentor
princi
pals)
tha
t
includes
both
an
elementa
ry
and
s
econ
dary
exper
ience.
Mentor
pr
incipals
are
selected
through
an
applicati
on
a
n
d
screening
proc
ess.
They
are
required
to
attend
a
half-day
ses
sion
at
the
summe
r
leaders
hip
academy
as
well
as
semina
rs
on
coaching
and
feed
ba
c
k.
Fell
ows
and
m
entors
sign
a
contract
f
or
each
site
exp
erience?one
elementary
and
one
second
ary?tha
t
expla
ins
e
ach
pers
on?s
rol
e
in
wo
rking
to
develop t
h
e
fel
lo
w?s skil
l
in
Chicag
o?s
princi
pal
leadership
com
pe
tencies.
(S
ee
figure
8 for the men
to
r contra
c
t.)
New
Leaders
resid
ents en
ter int
o a
for
mal
yearlo
ng,
full
-time relationshi
p with a succe
ss
ful mentor principal
who shares his or her
knowledge and experi
ence
and creates opportuni
ties for the resident
to take the
le
ad in mult
ip
le
aspec
ts of
the urban pri
n
c
ipal?s role.
The
most
direct
s
u
pport,
h
owever,
is
pro
vided
by
a
s
pe
cial
ly
trained
leadership
coach
who
visits
each
resident and
ment
or
at least
once
a
week.
Working
w
ith
n
o more than 10 res
idents, coaches
help structure
the
re
sident
-mentor
relationshi
p, as
well
as
ass
ist re
sident
s
in
inte
grating
theory from course
work
into their day-to-d
ay leade
rship challenges. Coaches
are
recruite
d
from
a
pool
of
outstanding,
retired
urban
principa
ls,
and
they undergo
their own training
as a cadre in a
ddit
io
n
to attending the reside
nts?
s
ummer coursework and
seminars.
23
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
FIGU
RE 8. LAUN
CH
Mentor Cont
ra
ct
24
Build and Sustain Over Time
Each program studied conducts ongoing evaluations
on several levels, using evaluation findings to continuously
improve program performance and outcomes in
ways that will help to sustain the program over time.
The progress of each participant is tracked for both formative
and summative purposes. Systematic monitoring
of overall program effectiveness yields data used to
guide program improvements.
ASSESSING CANDIDATE PERFORMANCE
The intent of candidate assessment in the six programs
is to prepare candidates for success as principals in challenging
schools. Indeed, each sees assessment as a learning
tool. Rather than casting blame when assessment
identifies the need for improvement, this system of intelligent
accountability rewards learning and continued
effort. The programs also recognize the need for public
accountability, using assessment to verify and validate
candidates? competency and readiness to take charge in a
real school with the education of real students at stake.
In addition to serving as the foundation of each program?s
curriculum, the Interstate School Leadership Licensure
Consortium (ISLLC) Standards provide a framework
for assessing candidates? performance and are the
gauge by which candidates and program staff alike assess
a candidate?s professional growth over time. Each
program has contextualized the ISLLC standards and
aligned them with program performance goals. For example,
NJ EXCEL?s School Leader Standards Framework
includes the six ISLLC standards and adds a seventh for
technological leadership, a key program goal aligned
with Technology Standards for School Administrators.
NJ EXCEL inducts candidates into its program by
developing their understanding of the standards-based
requirements, expectations, and performance criteria
against which their success in the program is measured.
At the start of their program experience, candidates
assess themselves against the program?s standardsbased
performance indicators. EXCEL then uses data
from those assessments to guide instructional, mentoring,
and coaching efforts. It also publishes for each
cohort group a summary of program requirements, the
timeframe for completing the requirements, a description
of the assessments, and an indication of who will
assess their performance. To prepare candidates for
A Successful School Leadership Program:
?? Focuses on the program?s vision of an effective
school leader;
?? Uses a standards-based instructional
program with clear performance indicators
and outcome expectations;
?? Designs instruction based on adult-learning
theory and personal sense-making;
?? Includes a residency or internship with an
exemplary principal and the expectation
that the resident will be accountable for
instructional leadership responsibilities;
?? Uses a cohort structure and provides
frequent opportunities for reflecting on
and discussing learning experiences and
outcomes; and
?? Personalizes participant learning through
close monitoring, coaching, and followthrough
support after placement.
25
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
success, EXCEL provides them with exemplars of the
types of work products and performances that have
been judged as meeting the standards and have contributed
to effective leadership on the job.
Chicago?s LAUNCH program aspires to develop leaders
capable of transforming ineffective schools into organizations
that work for all students. LAUNCH has translated
the ISLLC standards into its own Principal Competencies,
which form the foundation of the program?s standardsbased
curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Its five standards and 24 performance indicators represent
the goals that successful LAUNCH candidates
will achieve. To facilitate their success, the program
provides candidates with an assessment tool that they
are expected to monitor throughout their program
experience. To this end, LAUNCH has created a clear
and focused assessment guide with a structure that
lays out its standards and performance indicators in a
page-by-page format. Each page presents one of the
five standards with its related performance indicators,
a description of the indicators at their highest level of
performance, a list of competency-based learning opportunities,
and a four-stage rubric that describes four
developmental stages of competency (rudimentary,
emerging, competent, and transformative).
That assessment guide enables candidates to continuously
assess their progress, and it provides a focus for
coaching and mentoring. Candidates use the feedback
information to develop their own professional growth
plan, and then use that plan as a tool for setting developmental
goals. They document their work in a professional
portfolio that is assessed by LAUNCH staff members,
coaches, mentors, and others, using a rubric with
which candidates have been familiarized.
Other programs follow a similar process. In Boston,
fellows begin the program by completing a self-assessment
on the district?s 11 competencies of effective
principals. Based on this assessment, the fellows work
with their mentors and program staff to develop a personal
learning contract that provides a map for their
first four months. At the end of that period, both fellow
and mentor review the contract, benchmark progress
made toward its goals, and revise or set new goals for
the balance of the program.
When participants begin Kentucky?s PEP, they complete
a comprehensive six-part survey that enables them to
establish baseline data about their leadership skills. It
also asks them to develop their own vision of the kind
of leader they want to be. (Figure 9 displays one page of
the 10-page survey.) The completed survey serves as a
self-assessment and goal-setting tool that participants
can use throughout their PEP experience to monitor
their leadership development.
Every program maintains a rigorous academic gauge
of candidate performance and publishes a grading or
rubric system that is used for assessing the quality of
candidates? coursework assignments, projects, and other
work products. Most programs use a portfolio system
as a cumulative file of projects, products, assessments,
and observation records that document and verify candidates?
professional growth and their readiness to successfully
assume the role of leader in a difficult school.
ASSESSING PROGRAM PERFORMANCE
The most telling data about a program?s performance
are those that portray its ability to reach its goals. In the
case of school leadership preparation programs, data
about the performance of graduates in leadership roles
26
FIGURE 9. Principals Excellence Program Self-Assessment
27
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
will provide a lens for assessing program effectiveness.
Most of the programs in this study are not far enough
along in their development to use this lens. Nonetheless,
Chicago?s LAUNCH program, which initiated its
first cohort in 1998, is taking a courageous look at student
performance on standardized tests in the schools
where its graduates are serving as principals. LAUNCH
has compiled five-year profiles of these schools to track
student performance on the district?s mandated standardized
tests from 1999 through 2003. Each year these
schools have made an average gain, with the highest
gains in math. By tracking their graduates using school
performance data, LAUNCH intends to investigate the
relationship between its school leadership preparation
program and improvements in student learning.
In Chicago, a public education fund has supported
several external evaluations of LAUNCH?s progress and
outcomes relative to its goals. Findings indicate that
LAUNCH principals perform more like veteran principals
than their non-LAUNCH counterparts. Indeed, their
leadership actions demonstrate that they understand
the complexities of the principal?s role and are able
to guide instructional improvement from the outset
of their principalship. In addition, findings show that
LAUNCH has been able to recruit and place Latino principals,
who traditionally have been underrepresented
in Chicago public schools and that LAUNCH graduates
appear to be more active than either other new leaders
or veteran principals in obtaining professional development
for themselves and their faculties.
Every program in the study relies on many partners
and multiple measures to help evaluate and continuously
improve itself. Feedback from candidates and
mentors, as well as candidates? progress?as evidenced
by their portfolios, for example?help gauge program
and faculty effectiveness and guide mid-course
and annual improvements. The First Ring Leadership
Academy (FRLA) in Cleveland and PEP in Pike County
use ?barometer? surveys and focus groups to help
identify perceptions about program responsiveness
and effectiveness.
FRLA is also partnering with the Batelle Memorial Institute,
a third-party evaluator, to establish a program
evaluation protocol that will be used to collect field
data about FRLA?s graduates working in new leadership
positions. The protocol process will collect observational
and interview data that FRLA staff plan to use to identify
program-wide strengths and weaknesses. Batelle
evaluators will also use data collected by Academy
staff, conduct surveys and observations, and establish a
control group of non-participating first-year principals
for comparison purposes.
In keeping with its core philosophy, New Leaders puts
a major emphasis on using data analysis to determine
program effectiveness. Data on candidate success,
for example?during and after the program?provide
feedback on the selection process. The program also
tracks candidate placement rates and monitors student
achievement results over time in schools led by
program graduates. New Leaders? strategy of ongoing
assessment ensures the development of outstanding
principals, while also creating key learning to continuously
improve the program model and to share with
the field.
New Jersey EXCEL annually evaluates its program design
and effectiveness against six program standards
and related performance rubrics that are aligned
28
FIGURE 10. NJ EXCEL Program Standards and Performance Rubric (page 1 of 2)
29
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
Common Features Across the Six Innovative Programs:
6. Candidate selection criteria and screening
process that reflects the vision and the
capability of the program;
7. Structuring participant groups into continuing
cohorts that frequently meet to discuss
what they are experiencing and learning
about the principal?s job;
8. Authentic learning experiences that incorporate
on-the-job, practical realities of the
principal?s work;
9. Frequent structured opportunities for participants
to do personal reflection and performance
assessment; and
10. Structured program monitoring and assessment
through feedback, participants? performance
in the program, and participants?
success on the job after the program.
1. An initial base of support that includes partnerships
with key stakeholders and funders to
finance ?start-up? costs of planning, development,
and early implementation;
2. A commitment on the part of program developers
to do the extremely hard work of developing,
establishing, and implementing the program
over a minimum of three to five years;
3. A research-based vision of what an effective
principal does to lead instructional improvement
and student achievement gains;
4. A focused theory of action about program development
and instructional design based on
the vision;
5. School leadership performance standards and
outcome assessments aligned with the vision
and theory of action;
with national accreditation standards for universities
(see figure 10). The evaluation data are used to make
formative adjustments in the program and they feed in
to EXCEL?s five-year evaluation plan that will report the
program?s long-term effectiveness.
All of the programs have demonstrated a culture of
continuous improvement and professional excellence.
Each defines success differently, but all show relentless
energy in striving to achieve it.
