‘Homegrown’ principal training

5 Dec

Moi wrote in Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?

As more emphasis is placed on holding schools accountable, more scrutiny is directed toward school leadership, particularly school principals. It is generally agreed that strong leadership at the school building level is essential for an effective school, the question is whether shool principals have the authority to accomplish their task? David Miller Sadker, PhD,  Karen R. Zittleman, PhD in Teachers, Schools, and Society list the characteristics of a strong school:

Factor 1: Strong Leadership

Factor 2: A Clear School Mission

Factor 3: A Safe and Orderly Climate

Factor 4: Monitoring Student Progress

A variety of commentators say that strong leadership is key to an effective school. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Many school districts are focusing on “homegrown” principal training.

Jaclyn Zubrzycki reports in the Education Week article, More Principals Learn the Job in Real Schools:

A growing number of principal-preparation initiatives are forsaking university classrooms in favor of much more familiar training grounds: the schools and districts where those aspiring leaders will end up working.

Through coaching and mentorship initiatives, residencies and internships, and other new programs, both districts and university education schools are turning their focus to building practical readiness, in context, and offering continued learning and support for principals already on the job.

Traditional principal-training programs “haven’t been as connected to the realities of the profession as they need to be,” said Dick Flanary, the deputy executive director of programs and services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, based in Alexandria, Va. “Universities talk about preparation, and school districts talk about readiness.”

Leadership-training programs in Philadelphia; Chicago; Prince George’s County, Md.; Gwinnett County, Ga.; Denver; New York City; and elsewhere all aim to give aspiring principals—and in some cases, even struggling midcareer principals—context-specific advice and support from experienced educators. And, in a similar vein, districts in Sarasota County, Fla., in New York state’s middle Hudson Valley region, and elsewhere have created homegrown leadership academies and career tracks to supplement university-based principal-certification programs with hands-on experience, mentoring programs, and training in district-specific information and initiatives.

Filling the Gap

“Homegrown programs often set out to fill a gap” in the training provided by traditional principal-certification programs, said Cheryl L. King, the director of leadership for learning innovation at the Education Development Center, a Waltham, Mass.-based nonprofit organization that evaluates and designs education programs and provides self-assessments for university and district leadership programs.

Related Stories

Related Opinion

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/05/13principal.h32.html?tkn=QUSFcu3mSdxc4Y%2B1DXjggZiaioHL%2BKiuu27u&cmp=clp-edweek

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

Moi wrote in New research: School principal effectiveness:

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders

Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.

1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.

2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.

3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.

4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.

5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.

6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.

7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.

8. Has a sense of humor.

9. Is a role model for students and staff.

10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement                                                                                     http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers                                                         http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal?                                             http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

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