Summary
The six leadership preparation programs in this study
are distinct strategic responses to one underlying crisis:
the pervasive need to identify, recruit, prepare, and
place high-quality principals in our nation?s schools.
While this crisis is most acutely experienced in challenging
urban and rural areas, the problem of an insufficient
applicant pool or pipeline of effective school
principals is spreading into every region of the United
States. Without more innovative pathways to leadership
certification, the problem is likely to worsen with
40 percent of current school principals eligible for retirement
in the very near future.10
Simultaneously, across the country, elected officials,
policymakers, parents, and educators themselves are
pressing schools for higher returns on the public
30
inve
stment.
This
press
for
improvement
reflects
discontent
with
the
results
our
schools
are
yiel
ding
and
o
ur
understanding that,
as a
so
c
iety, we
are not
yet meeting our respo
nsibility fo
r ensurin
g that every
child
achieves
academic
success.
A
growing
body
of
research suggests that we will o
nly be able to
do th
at
w
hen
we im
prove the abi
lity of principals to skill
fully
remove
barriers
to
learning
and
put in
place
conditions
for academic success.11
Each program had a unique creative approach that enabled
it
to
move
beyond
traditional
structures.
Every
program started with a profound belief that what currently
existed
was
insufficient
for meeting
the
urgent
need. An ability to work both with and around existing
structures,
leaving
them
intact
and
building
relationships
with them, allowed the innovative new programs
to
gain
some
footing,
then
some
traction,
and,
ultimately,
make sure-footed progress.
31
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
Part II:
Program Profiles
Boston Principal Fellowship Program,
33
Boston, Mass.
First Ring Leadership Academy,
37
Cleveland, Ohio
LAUNCH (Leadership Academy and
41
Urban Network for Chicago), Chicago, Ill.
NJ EXCEL (New Jersey Expedited Certification
45
for Educational Leadership),
Monroe Township, N.J.
New Leaders for New Schools,
49
New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C.,
Memphis, and San Francisco Bay Area
Principals Excellence Program,
53
Pike County, Ky.
32
33
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
Boston Principal Fellowship Program, Boston, Mass.
Partners
Program Initiated
Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
Universit
y of Massachusetts,
Broad Foundation, U.S. Department of Education
2003
Bachelor?s degree; three years
experience in teaching, youth development, or management; pass state licensure exam
(2005) 11(2004) 10
2004Gender: 60% female
Ethnicity: 64% White, 26% African American, 5% Asian Am., 5% Hispanic200
5 Gender: 70% female
Ethnicity: 70% African American,
20% Hispanic, 10% White
Twelve months that include: five-week summer intensive; yearlong residency;
60 days of coursework;
and two years of support following placement.
Initial Principal LicenseOption of MEd
Or CAGS from UMASS
In 1995, after analyzing schools that were effective in teaching
low-income
urban
students
and
reviewing
the
effective-
schools literature, Boston came
up with six Essentials of
Whole School Improvement to guide its own efforts:
??
Essential 1: Effective instructional practice and a collaborative
school climate lead to improved student learning.
??
Essential 2: Student work and data drive instruction
and professional development.
??
Essential 3: Investments in professional development
improve instruction.
??
Essential 4: Shared leadership sustains instructional
improvement.
??
Essential 5: Resource use supports instructional improvement
and improved student learning.
??
Essential 6: Schools partner with families and community
to support student learning.
At
the
heart
of
Boston
Public
Schools?
improvement
effort
is
the
core
belief
that
leadership
is
the
single
most
important
factor in bringing about real school change. This belief is
manifested
in
the district?s
School Leadership
Institute
(SLI),
developed to recruit, prepare, and support the next generation
of Boston?s
school leaders.
In
2003, SLI
launched the Boston
Principal Fellowship (BPF) in response to the district?s need for
skillful
new
principals
who
could
?hit
the
ground
running.?
SLI
also
established
the
New
Principal
Support
System
to
provide
follow-through
and
coaching for
new
principals.
In
combination, these two programs build a strong, knowledgeable
and committed school
leadership workforce in
Boston?s
neediest schools.
The BPF set out to
identify,
recruit, prepare, place, and support
new
principals
in
its
most challenging
schools
and
to
serve as the district?s preferred pathway to principalship. The
first
BPF
cohort
of
10
?fellows?
started
in
June
2003,
followed
in June 2004 by
a
second cohort
of 11 fellows. After
successfully
completing
an
intensive
12-month
experience
that integrates theory and practice, candidates may apply for
a principal or assistant principal
position. Once these beginning
principals start their new job, the SLI provides two years
of support through its new principal support system.
Selection Process
The
most
important
step
in
preparing
new
princip
als,
stres
ses
t
he
BPF
executive
director,
is
to
?get
the
right
people
on
t
he
bus.?
Recruiting
and
s
cre
ening
potential
ca
ndidates is a carefully structured pro
cess. The distr
i
ct actively
and broadly recrui
ts candidates through
i
ts Web site,
through
announc
ements
and
advertisements
in
national
school
lead
ersh
ip
journ
als,
local
newspapers,
and
through
recommendations from other principals. Word
-of-mouth is
another reliable source.
The
BPF admissions process consists of a
written
application
(including two
essays), a
performance
assessment
for
semi-
finalists, and an interview for finalists.
34
Minimally, applicants must have a bachelor of arts?a master
of arts is preferred. In addition, applicants must have:
?? A minimum of three years experience in teaching (any
p?16 level), youth development, social work, counseling,
or nonprofit or business management;
?? Evidence of experience as a successful leader;
?? Willingness to relocate (if necessary) and commit to
working in Boston Public Schools for a minimum of
three years following fellowship;
?? The ability and time commitment for immersion in
an intense yearlong learning experience that includes
some nights and weekends, academic coursework,
research, reports, and field-based projects; and
?? Official results from (or proof of registration to take)
the Communication and Literacy Skills section of the
Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure.
Applicants who successfully make it through the initial
screening participate in an interview with a BPF team looking
for individuals who: see themselves as lifelong learners;
understand the elements of effective instruction; display an
ability to think outside the box and be a critical thinker and
a complex problem solver; demonstrate good listening skills;
exhibit an ability to work as an effective team member; articulate
a personal theory of leadership; demonstrate persistence
and follow-through; and display a knowledge of current research
and literature related to educational leadership.
Screening teams at all stages consist of principals, teacherleaders,
higher education faculty, and Boston Public Schools
central office administrators.
Fellows become employees of the Boston Public Schools and
receive a full salary and benefits that are comparable to the
position they leave in order to participate in the program.
In accepting the salary, fellows agree to work in the Boston
Public Schools for three years. Upon completing the residency
and course requirements, they have the option of receiving a
master?s degree or a certificate of advanced graduate studies
from the University of Massachusetts?Boston. The cost of this
option, estimated at $4,000, is the responsibility of the fellow.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
The BPF curriculum integrates the theory behind Boston?s six
Essentials with the knowledge and skills required to implement
them and carry out the pivotal role of instructional
leader. The two major program components are a yearlong
four-days-a-week residency with one of Boston?s most effective
principals?a mentor principal?and 85 days of coursework
and seminars. Fellows participate in coursework for five
weeks in the summer and one day per week and one weekend
per month during their residency experience. The classes take
place at the BPS professional development center and are
taught by national experts, district leaders with recognized
expertise in one or more topics, and faculty from local universities.
To help synthesize their learning, fellows are given
assignments designed to address real needs in the schools
where they work as residents or issues they will face as new
principals. For example, one resident developed a weekly
training program for new teachers on instructional strategies
to accelerate children?s early reading development. They also
keep reflective journals, using them in part as a source for
questions that can be discussed in the seminars.
Mentor principals are selected because of their demonstrated
leadership skills, their schools? success in implementing the six
Essentials and raising student achievement levels, and their
skills in and commitment to mentoring. Because a strong
match between a fellow and mentor principal is critical to
each candidate?s success, pairings are made with great care.
One 2003?04 program participant said, ?The school was my
classroom, and my mentor principal was my teacher. He identified
what I needed to know by having me do the real work,
and then he gave me feedback.? This candidate saw the fellow-
mentor relationship as a critical laboratory for testing
his emerging theory of leadership: ?The most important thing
I learned was how to organize and work through groups of
adults. That?s how a principal improves the school.?
In addition to the residency, considered by most fellows to be
the program?s most significant source of learning and preparation,
many program graduates cite their interactions with
35
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
fellow cohort members as another critical element of BPF.
They came to recognize the expertise of their colleagues and
were able to benchmark their own progress against that of
their cohort members.
The program curriculum and residency are designed to engender
11 very concrete competencies that Boston has defined
as essential to effective school leadership (e.g., understanding
how children and adults learn). Since each fellow comes
to the program with a different set of skills and experiences,
candidates start in July by doing a self-assessment related to
the competencies. The results are then used to develop an individualized
learning plan that guides the first six months of a
candidate?s fellowship. The plan outlines specific types of experiences
and activities that a fellow and his or her mentor will
focus on during the residency. Some examples include planning
and implementing a parent engagement strategy, leading
a faculty meeting to analyze student performance data and
identify their instructional implications, and conferencing with
a set of parents regarding their child?s learning progress.
In January, the fellow, his or her mentor principal, and the BPF
executive director review the candidate?s progress on the learning
goals and, based on that assessment, revise or set new goals
for the next three months. Fellows also begin to identify their
placement goals for the following school year (e.g., principal,
assistant principal). In early May, the same trio meets again to
review the fellow?s progress and readiness to assume the full
responsibility of a principalship. The fellow?s self-assessment
and mentor feedback, along with the observations of the BPF
executive director, guide decisions regarding the kind of position
a fellow is ready to take on during the next school year.
BPF?s curriculum is organized into a developmental sequence
that builds fellows? understanding of the principles and practices
that underlie the BPF Essentials. The content is structured
into four ?cornerstone? initiatives and one ?capstone?
initiative, all addressing some number of the competencies,
illustrating the interconnection of the Essentials, and integrating
the coursework and the residency. Collectively, the
initiatives provide a continuous, yearlong focus on critical
levers for school improvement. Cornerstone and capstone instructors
include principals and other school leaders, highereducation
faculty, and community leaders.
As part of the first cornerstone, Analyzing Instruction and
Supporting Improvement, fellows observe students and
teachers in their classrooms to hone their understanding of
students? learning processes and the instructional strategies
of effective teachers. Building on this foundation, they then
learn elements of teacher supervision and evaluation and
examine how to use these processes as levers for instructional
improvement. Finally, through participation in regular
?learning walks? both at their residency school and in schools
across the city, they become skilled in analyzing instruction in
classrooms and schools and in giving feedback that supports
improvement in practice.
In the second cornerstone, Family and Community Engagement,
candidates deepen their understanding of how schools
can most effectively partner with parents and the community
and how the principal can lead this effort. Fellows build
their understanding of family and community interests by
participating in their school?s School Site Council and School
Parent Council. Simultaneously, they assume leadership of a
team to examine family and community engagement at their
school. This builds their skills in research, needs assessment,
asset mapping, action-plan development and implementation,
working with a diverse population, and facilitating and
mobilizing teams.
In the third cornerstone, Leadership and Management, fellows
deepen their understanding of what a principal does
to enhance the learning and achievement of all students.
Through coursework and individual learning plans, and by assuming
leadership and closely observing their principal mentor
and school leaders, fellows develop and are expected to
demonstrate a deep understanding of how leaders promote
core values to shape culture and bring about organizational
change. At the same time, through coursework and engagement
with and analysis of operations, budgets, and the use
of other resources, fellows develop and begin to practice a
theory of management. This cornerstone culminates in fellows
developing transition and entry plans to be used when
they assume school leadership roles.
The fourth cornerstone, Scaling Up Instructional Improvement,
focuses on what is required to reach every classroom,
36
every
teacher,
and
every
student.
Fellows
learn
the
skills
required
to
implement
a
continuous
cycle
of
improvement,
including
analyzing and using data on student performance
and
teacher
practice
to
support
improvement;
identifying
instructional
priorities;
creating
and
implementing
professional
development
that
supports
teachers
in
addressing
instructional
priorities; tracking implementation
and
impact
through
classroom
observations
and
student
performance;
and continually refining the cycle in response to data.
The
capstone,
Leadership
and
Learning,
ties
together
all
of
the
competencies
of
effective
principals
and
the
four
cornerstones
of the program.
Leadership is a specific set of skills
introduced through the Leadership and Management cornerstone,
as well as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes
that cut
across
all
the
cornerstones.
Fellows?
leadership
determines
their
effectiveness
in
their
residencies
and, looking
forward,
their
effectiveness
as
principals
who
are
able
to:
create
a
vision;
organize a
school around that
vision; develop a
culture
that
places
students
and
their
learning
at
the
center;
create relationships and structures essential to implementing
the vision; and hold high expectations for students and staff
and support them in reaching the expectations.
In
the
spring,
as
fellows
complete
the
program,
they
meet
individually
with
BPS
district
administrators
and
pursue
positions
for the
next
school year.
Fellows who
are
hired as
principals
continue to
receive
mentoring and coaching support
for
two years
following
their
placement.
Fellows
point
to
this continuing
support and the
additional support from
networking
with
their
cohort
members
as
key
elements
in
their early successes as school leaders.
Key Success Factors
Although
BPF is in an early stage of
development,
its
impact
on BPS is impressive. BPF fellows demonstrate an ability to ?hit
the ground running? when they become principals?especially
in
challenging
and low-performing schools.
As
a result of its
districtwide
school improvement
efforts
over
the last
seven
years,
Boston
is
realizing
steady
improvements
in
student
achievement
and
has
made
significant
progress
in
closing
the achievement gap that exists between black and Hispanic
students
and
white
students.
The
district
has
been
recognized
nationally
for
having
a
coherent
and
comprehensive
improvement
strategy
that yields
results, most recently
as a
semi-finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize in education. The
district anticipates that BPF
will
play
a significant
role
in its
continuing
improvement because
of the
?ready-to-succeed?
principals
the
program
produces.
The
BPF
Program
received
seed funding from the U.S. Department of Education?s School
Leadership Program
and the Broad Foundation that
will sustain
it
through 2006. Planning
is
underway
to
secure
more
long-term funding to ensure BPF?s continued contribution to
Boston Public Schools.
The BPF model demonstrates how a school district can prepare
principals to lead schools through whole school improvement
grounded in
leadership
theory and principles and
targeted to
the goals of the district. BPF leaders and participants attribute
the program?s success to the following key elements:
??
The vision of a new model of school leadership
specifically focused on the Boston Public Schools? six
Essentials of Whole School Improvement;
??
A research-based theory of action about effective
school leadership;
??
A rigorous, thoughtful screening process to select
applicants with the most potential;
??
A strongly held core belief that all children can and will
learn when the principals of their schools are effective,
knowledgeable instructional leaders;
??
Strong support and leadership from the district
superintendent;
??
Understanding of the principal?s pivotal role in whole
school improvement;
??
Alignment of program curriculum with state and national
leadership standards and performance indicators;
??
Consistent use of data and feedback to strengthen the
program;
??
Direct and frequent feedback to fellows from faculty,
mentor principals, and BPF staff; and
??
Tight articulation among standards, BPS Essentials,
residency, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
37
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
First Ring Leadership Academy, Cleveland, Ohio
Partners
Program Initiated
Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
Cleveland State University,
13 First Ring Suburbs Consortium school districts, Ohio Department of Education, U.S. Department of Education, Local Foundation Support
2003
First Ring superintendents nominate participants with teaching credentials who are
employed in First Ring Schools and have demonstrated
leadership potential
(2004) 26(2003) 26
2004Gender: 62% femaleEthnicity: 70% White,
30% African American
Fifteen months that include 11 2.5-day modules and site-based practice in the interim between sessions.
Principal License2 CSU credits for each
2.5-day module
Cleveland,
Ohio,
is
surrounded
by
13
suburbs
known
as
the
?First Ring Suburbs,? each struggling with the same issues facing
large urban
core cities:
poverty,
transiency,
violence, underemployment,
and
achievement
gaps
aligned
along
racial
lines and
diversity. In
2002?03, the 13
school
districts
in this
First
Ring reported a 25 percent
turnover
in school principals.
This
crisis, along
with other negative trends, such as the detrimental
effects of high student mobility and
low overall test
scores,
inspired
the
creation
of
the
First
Ring
School
Superintendents?
Collaborative.
The
superintendents?
most
urgent
concern was a
shortage of
principals.
After exploring
several
options,
they
concluded
that
the
most
promising
solution
would
be
to
identify
principal
candidates
from
within
their
own
districts:
highly
skilled
teacher-leaders
who,
with
appropriate
training and support,
could
rise to the challenge of
leading the
change
and
innovation
necessary to
reverse the
effects of high student mobility and poverty, to utilize student
diversity as a resource, and to close the achievement gap.
In
2003,
districts
in
the
Collaborative
joined
forces
with
Cleveland
State
University?s
College
of
Education
to
create
the First Ring Leadership Academy as an accelerated route to
principal licensure and certification. The academy?s mission is
to
recruit, train,
and
retain
school
leaders
capable
of
meeting
challenges
unique
to First
Ring
school
districts, thereby
increasing
regional
capacity
for
educational
leadership
and
school reform. Its program is built around a belief system that
sees
the
principal
as
key
to
creating
school
environments
where all children are learning all of the time. The three driving
beliefs of
the academy
are that great
schools are
places
where
every
child
learns
and
achieves
at high
levels;
that it
takes a great principal to lead a great school and make things
happen;
and
that
the
most fundamental
work of
a
principal
is to
improve
instruction
and create
a learning environment
where each child is a high achiever.
Selection Process
Superintendents in the First Ring school districts identify and
nominate candidates to apply to the academy. Each is judged
to possess
?the
raw talent to become a high-quality leader.?
Once
nominated,
candidates
complete
a
formal
application
process
and
are
screened
for
admission
by
the
Acceptance
Committee,
which
includes
representative
superintendents
from the First Ring districts and members of Cleveland State
University?s
Education
Administration
faculty.
The
academy
accepts
candidates
by
cohort
group.
Each
cohort
of
26
includes
two
to
three candidates nominated by each of the 13
districts.
Participating
superintendents say
that
this
process
sends a
strong
message
throughout
their districts that there
is a
deep
internal capacity
among
staff to take on challenging
leadership
roles. In
some districts, staff
interest and capacity
is
great enough that superintendents have generated
candidate waiting lists. To be
admitted to
the academy, each
nominee must make a three-year
commitment to stay in the
First Ring Suburbs when joining the program.
A key part
of
the
application process is the requirement that
candidates
articulate
a
personal
theory
of
action
regarding
school
leadership.
The
selection
criteria
identify
candidates
with
a
strong
understanding
of
the
challenges
facing
First
Ring
schools and
a commitment
to accept those
challenges
and
transform low-performing
schools into
places where all
38
students can meet high standards. The screening panel includes
university faculty, First Ring district administrators,
funders, and academy staff.
Those who are ultimately chosen to participate in the program
have been deemed most likely to become strong instructional
leaders who can meet the needs of First Ring schools. Most
candidates have a master?s degree in education, and some
have a doctoral degree.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
A guiding theory of leadership informs all aspects of the program:
an effective leader is a change agent who guides a
school community toward improved instruction so that all
students achieve at high levels. As the executive director asserts,
?Excellent leaders stir the imagination so that others
can see a new way to do things. Excellent leaders communicate
a new model that inspires action.?
Candidates are released from teaching to participate in 11
two-and-a-half-day training modules over a 15-month
period. Each module emphasizes a different aspect of effective
school leadership, and taken together, their scope
and sequence lead to a developmental understanding of a
school principal?s core work: social justice; instructional improvement;
curriculum articulation; teacher supervision and
growth; communication; change theory; the use of technology
to improve instruction and meet student needs; school
oversight and management; parent and family involvement;
and community development. Most training sessions take
place on the Cleveland State University campus.
Academy candidates take on authentic site-based projects
in the interim between each module. Such projects include
supervising and coaching teachers, writing teacher performance
reviews, organizing a parent group to accomplish a
specific goal, and developing a site-specific teacher development
training. During each interim period, candidates receive
coaching and guidance from their districts? liaison. They also
spend time shadowing and observing the principal, recording
journal reflections on their observations, and participating in
routine management tasks.
While focusing on the core work of a school principal, the
coursework also includes time for discussing journal observations
and site-based projects in relation to the module
content. Cohort members point to these interweaving
discussions as their most enduring learning experiences.
They also state that building their cohort network during
these sessions extends their learning because they call on
one another for peer coaching and advice.
Participants generate a portfolio based on the projects and
tasks they complete so that they can subsequently share
their work with employers. The portfolio is also used for
assessing candidate achievement in the program. Candidates
are also required to create a Capstone Presentation
about a successful project and what they learned from it,
and then present it at an annual leadership conference
they are responsible for planning.
Academy staff facilitate ongoing cohort networking
activities in which candidates have opportunities to share
with and learn from one another beyond their initial
15-month program.
Key Success Factors
The First Ring Leadership Academy had received strong local
philanthropic support. Although the program is less expensive
than traditional pathways to certification, it does
have tuition fees, which go directly to the university. The
First Ring districts support the program by providing release
time to candidates.
To understand the impact of the program over time, First Ring
has instituted a long-term assessment plan. An independent
research organization will be evaluating the academy?s
content and structures in addition to establishing a control
group of non-participating, first-year principals. Essentially,
the assessment will determine whether or not the academy?s
non-traditional, standards-based program has created skilled
leaders for First Ring schools.
According to anecdotal evidence, the academy has already
added value in the districts. The executive director of the
academy reports that teachers in the First Ring schools are
39
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
now using different instructional models reflective of the
learning of academy graduates.
The First Ring Leadership Academy staff and faculty have
identified the following key factors as contributing to their
success so far:
?? The commitment to build authentic relationships with
all of the stakeholders;
?? The collaboration and support of the First Ring superintendents;
?? The vision of an excellent principal as a change agent
that focuses the curriculum and program experiences
for candidates;
?? The enduring belief that every child can achieve high
standards;
?? The recognition that an effective, knowledgeable instructional
leader understands the instructional process
that ensures that every child meets high standards;
?? The understanding that adult learners are most successful
when learning experiences are authentic and
relate to their actual work demands;
?? A well-designed, developmental curriculum that builds
and reinforces an understanding of the core work of
the principal; and
?? The use of portfolios as the means of assessing candidate
progress.
40
41
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
LAUNCH (Leadership Academy and Urban Network for Chicago),
Chicago, Ill.
Partners
Program
Initiated Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
Chicago Public Schools (CPS),
Chicago Principals & Administrators
Association, Chicago Public Education
Fund, Northwestern University
1998 Master?s degree; Illinois Type
75 Administrative Credential;
six years teaching experience;
previous leadership
(2004) 21 2003
Gender: 76% female
Ethnicity: 44% African
American, 28% Hispanic,
28% White
Twelve months that include:
4-week summer institute,
10 full-day professional
development classes;
5-day case study project;
2 (fall and spring) retreats;
yearlong full-time internship.
Illinois Administrators
Academy recertification
hours
Like many large urban school districts, Chicago Public
Schools (CPS) faces a shortage of well-qualified principals.
But the need for quality leadership is made even more pressing
by the district?s ambitious improvement plan, Every Child,
Every School. ?Our goal,? says CPS?s chief executive officer, is
?to make every Chicago public school a school of choice, and
by that I mean that it must be a school that families of every
income choose to attend, no matter what the obstacles or
challenges.? A core strategy for achieving that goal is to ensure
that an effective principal guides every school.
Begun in 1998, the Leadership Academy and Urban Network
for Chicago?s aspiring principals?LAUNCH*?is one of five
professional development programs created under the aegis
of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and
operating as part of the Chicago Leadership Academies for
Supporting Success (CLASS). CLASS seeks to develop leaders
who embody the knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, and
aspirations needed to pilot Chicago?s schools to increased
student achievement. Three of the programs provide professional
development for principals at a different point on the
experience continuum: aspiring, beginning, experienced. The
fourth helps principals and other CPS leaders meet legislated
requirements for professional development.
LAUNCH is guided by an executive director and a director?
both recognized as exemplary principals?who provide
direct, hands-on leadership for all program components:
marketing, recruiting, selection, program development, curriculum
design, follow-through with fellows, and assessment
and evaluation. Their vision, shared by CLASS and supported
by CPS, is having a highly qualified principal in every Chicago
public school ready to lead that school to high achievement
by continuously improving teaching and learning so that every
child realizes his or her educational potential.
Selection Process
Marketing and recruitment activities seek to draw strong assistant
principals, teacher-leaders and other promising individuals
who meet the requirements. LAUNCH asks current
principals and other administrators to nominate applicants
who have demonstrated leadership potential. In addition,
during its most recent recruitment campaign, LAUNCH sent
3,200 brochures to attract prospective applicants.
LAUNCH eligibility requirements include a master?s degree
in education, at least six years of experience as a teacher,
an Illinois Type 75 Administrative Certificate in Supervision
and Administration, and some prior leadership experience.
Beginning in November 2003, the program posted its online
application and requirements on the CLASS Web site. Applicants
must submit a completed application packet by the
date specified for a particular cohort.
* LAUNCH is one of three preparation programs chosen by CPS to
ready principals for district schools. The other two are the University
of Illinois at Chicago and New Leaders for New Schools, which
is also featured in this guide.
42
A careful screening process by program directors and mentor
principals seeks to identify the best possible candidates. The
process considers a range of factors: thoroughness of application;
coherence of ideas; recommendations for leadership
potential; self-awareness; passion for improving student
learning; and knowledge of leadership and school improvement
and of instructional improvement research and literature.
About 30 percent of applicants move forward to the
interview process.
LAUNCH staff invite selected candidates to participate in
panel interviews with three-person teams of experienced
principals, administrators and representatives from the
foundation community. Building on the application analyses,
these probing interviews focus on candidates? ability to
clearly state personal theory of leadership; self-awareness;
passion for improving student learning; understanding of
how to work through adults to achieve school improvement;
knowledge and ability to articulate instructional improvement
strategies; and ability to work as an effective team
member. Also considered is the coherence and articulateness
of candidates? verbal responses.
As a result of the 2004?05 application process, which began
in November 2003, 21 candidates were accepted for the program
out of an applicant pool of 175.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
LAUNCH fellows participate in a rigorous educational program
designed to accelerate, intensify, and deepen the
knowledge, skills, and experience of principal candidates. It
includes three integrated components: a Summer Leadership
Academy, a yearlong internship, and the Urban Network.
The Leadership Academy is a five-week intensive program
at the James L. Allen Center of the Kellogg Graduate
School of Management on the campus of Northwestern
University. Fellows benefit from the expertise of LAUNCH
staff, faculty from the Kellogg Center, and nationally recognized
researchers, authors, leaders, and educators from
across the country and Canada. (The Kellogg Center provides
its faculty and conference facilities to LAUNCH at no
cost.) Fellows spend their first and last weeks on campus
to develop a community of practice that will sustain their
collegial interdependence.
The academy curriculum is aligned to seven leadership pro-
ficiencies directly related to Chicago?s Educational Improvement
Plan, Every Child, Every School: school leadership;
parent involvement and community partnerships; creating a
student-centered learning climate; professional development
and human resource management; instructional leadership
(improving teaching and learning); school management and
daily operations; and interpersonal effectiveness.
Fellows assess themselves on these proficiencies, using a
rating system that includes Mastery, Competency, Learning,
and No Experience. Based on this self-assessment, they
create their own professional growth plan, which is used to
guide the apprenticeship experience and to assess progress
throughout participation in the program.
After completing the summer academy, LAUNCH fellows
begin a semester-long, full-time paid apprenticeship, working
with mentor principals recognized throughout CPS as
extraordinarily successful leaders. (Mentor principals, selected
through an application and screening process, attend
the Summer Leadership Academy and Mentor Seminars on
coaching and feedback.) During the apprenticeship, funded
by the district, each fellow completes both an elementary
and a secondary experience.
For each site experience, fellows and mentor principals complete
an apprenticeship contract that clearly delineates each
person?s responsibilities and roles. Fellows work to address
proficiencies identified in their self-assessment and they
maintain a portfolio that documents the planning and completion
of pertinent proficiencies. During the apprenticeship,
the group of fellows meets monthly for a full-day seminar
with the LAUNCH staff and other members of the summer
academy faculty.
Finally, the Urban Network provides ongoing professional
development, support, and networking opportunities for
LAUNCH fellows. The network is a dynamic and vibrant social
structure that sustains fellows? commitment to LAUNCH
43
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
goals, serving as a source of accurate information, expertise,
assistance, and collegial interactions. It brings together fellows
across all cohorts to participate in two-day seminar retreats
each quarter?two at the Kellogg Center and others in
similar conference settings. Fellows also participate in other
events, such as issues meetings, career forums, and reunion
dinners. The strength and liveliness of the Urban Network
distinguishes LAUNCH from other principal preparation programs
because it is a continuing source of professional support
throughout the careers of its graduates. It also publishes
an online newsletter that keeps fellows connected to one
another and provides them with information updates, meeting
schedules, and a resource directory.
Fellows graduate in June following their year-long apprenticeship,
and are then eligible to apply for school leadership
positions in Chicago schools. Fellows make a commitment to
stay with the Chicago Public Schools for four years following
their involvement in LAUNCH.
Success Factors
Over 188 individuals have completed the program, and of
those, 65 currently serve as principals, while 64 are assistant
principals. Because of the strong connection between LAUNCH
and CPS?s Every Child, Every School improvement strategy,
CPS continues to support the program financially. Since 1999,
CPS has invested over $4.8 million in LAUNCH. Other LAUNCH
funding partners have included the Chicago Public Education
Fund ($545,000 since 2000), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation, and Northwestern University.
LAUNCH aspires to develop transformational leaders capable
of turning ineffective schools into successful organizations
that work for all students. It has translated the
ISLLC standards into its own Principal Competencies, which
form the foundation of the program?s standards-based curriculum,
instruction, and assessment. The five standards
and 24 performance indicators represent the goals that
successful candidates will achieve. To facilitate candidates?
success, LAUNCH provides candidates with a self-assessment
tool they are expected to utilize throughout their
program experience. To support its use, LAUNCH has created
an assessment guide that lays out its five standards and
24 performance indicators in a page-by-page format. Each
page includes one of the five standards, its performance
indicators, a description of each indicator at the highest
performance level, a list of competency-based learning opportunities,
and a four-stage rubric that describes developmental
stages of competency, from rudimentary to transformative.
This document enables candidates to continuously
assess their progress, and it also provides a focus for coaching
and mentoring. Candidates use this feedback to develop
a professional growth plan, and then use that plan as a tool
for setting developmental goals. Candidates document their
work in a professional portfolio that is assessed by LAUNCH
staff members, coaches, mentors and others, using a rubric
that is well known to the candidates.
Several external evaluations have reported the progress and
outcomes of LAUNCH in relation to its goals. The Chicago Public
Education Fund supported several studies by the Consortium
of Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.
Early data suggest that LAUNCH principals perform at higher
levels of effectiveness than their counterparts, have a deeper
understanding of the school district?s improvement plan, and
are more effective in aligning their school improvements with
the district?s goals. Anecdotal data from district administrators
describe LAUNCH principals as being able to step into the
principalship and begin solving problems like a veteran.
The Broad Foundation selected LAUNCH as a showcase program
in its benchmarking study. Broad plans to hold a twoday
conference to highlight the findings of the study to allow
other districts to learn from the knowledge and experiences
of Chicago and then, with Broad support, accelerate the use
of that knowledge to increase gains in student achievement
by increasing the level and quality of school leadership.
One 1999?2000 fellow said she takes pride in being able to
identify herself as ?a LAUNCH leader? because the program?s
reputation is that it produces well-trained principals. She
stated that the best thing about the program is, ?Once you
finish, you?re not really finished. You always come back. As
a principal, I?m always [facing dilemmas] that have no clear
answers. If I have a problem or a question, I can call other
44
principals
from
my
cohort
and
w
e
pool
our
expertis
e
[to
resolve the issue].
?
LAUNCH
staff and participants
cite the following factors as
key to the success of the program:
??
A vision of a new model of school leadership focused
on instructional improvement and student learning;
??
A strongly held core belief that all children can and will
learn when the principals of their schools are effective,
knowledgeable instructional leaders;
??
An authentic, research-based, job-embedded curriculum;
??
Attention to adult learning conditions and personalized
professional development plans;
??
Alignment of the curriculum with state and local
leadership standards and performance indicators;
??
Consistent use of data and feedback to strengthen the
program;
??
Direct and frequent feedback to candidates from
faculty, field supervisors, and mentors; and
??
Tight articulation among standards, curriculum,
instruction, and assessment.
45
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
NJ EXCEL (New Jersey Expedited Certification for Educational
Leadership), Monroe Township, N.J.
Partners
Program Initiated
Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
N.J. Principal and Supervisors Association, Foundation for Education
Administration, N.J. State Action for Educational Leadership Project
(Wallace), N.J. Department of Education
2003
Master?s degree;
five years teaching experience;
requirements specific to
four different models
(2005) 100(2004) 109
(2003) 66
2004Gender: 76% female
Ethnicity: 83% White, 8% African American, 8% Hispanic, 1% Asian Am.
Twelve, 15, or 18 months that include: yearlong internship; instruction in summer, weeknights
and Saturdays?225 hours
(Model 1), 28
5 hours (Model 2),
35
0 hours (Model 3), 105 hours (Model 4 field-based internship).
Certificate of Eligibility for Principal (Models 1 and 2), Certificate for Supervisor and Principal (Model 3), Certificate for School Administrator (superintendent)
Model 4 (American Council on Education)
New Jersey Expedited Certification for Educational Leadership
(NJ
EXCEL) emerged
as a
response
to
the shortage of
highly
qualified principal applicants across the state.
Surveys of district
superintendents
conducted
by
the
New
Jersey
Department
of
Education (NJDOE)
in
February
2001 found that
70
percent
of
the
superintendents
reported
difficulty
in
filling
principal positions with qualified candidates. Not surprisingly,
shortages
were
more
acute
in
districts
with
many
low-performing
schools.
The
NJDOE survey
also
identified
a
serious
lack of diversity among the highly qualified candidates.
In
response
to
the
crises in number
and
quality
of principal
applicants, the New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association
(NJPSA) and its nonprofit Foundation for Educational Administration
(FEA) created
a
broad-based initiative of related
strategies
entitled
?The
3
Rs
for
School
Leadership:
Recruit,
Retain, and Revitalize.? NJ EXCEL, part of a continuum of programs
run by
the
FEA,
focuses
on
recruitment
and
preparation
of high-quality school leaders. However, before NJ EXCEL
could be initiated as an
alternative pathway to
certification,
some legislative barriers needed to be addressed.
In April 2001, NJPSA submitted a proposal to NJDOE requesting
revisions
in
the
New
Jersey
Administrative
Code
that
would
authorize
an
expedited alternative
to
the
traditional
university-based
master?s
degree
required
for
principal
certification,
allowing
entities other than
institutions of
higher
education to provide a principal certification program. NJDOE
approved the revisions in May 2002. The FEA then initiated the
first NJ EXCEL cohort in January 2003. The program?s mission
is to increase, diversify, and improve the caliber of the school
leader candidate pool in New Jersey by providing innovative,
high-quality
preparation
in
expedited
pathways to certification
for supervisor, principal, and school administrator.
Five core beliefs guide all of NJ EXCEL?s work:
??
All children can and must learn;
??
School leadership and the quality of teaching are
the two most critical factors in the improvement of
student learning, and they are inextricably linked;
??
Effective school leadership is the key to an individual
school?s success and to maximizing learning for all
students;
??
As the school?s instructional leader, it is the principal
who sets the tone, creates an environment that guides
and supports learning for all those in the school
community, and ultimately has the greatest impact on
student performance; and
??
It is the superintendent who sets the tone and direction
for the district and supports the schools in their
efforts to continuously improve teaching and learning
for all students.
Selection Process
Recruiting
participants
for
NJ
EXCEL
takes
place
in
several
ways.
The
most
productive
approach
is
through
word-of46
mouth by current and previous candidates. Colleague-tocolleague
marketing is attracting most new applicants.
NJ EXCEL also recruits through the publications of its parent
organization. A third recruitment approach now emerging
as a good source involves superintendents: They are identifying
teacher-leaders in their district and supporting their
participation in NJ EXCEL with tuition and release time for
coursework and internships. The program is developing additional
recruitment strategies to identify and attract applicants
from underrepresented groups.
Most NJ EXCEL participants self-select into the program;
however, a formal application and selection process ensures
that all candidates meet established criteria. Applicants
typically come from such positions as instructional supervisor
at a school or in a district office, high school deans and
counselors, and teachers. All participants hold a master?s degree
in education and some hold doctoral degrees.
The completed application packet must include copies of all
state certifications and graduate degrees, the applicant?s job
description, a current resume, and evidence of authorized
sponsorship and commitment from the applicant?s school
district. At a formal interview with NJ EXCEL staff, applicants
complete a writing sample and present a professional portfolio
or work samples that exemplify both their leadership
and supervisory practice and their knowledge of curriculum,
instruction, assessment, and learning. After the interview,
NJ EXCEL notifies successful applicants of their acceptance,
and they begin the program in appropriate cohorts.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
The goal of NJ EXCEL is to prepare eligible educators to meet
state requirements for New Jersey supervisor, principal, and
school administrator certification. Intended program outcomes
are that these candidates will demonstrate the knowledge, skills,
and dispositions required in the areas of visionary, instructional,
and community leadership, as well as strategic management.
To meet this goal, the program offers four models designed
to match the individual?s educational and professional experience
and to offer an expedited path to three areas of state
certification. The four models are:
Model #1: Certificate of Eligibility for Principal?designed for
practicing supervisors with five or more years of supervisory
experience (12 months; 225 instructional hours plus 60-hour
school-based internship);
Model #2: Certificate of Eligibility for Principal?designed
for classroom teachers and educational specialists holding
a supervisor certificate OR practicing supervisors with
zero to four years of supervisory experience (15 months;
90-hour school-based internship and guided inquiry into
supervisory practice);
Model #3: Supervisor Certificate and Certificate of Eligibility
for Principal?designed for classroom teachers and educational
specialists (18 months; 350 instructional hours and
30-hour supervisory internship, plus 90-hour school-based
internship); and
Model #4: Certificate of Eligibility for School Administrator
(Superintendent)?designed for individuals who have a
certificate of eligibility or standard certification for principal
(6?12 months plus 105-hour project-based districtlevel
internship).
NJ EXCEL?s program design, curriculum, and assessments are
aligned with the New Jersey Professional Standards for School
Leaders and national Technology Standards for School Administrators
(TSSA). These standards provide a framework for the
knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of effective school
leaders. The standards also establish NJ EXCEL?s expectations
for candidate performance in four interrelated areas of school
leadership: Visionary Leadership, Instructional Leadership,
Community Leadership, and Strategic Management.
Addressing each of the four areas, the program?s problembased
curriculum structures job-embedded and internship
projects that emphasize the action research process, datadriven
decision making, and technology-driven research
applications. Ten themes spiral through the entire program
curriculum: educational leaders as agents of change and
continuous improvement; legal and ethical behavior; systems
thinking; strategic planning and management; creating and
managing the learning community; using research, data, and
technology to improve schools and learning for all students;
47
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
accountability for high academic achievement for all students;
ongoing self-assessment, reflection, and professional
growth; systematic inquiry into leadership and instructional
practice; and application of research-based leadership and
instructional improvement strategies in authentic contexts.
All candidates participate in regional Inquiry Groups, which
meet regularly and also communicate online to discuss readings,
problem-based activities, and day-to-day challenges. In
addition, the members of each group support one another
with peer reviews and feedback related to action research and
school-based projects. Each Inquiry Group has an e-Mentor
who facilitates the group?s activities and serves as its primary
advisor. Cohort advisors, seminar instructors, internship mentors,
and field supervisors provide additional support related
to program requirements and individual candidate needs
through NJ EXCEL?s online learning community, which enables
candidates and faculty to easily interact with one another as
a collaborative learning community of practitioners.
The required field experiences build on candidates? prior experiences
and involve them in real tasks and problems that
district and school leaders encounter. Each candidate receives
at least one on-site visit by an NJ EXCEL field supervisor who
observes him or her in the performance of specific job-embedded
activities and provides feedback and additional support
through one-on-one conferencing. All candidates must also
participate in a supervised internship in a district or school
other than their own. Each candidate?s district must commit
to providing release time or equivalent time accommodation
in order for the candidate to participate in the internship.
Candidates? internships are guided by exemplary school and
district leaders?mentors selected and oriented by NJ EXCEL.
Key Success Factors
The NJ EXCEL program is financially self-sustaining as a result
of tuition fees. The costs for candidates is less than state university
tuition and, in most cases, candidates? school districts
are willing to pay all or some of their fees.
The success of the New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association
in mobilizing the state to revise the administrative
code to accommodate a new pathway to administrative
certification was the initial achievement that made NJ EXCEL
possible. In the two years since the first cohort of participants
began the program, NJ EXCEL has demonstrated great success
in attracting and preparing excellent school leaders.
Testimonials from participants, past and present, also speak
to its impact. Many report that the culture of the program
builds their confidence and commitment. In fact, many participants
do not want the program to end, even after they
earn certification. ?This program has changed my life,? says
one. ?I?m much more passionate about student learning.? For
another, the program ?removed the barriers I felt to becoming
a principal. Because of the program, I can be the kind of
instructional leader I want to be.? Anecdotal evidence also
suggest that candidates? action research projects have had
an impact on improving student achievement scores. In fact,
in one case a candidate?s project resulted in student scores
increasing by 30 percent.
The NJ EXCEL staff and participants identify the following
factors as contributors to the success of the program:
?? The vision of a new model of school leadership focused
on instructional improvement and student learning;
?? A strongly held core belief that all children can and will
learn when the principals of their schools are effective
and knowledgeable instructional leaders;
?? An authentic, research-based, job-embedded curriculum;
?? Attention to adult learning conditions and personalized
professional development plans;
?? Alignment of the curriculum with state and national
leadership standards and performance indicators;
?? The consistent use of data and feedback to strengthen
the program;
?? The direct and frequent feedback to candidates from
faculty, field supervisors, and mentors; and
?? The tight articulation among standards, curriculum,
instruction, and assessment.
48
49
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
New Leaders for New Schools,
New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Memphis,
and San Francisco Bay Area
Partners
Program Initiated
Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
School Districts: Chicago, Memphis,
New York City, San Francisco
Bay Area (Aspire charter school
program), Washington D.C.; Broad
Foundation; New Schools Venture
Fund; Boeing; New Profit
2000
Bachelor?s degree; five years
professional experience;
two years k?12 teaching
experience; demonstrated
leadership
(2005) 90
(2004) 56(2003) 52(2002) 31(2001) 13
2004Gender: 60% female
Ethnicit
y: 6
0% African American, 30% White, 7% Hispanic, 3% Asian Am.
Three years that include: 5?6 week summer intensive; yearlong, full-time residency;
4?5 day sessions during residency;
2 years of coaching and support following placement.
Principal certification (partner with local universities to ensure
credentialing)
New Leaders
for
New Schools
is
a national, New
York
Citybased
nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster high
academic achievement
for
every child
by
recruiting and
developing
the
next generation of
outstanding leaders for the
nation?s urban public schools. It has already established successful
partnerships with public
school systems
and charter
schools
in
New York
City,
Washington, D.C., Chicago,
Memphis,
and the
San Francisco Bay
Area,
and
plans call for expansion
to additional urban areas each year.
New Leaders
is the brainchild
of three passionate co-founders:
a
former
education
policy
advisor
for
the
Clinton
administration,
an
education
reform
advocate
specializing
in
charter
schools,
and
a
former
management
consultant.
In
early 2000, New Leaders became the first nonprofit to win an
award in
the
Harvard
Business School?s annual
business plan
contest.
Funding
offers
followed,
and
in
June
New
Leaders
began operation.
Five core
beliefs
undergird and
drive
every
aspect of its work:
??
Every child can reach high levels of academic excellence,
regardless of background;
??
Adults are accountable for building and maintaining
systems to ensure that all children excel academically.
Adults can and must do more to unlock the potential
of each and every student;
??
Delivering high-quality public education to all children
is a cornerstone of our democracy, economy, and
society, and it is critical to sustaining a just society
that affords every child the full range of opportunities
in life;
??
Great principals lead great schools, coaching and
inspiring teachers to reach and teach every child and
collaborating with students? parents, families, and
communities to make schools work; and
??
With access to outstanding public schools, all children
will develop the competence, critical thinking, and
social and civic skills to reach their highest potential in
the classroom and in life.
Selection Process
New
Leaders
aggressively
recruits
nationwide,
seeking
extremely
talented people
to become urban school
principals.
Recruitment
for
its
2004
candidates
began
in
September
2003
with
a
campaign
that
included
an
executive-searchstyle
approach
of
creating
local
and
national
nominator
networks
that
extended
to
17
education
and
professional
conferences
across
the
country.
Many
of
its
presentations
were
targeted
to attract
individuals
outside
the
traditional
education?based candidate
pool. New Leaders received over
2,600
applications
for
its
first
150
fellowships,
representing
a selection rate
of 6 percent. Many applicants were also
50
attracted to New Leaders from Teach for America and The
New Teacher Project pools.
A three-phase system is used to screen and select candidates
based on nine selection criteria describing the qualities, values,
and beliefs New Leaders seeks in its candidates. These
criteria (along with descriptive indicators) are posted on the
New Leaders Web site so potential applicants can assess their
own readiness for the program:
?? An unyielding belief in the potential of all children to
excel academically;
?? Persistence and determination;
?? Problem-solving skills;
?? Project management skills to deliver results;
?? Knowledge of teaching and learning;
?? Self-awareness and commitment to ongoing learning;
?? Excellent communication and listening skills;
?? The ability to build successful relationships; and
?? The ability to collaborate and build teams.
The first of four application steps is the online completion
and submission of a substantive 14-page questionnaire
designed to capture an applicant?s capacity on five
of the selection criteria. (The remaining four criteria are
assessed in following steps.) For example, one questionnaire
item requires applicants to demonstrate a record of
formal or informal leadership in bringing together diverse
groups of adults to accomplish a common mission. Applicants
must also have a bachelor?s degree (or preferably a
master?s degree) and a minimum of five years of professional
management or leadership experience in organizations
such as nonprofits, military service, social services,
and higher education and at least two years as a teacher.
Approximately 50 percent of the applicants are screened
out by the questionnaire.
Those who make it through this first screening then participate
in an hour-and-a-half interview, which gives candidates
an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss their
interests in becoming urban school principals. At this stage,
each candidate is also asked to write a 15-minute analysis of
a case study. Approximately 50 percent of those interviewed
successfully make it through this stage.
Successful first-round applicants are invited to participate in
the final phase of the selection process?a full-day interview
session. Activities during this phase include a written assignment,
one-on-one interviews, case studies, role-playing, and
a presentation. Candidates have the opportunity to experience
a day in the life of a principal. Throughout the interview
process evaluators use a comprehensive set of rubrics that are
aligned with the selection criteria to rate applicants. Those
who advance to this phase must bring to the interview their
official transcripts, teaching certificate(s), at least one formal
letter of reference from a supervisor, and a brief essay stating
preferences for a mentor principal and school.
For the 2004 program, 56 candidates were admitted out of an
initial pool of 1,100 applicants. New Leaders staff members
assert that this acceptance rate of less than 6 percent demonstrates
the rigorous and demanding design of the selection
process and the aptness of the nine selection criteria. Over
the last four years, New Leaders received over 2,600 applications
for its first 150 fellowships.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
New Leaders? program includes five years of support, a sixweek
intensive leadership training summer institute, a yearlong,
full-time residency with a mentor principal, on-site
coaching, and working directly with a leadership coach?an
outstanding veteran of an urban school principalship. New
Leaders? curriculum content is closely aligned with the organization?s
core beliefs, selection criteria, theory of educational
leadership, and the New Leaders Principal Leadership
Competencies. These 12 essential competencies reflect research
on the practices of urban school principals who have
successfully turned around low-performing schools. To complete
the program, candidates must demonstrate proficiency
in all 12 competencies.
51
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
The program begins with a six-week Foundations Institute
at the Wharton School of Management at the University
of Pennsylvania. During this stage candidates attend university-
level courses taught by outstanding principals, national
education and leadership experts, and New Leaders
staff. Courses focus on skill development in instructional
and transformational leadership. This summer institute also
helps to build a national community of peers focused on
common goals.
Following the six-week summer institute, candidates are
placed with carefully selected mentor principals at schools
within partner districts for a full-time residency that spans
the length of the school year. During this residency, candidates
are expected to have direct responsibility for improving
student achievement and teacher development and coaching.
They also attend weekly seminars for ongoing professional
development and peer support in their local districts, and
they receive bimonthly visits from their leadership coaches.
New Leaders coaches and field support staff lead the seminars
and use participants? authentic experiences as a concrete
basis for discussing school leadership theory. Because state
certification requirements vary (e.g., some states have minimal
requirements for teaching credentials while others have
complex, multi-step requirements), New Leaders also creates
opportunities for candidates to earn full state certification
with a local university partner.
During the residency there are also four five-day Foundation
Seminars, continuing the transformational and instructional
leadership concentrations that began during the summer
Foundations Institute. Held in program cities and attended
by all residents, these seminars provide an opportunity for
the national community to reconvene, share experiences, and
provide peer support.
During the residency, candidates receive mentoring from a
leadership coach, recruited from a pool of principals who
have retired after successful careers leading excellent urban
schools. New Leaders has developed a coaching-skills curriculum,
and it brings the national cadre of coaches together
for training four times a year. The coaches also participate
in both the summer Foundations Institute and the four
Foundations Seminars throughout the year. Coaches visit
each resident and mentor principal at the residency site at
least once a week to help structure the resident?s working
relationship and leadership responsibilities with the mentor
principal. They also help residents define a personal leadership
development plan and construct a professional portfolio
of their accomplishments during the residency, and they
serve as the faculty of record for residents? coursework and
assignments. Coaches are also responsible for conducting
formal assessments of residents? progress to evaluate each
resident?s readiness for the principalship.
All candidates are required to make a long-term commitment
to the partner school district in which they are placed.
In addition to completing their paid residency, they commit
to spending a minimum of three years as a principal or an
assistant principal in the district. Each successful new leader
receives job-seeking support. They also receive at least two
years of coaching and mentoring during their first principalship,
along with opportunities for collaboration and problem
solving with other new leaders.
Key Success Factors
New Leaders for New Schools has generated significant
support from a wide variety of partners, including strategic
consulting firm Kirkland and Ellis. Active funders of the New
Leaders preparation program include several of the nation?s
leading venture philanthropists, such as the Boston-based
New Profit, Inc., the Silicon Valley-based New Schools Venture
Fund, and the Los Angeles-based Broad Foundation.
New Leaders? core philosophy and theory of action emphasize
the use of data analysis as a means of determining personal,
professional, organizational, and program effectiveness. Because
the program is still relatively new, extensive success
data is not yet available. However, program staff have been
tracking placement rates since the beginning and that rate
for successful residents is 95 percent, including 60 percent as
principals and 35 percent as assistant principals. Close to 100
?new leaders? have emerged from the program and are now
serving in urban schools around the country.
52
The New Leaders staff identify the following factors as important
to program success:
??
A commitment of the founders and staff to the
program?s vision, mission, and theory of action about
ensuring that urban schools are environments in which
all children achieve at high levels;
??
A coherence between core beliefs, vision, mission,
selection criteria, and principal competencies that provides
a scaffold for everything the organization does;
??
Rigorous application, screening, selection, and
admission processes;
??
Alignment of the curriculum with the selection criteria
and principal leadership competencies;
??
A culture of honesty, transparency, and feedback;
??
A consistent use of data and feedback to strengthen
the program;
??
Direct and frequent support, feedback, and expertise
from leadership coaches;
??
The continuing leadership and ability of the national
team to secure funding, streamline organizational
operations, and monitor program coherence and
quality; and
??
Partnerships across the public and private sectors in
each city?including the school district, corporations,
foundations, and government.
53
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
Principals Excellence Program, Pike County, Ky.
Partners
Program Initiated
Admission Requirements
No. of
Participants
Participant
Demographics
Length of
Instructional Program
Certification,
Credits Earned
Universit
y of Kentucky, Ky. Department
of Education, Ky. Association
of School Administrators, AEL,
U.S. Department of Education
2002
Holds or is eligible to hold principal certification
(2004) 15(2003) 15
2004Gender: 33% femaleEthnicit
y: 100% White
Twelve months that include: one day each week over academic year; one-week summer intensive.
18-21 U
KY credits toward
Level II Principal or
Supervisor of Instruction certification
The
Principals
Excellence
Program
(PEP)
is
a partnership
between
the University of Kentucky and eastern Kentucky?s rural
Pike
County
School
District,
in
cooperation
with
Morehead
State
University,
which
historically
has
trained
most
of
the
district?s
teachers
and
administrators.
The
program
aims
to
enhance the leadership skills of practicing and aspiring principals
in high-need Appalachian schools. Its overarching goal is
to develop and refine a model for improved
school leadership
that ensures
learning
for
rural school students considered
at
risk of academic failure. Its specific objectives are to:
1.
Create a new generation of skilled instructional leaders
and nurture a culture of learning that influences
recruitment, preparation, and selection of future
school leaders;
2.
Institutionalize a grow-your-own strategy for empowering
instructional leaders throughout the local community
and within the school community of students
and parents; and
3.
Model and evaluate a program of preparation, professional
development, and reculturation of school
leadership to ensure learning for struggling students,
utilizing a partnership among the local high-need
rural school district, the state?s larger land-grant
university, and the regional public university that
provides preservice preparation.
The
PEP
program
consists
of
an
interconnected
series
of
seminar-workshops,
field-based
experiences,
and
structured
reflections
aimed
at
developing
a
professional
community
of principals
who are able and
willing
to be
change
agents?
reflective
practitioners
committed
to
lifelong
learning
and
the use of data to drive decision-making. As a critical part of
this advanced
leadership development
program, participants
engage
each
semester
in
a
field-based
practicum
intended
to support
situated learning under the guidance of carefully
selected mentor principals and to develop participants? ability
to conduct collaborative action research.
Selection Process
PEP?s recruitment
and selection processes are
aimed at finding
the best possible leadership candidates. PEP
requires that
each
candidate
be
nominated
by
an
administrator
or other
staff
member
who
perceives
the
candidate?s
leadership potential.
Participants must be practicing principals,
classroom
teachers,
or
other
education
personnel
who
qualify
to
receive
provisional
administrator
certification
and
who
sign
an
agreement
to complete the
training and seek
a
position
as
a
school
leader.
Recruitment
guidelines
identify
specific
characteristics needed by Pike County school leaders who will
effectively serve children and youth considered at risk of academic
problems. The candidate must:
??
Understand Kentucky?s Learning Goals;
??
Believe that all children can learn at high levels;
??
Have a thorough knowledge of curriculum
and assessment;
??
Demonstrate instructional leadership within his or her
school community;
??
Show evidence of being a master teacher;
??
Work well as a team member;
??
Show evidence of being a lifelong learner; and
??
Understand the teaching and learning process.
54
PEP initially set out to identify and recruit from Pike County
and other regional school districts two 15-member cohorts
of practicing and aspiring school leaders for advanced leadership
development. Candidates had been identified by Pike
County district leaders as having the potential to become
effective principals or assistant principals in the district?s
schools. While large geographically, Pike County has a small
population, with most people living in little pocket communities.
As a result, district administrators tend to know teachers
and principals very well. This familiarity enables them to select
good candidates. The first PEP cohort (January-December
2003) of 15 participants included eight practicing principals
or assistant principals and seven aspiring principals who held
administrator certification but currently served as classroom
teachers, curriculum coordinators, deans or media specialists.
The second PEP cohort (January-December 2004) included
nine administrators and six teachers.
Program Design and Practical
Learning Experiences
PEP is a practical, field-based, job-embedded leadership
development program guided by leadership educators from
the University of Kentucky and leadership practitioners
from Pike County that is delivered through a closed cohort
model. This cohort structure?a uniquely defined community
of learners that remains intact throughout the entire
program?is considered a key program element. Early and
ongoing community-building strategies ensure the creation
and maintenance of a risk-free learning environment within
the cohort. PEP integrates multiple learning opportunities
geared toward exposing participants to various situations
and venues where diverse leadership skills can be developed.
PEP includes: (a) biweekly full-day seminar-workshops;
(b) biweekly clinical practicum during spring semester guided
by elementary principal mentors; (c) biweekly clinical
practicum during fall semester guided by secondary principal
mentors; (d) ongoing Web-based activities; and (e) a
summer institute involving all school administrators in the
partnering district.
During the spring, PEP cohort members engage in a coordinated
series of biweekly advanced educational leadership
seminars and school-site action research activities. The
seminars, delivered by University of Kentucky faculty in the
Department of Administration and Supervision, focus on visionary
and collaborative leadership practices. During alternative
weeks, PEP participants work with mentor principals
in selected elementary schools in Pike County, conducting
action research to identify strategies to improve student
learning.
During the summer, PEP cohort members join all Pike County
school administrators for an intensive, weeklong leadership
academy. For the program?s first summer, a leadership consultant
from the Kentucky Association of School Administrators
Leadership Academy guided Pike County administrators
in a review of the district?s P-12 curriculum and intensive
action planning to meet targeted student achievement goals
in mathematics and science. That fall, the biweekly advanced
leadership seminars with university faculty focused on instructional
and ethical leadership practices. Action research was
conducted in three secondary schools within Pike County.
The second cohort began the program in January 2004 and
will continue through December 2004, following the same
general pattern as the first, but in a more streamlined version
that was developed based on feedback and program assessment.
Nearby Johnson County became a partner for the
second PEP cohort.
Pike County School District has developed and implemented
a comprehensive model of administrator evaluation using the
ISLLC standards performance indicators as the framework.
Thus, to align with the district?s administrator performance
framework, the PEP curriculum is structured on the four central
and recurring themes within the ISLLC standards:
?? A vision for success;
?? A focus on teaching and learning;
?? An involvement of all stakeholders; and
?? A demonstration of ethical behavior.
Both formal and informal data inform and drive the actions
of PEP?s instructional and leadership teams. Focus group
interviews involving Cohort A members were conducted in
55
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
March 2003 and October 2003. Additional focus group interviews
for Cohort A were scheduled for fall 2004. An evaluation
survey was administered at the close of the first training
module and at the beginning of the third module; another
post-survey was administered at the close of Cohort A in December
2003. Formal data collection for Cohort B is proceeding
in the same way.
Success Factors
Although PEP formally began in January 2003, its impact
on the community of administrative practice was becoming
noticeable during the summer institute held in Pikeville during
June 2003. Pike County district leadership team members
who observed the summer institute noted marked differences
in interactions among district administrators: The group appeared
to be a more supportive, collaborative community
of practice. One participant-observer noted participants?
increased displays of confidence and competence as educational
leaders. According to the project director, practicing
principals involved in PEP say, ?they continue to learn more
about the practice of educational administration through the
PEP network?despite their breadth and depth of experiences
as principals.?
PEP receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education?s
School Leadership Development Program through
September 2005 that allows for a formal program evaluation.
Pike County School District hopes to be able to continue the
program internally using district administrators as instructors.
Reflecting on the progress and successes of the program,
University of Kentucky faculty, Pike County School District
administrators, and PEP participants identified the following
contributing factors:
?? The collaborative partnership and shared vision
between the Pike County School District?especially the
superintendent?and the University of Kentucky faculty;
?? Seed funding to support start-up costs;
?? Shared responsibility between the university and the
district for developing curriculum, monitoring PEP
candidates? progress, and planning for the logistical
implementation of PEP sessions;
?? The integration of the curriculum with authentic tasks
and reality-based examples from PEP participants?
experiences;
?? The ongoing assessment of cohort progress to ensure
that program components were logically interconnected
and delivered at relevant times to provide program
coherence;
?? The strong commitment of university faculty and
district leadership to ?get the job done? and then
celebrate publicly to acknowledge accomplishments;
and
?? The consistent in-district monitoring of PEP activities
by the district?s director of curriculum and
instruction and a leadership consultant who also
provides on-site coaching support for new principals.
56
Boston Principal Fellowship
School Leadership Institute
Boston Public Schools
26 Court Street
Boston, MA 02108
http://www.bostonsli.org/
Rachel Curtis
Executive Director
First Ring Leadership Academy
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, KB 1508
Cleveland, OH 44115
http://www.csuohio.edu/coe/
Overview/academic_Departments/
CASAL/firstRingLeadership.html
Deborah Morin
Executive Director
LAUNCH (Leadership Academy
and Urban Network for Chicago)
Chicago Principals and
Administrators Association (CPAA)
221 North La Salle Street, Ste. 1550
Chicago, IL 60601
http://www.cpaa.cps.k12.il.us
Faye Terrell-Perkins
Executive Director
NJ EXCEL (New Jersey
Expedited Certification for
Educational Leadership)
Foundation for Educational
Administration
New Jersey Principals and
Supervisors Association
12 Centre Drive
Monroe Township, NJ 08831
http://www.njexcel.org/
Eloise Forster
Executive Director
New Leaders for New Schools
30 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10010
http://www.nlns.org/
Jonathan Schnur
Chief Executive Officer
Matt Evans
Chief Information Officer
Principals Excellence Program
Pike County Schools and University
of Kentucky
EDA 111 Dickey Hall
Lexington, KY 40506
http://www.uky.edu
Tricia Browne-Ferrigno
PEP Project Director
WestEd
730 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
http://www.wested.org/
Glen Harvey
Chief Executive Officer
Nikola Filby
Associate Director,
Regional Laboratory Program
Edvance
11044 Research Boulevard, Ste. B300
Austin, TX 78759
http://www.edvance.org/
Dean Nafziger
Chief Executive Officer
Kristin Arnold
Project Director
Acknowledgments
The development of this guide was initiated and directed by
Nina S. Rees, assistant deputy secretary in the Office of Innovation
and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education.
Sharon Horn was project director.
An external advisory panel provided feedback to refine the
study scope and prioritize issues to investigate. Members included
Dick Flanary, National Association of Secondary School
Administrators; Libia Gil, New American Schools; Betty Hale,
Institute for Educational Leadership; Frederick Hess, American
Enterprise Institute; Lynn Liao, Broad Foundation; Kent Peterson,
University of Wisconsin at Madison; Terry Ryan, Fordham
Institute; and Jon Schnur, New Leaders for New Schools.
Staff in the Department of Education who provided input and
reviewed drafts include Susan Sclafani, Tom Corwin, Michael
Petrilli, Meredith Miller, Phil Rosenfelt, John Gibbons, Jeff
Sims, Pat Gore, Peggy Zelinko, and Jacquelyn Zimmermann.
This guide was written, designed, and based on a report by
WestEd.
WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service
agency committed to improving learning at all stages of life,
both in school and out. WestEd has offices across the United
States and also serves as one of the nation?s 10 regional educational
laboratories.
WestEd?s partner in developing this series of research reports
and innovation guides is Edvance. Created by the American
Productivity and Quality Center, Edvance is a resource
for process and performance improvement with a focus on
benchmarking, knowledge management, performance measurement,
and quality improvement initiatives in education.
The six programs cooperating in the development of this
guide and the report from which it is drawn were generous
with both their time and attention to the project. We would
like to thank all those who were instrumental in coordinating
and participating in the site visits that inform the report and
this guide.
57
Innovations in Education: Innovative Pathways to School Leadership
The research design and methodology for this project is an adaptation of the four-phase benchmarking
process used by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), along with general case
study processes. This guide is based on a longer and more detailed report that includes individual case
studies of each of the six study sites and a cross-site analysis of key generalizable findings. While classic
benchmarking looks for best or promising practices using quantitative measures and comparisons
among organizations, most of the innovative programs in this study are too new to fully support this
methodology. A brief overview of this project?s adapted methodology follows.
Appendix A:
Research Methodology
Develop Conceptual Framework
A study scope or conceptual framework was developed
from an analysis of research and descriptive information
about school leadership preparation, including alternative
route programs. Experts in leadership development
and alternative route approaches were recruited to serve
on an external advisory panel that provided feedback to
refine the framework and prioritize issues to investigate.
The resulting study scope and guiding questions directed
all aspects of the study (see figure 2 on page 7).
Site selection was a multistep process to ensure that the
guide would feature an array of practices reflected in
the elements of the study scope and would represent a
variety of geographic locations and contexts with which
district administrators, university faculty members, and
other key stakeholders could identify. Initially, 60 potential
sites were identified based on public documents,
marketing materials, reports, and program Web sites using
online search descriptors such as alternative leadership
preparation, alternative principal certification, alternative
licensure for school administrators, expedited
certification, and accelerated certification.
A screening process filtered the list to 18 sites. These
second-round sites were selected based on four criteria:
candidates are recruited into the program based on
demonstrated leadership experience; the program offers
an accelerated route to certification; the program
is currently accepting candidates; and the program has
evidence of promising practices in the 24 areas of the
study scope, such as screening candidates using stated
criteria, tailored, field-based programming, and strong
mentor support.
The 18 sites were then screened using a weighted criteria
matrix based on the study scope (figure 2). The screen58
ing
process
was
conducted
through
targeted
phone
interviews
with
program staff and
thorough
reviews
of
program
materials
including:
recruiting
and
application
procedures;
selection
criteria
and
screening
process;
curriculum scope and sequence; instructional
manuals;
residency
experience;
coaching;
mentoring;
participant
evaluation
and
support;
follow-through
support;
and
program
evaluation
information.
The
selected
six
sites
scored
between
24
and
20
on
a
scale
of
24
possible
points and were
ranked based
on their weighted scores.
In addition, they represented a range of geographic locations,
contextual conditions, and types of programming.
Collect Dat
a
Collecting
detailed
descriptive
information
from
program
staff,
partners, funders,
participants, and
district
leaders was key to understanding each program?s practices,
the
outcome
or
impact
each
achieved,
and
the
lessons
learned
from
which
others
could
benefit.
The
major
steps
to
this
phase
involved
finalizing
the
site
visit interview guide based on the
study scope and arranging
and conducting site visits to the programs.
Each of the six sites hosted a two-day visit that included
interviews with administrators, program participants, and
partners, as well as observation of events when scheduling
permitted. During the site visits, these key personnel
and stakeholders were asked questions from the site visit
discussion
guide
tailored
to
their
particular
role group.
In addition, artifacts from the sites, such as applications,
planning tools, interview protocols, curriculum materials,
and participant work were collected to provide concrete
examples of program
practices. The
study team collated
the information collected
during
the site visits
and
developed
a case study for each site.
Analyze and Report
Once
all
the
data
were
collected,
the
project
team
analyzed
them
to
understand
the
promising
practices
uncovered throughout the benchmarking project, both
within and across programs.
Two
products
resulted
from
this
research:
a
report
of
findings
and
this
practitioner?s
guide.
The
report
provides
a
more
detailed
analysis
of
key
findings
across
sites, a detailed case
study of each
site,
a
collection of
artifacts, and key project documents. The practitioner?s
guide
is
a
summary
of
the
report
intended
for
broad
distribution.
Adapt
This
guide
offers descriptive
examples of
new
ways to
prepare
school leaders for the challenging work awaiting
them. Ultimately, readers of this
guide will need to
select, adapt, and implement
practices that meet their
individual needs and contexts. The guide will be broadly
distributed
around
the
country
through
presentations
at national and regional conferences, as well as through
national
associations
and
networks.
The
guide
is
also
accessible
online
at
http://www.ed.gov/admins/recruit/
prepare/alternative/index.html.
59
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
Appendix B:
Resources
The Broad
Foundation
works
to
improve
k-12 urban
public
education
through
better governance,
management,
and
labor
relations.
The
foundation?s
goals
are
to
train
a
broad,
deep
bench
of
current
and
aspiring
leaders
in
education;
to
redefine
the
traditional
roles,
practices,
and policies of school
board members, superintendents,
principals, and labor union leaders to better
address
contemporary
challenges
in
education;
to
attract
and retain the highest quality talent to leadership
roles
in
education;
to
equip
school
systems
and
their
leaders
with
modern
tools
for
effective
management;
to provide tangible incentives for educators
to advance
academic
performance;
and
to
honor
and
showcase
success wherever it occurs in urban education.
http://www.broadfoundation.org/
The
Thomas
B.
Fordham
Foundation,
based
in
Washington, D.C., supports
research,
publications, and
action
projects
of
national
significance
in elementary
and secondary education reform,
as well as significant
education
reform projects. In May
2003,
the
institute,
along
with
the
Broad
Foundation,
published
Better
Leaders for America?s Schools: A Manifesto. The
document
contends
that
American
public
education
faces
a ?crisis
in
leadership?
that cannot
be
alleviated
from
traditional sources of school principals and superintendents.
Its signers do not believe
this crisis
can be fixed
by
conventional
strategies
for
preparing,
certifying,
and
employing
education
leaders.
Instead,
they
urge
that
first-rate leaders be sought
outside
the education
field, earn salaries on par with their peers in other professions,
and
gain new
authority over
school staffing,
operations, and budgets.
http://www.edexcellence.net/foundation/
The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) seeks
to
improve
education?and
the
lives
of
children
and
their
families?through
positive
and
visionary
change.
Through its School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative,
IEL has published several informative reports on
the
state of
school
leadership and the need for
highly
qualified
leaders
in
America?s
public
schools.
The
task
force
report
Leadership
for
Student
Learning:
Reinventing
the Principalship (October 2000) suggests that
the core mission of the principalship must be redefined
as
leadership
for
student
learning.
To
?reinvent
the
principalship?
for
21st
century
schools,
communities
must fill the pipeline with effective school leaders, support
the profession, and guarantee quality
and results.
Guidelines
and
suggested
questions
are
included
for
those
who
wish
to
start
conversations on
reinventing
the
principalship
in their
communities by
bringing
together
diverse constituencies
and
empowering
leaders
with knowledge and applicable ideas.
http://www.iel.org/
The organizations listed below are provided as examples of resources that may be helpful to the reader. Their inclusion
should not imply an endorsement by the Department. There also may be many other useful resources on this topic.
60
The
National
Center
for
Education
Information
(NCEI)
is
a
private,
nonpartisan
research
organization
in
Washington,
D.C.,
specializing
in
survey
research
and
data
analysis.
NCEI
is
the
authoritative
source
of
information about alternative preparation and certification
of teachers and school administrators. The Web site
provides easy access to detailed information about policies
and alternative certification routes in each state.
http://www.ncei.com/
The
Haberman
Educational
Foundation,
Inc. promotes
research-based
models
for
identifying
teachers
and
principals?particularly
educators
who
serve
students
at
risk
and in
poverty. The
Foundation?s ?Star
Online
Administrator
Questionnaire?
and
?Online
Pre-
Screener? identify candidates who are likely to succeed
in alternative administrative certification programs.
http://www.habermanfoundation.org/
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of
public
officials
who
head
departments
of
elementary
and
secondary
education in the states,
the
District of
Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity,
and five
U.S.
extra-state
jurisdictions.
CCSSO
provides
leadership, advocacy,
and
technical assistance on
major
educational
issues.
In
its
publication The
Interstate
School
Leaders
Licensure Consortium: Standards
For
School
Leaders
(1996),
the
ISLLC
standards
present
a
common
core
of
knowledge,
dispositions,
and
performances that link leadership to productive schools
and
enhanced
education
outcomes.
The
ISLLC
standards
have
been
used as a foundational source for the
six programs in this guide.
http://www.ccsso.org/
The
Education
Commission
of
the
States
(ECS)
is
a
nonprofit
organization
that
provides
information
to state education policy leaders on
many critical
education
issues. The
ECS
Web site
offers data
about
what
states are
doing
regarding
alternative
licensure
and
certification
of
principals
and
superintendents.
Recent
publications
include:
Licensure/Certification:
What
States
Are
Doing?Administrator
License
Requirements,
Portability,
Waivers
and
Alternative
Certification,
which
contains
information
on
license
requirements, portability,
waivers, and alternative certification
for administrators and allows
for comparing
across states
(April 2004),
and
Certification
of
Principals
and Superintendents in the U.S., 2003, which provides
information on school administrator certification
requirements
for
each
state.
This
document
provides
state-by-state
information on regular
path and
alternate
path certification requirements for school administrator
certification.
http://www.ecs.org/
61
Innovations
in
E
d
u
cation:
Innovative Pathway
s to
S
chool Leader
ship
Notes
1
Elaine
McEwan
summarizes 20
years
of
research
on
effective schools and discusses her analysis in The traits
of highly effective principals: From good
to great
performance
(Corwin Press, 2003).
2
Murphy,
J.
and
Louis,
K.
S.
(1999).
Handbook
of
research
on
educational
administration.
San
Francisco:
Jossey-Bass;
Smith,
W.
F.
and
Andrews,
R.
L.
(1989).
Instructional
leadership:
How
principals
make
a
difference.
Alexandria,
Va.:
Association
for
Supervision
and
Curriculum
Development;
Glickman,
C.
D.
(2002).
Leadership for learning: How to help teachers succeed.
Alexandria,
Va.:
Association
for
Supervision
and
Curriculum
Development; and Elmore, R. J. (2000). Building
a
new
structure
for
school
leadership.
New
York: The
Albert Shanker Institute.
3
Newmann, F.
M., Smith, B.,
Allensworth, E.,
and Bryk,
A.
S.
(2001).
School
instructional
program
coherence:
Benefits and
challenges. Chicago:
Consortium on
Chicago
School Research.
4 For
a
perspective on the
school community environment
as a positive force for
school
reform, see
Fullan,
M. (1993). Change forces: Probing the depths of educational
reform. London: The Falmer Press, pp. 84?103.
5
Feistritzer,
E.
(January
2003).
School
administrator
certification
in
the
United
States,
2002.
Washington,
D.C.: National Center for Education Information.
6
The
11
states
reporting
that
they
have
approved
innovative
pathways
to
administrative
certification
include
California
(new
legislation),
Idaho,
Kentucky,
Maryland (intended for people already in the education
system),
Massachusetts,
Minnesota,
Mississippi,
New
Hampshire,
Ohio
(not used), Tennessee
(not
used),
and
Texas (only
for people who
have been teachers or principals).
Although New Jersey, New York, and Oregon report
having no alternate routes, they do have programs
for non-traditional candidates to get into administrative
jobs.
Colorado, Georgia,
Illinois, and Kansas have
alternate
routes
for superintendents, but
not
for principals.
Hawaii,
which
has
only
one
school
district,
has
an
alternate route
for
principals. Florida
passed legislation
in 2002 giving local school boards authority to set their
own
alternative
qualifications
for
persons
wishing
to
become principals. Feistritzer, op.cit.
7
Leithwood,
K.
and
Duke,
D.
L.
(1999).
?A
century?s
quest
to
understand
school
leadership.?
In
Murphy,
J.
and Louis, K.
S., Handbook of
research
on educational
administration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 45?72.
8
Haycock,
K.
(1999).
Dispelling the
myth: High-poverty
schools
exceeding
expectations.
Washington,
D.C.:
The
Education
Trust;
Barkley,
S.,
Bottoms,
G.,
Feagin,
C.
H.,
and
Clark, S. (1999).
Leadership
matters:
Building
leadership
capacity. Atlanta, Ga.:
Southern
Regional Education
Board; Fullan, M. (1993). Change forces: Probing the
depths of educational reform. London: The Falmer Press.
9
http://
w
ww.c
cs
so.org/Projec
ts
/
int
erstate
_s
c
hoo
l_
leade
rs_licensure_consortium/standard
s_for_
school_
leaders/562.cfm.
See
also
WestEd.
(2003).
Moving
standards into everyday work: Descriptions of practice.
San Francisco: Author.


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