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Group To Focus on Principals' Skills

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Officials of the National Association of Elementary School Principals have announced the formation of an affiliated organization that will work with colleges and universities to ensure that the practical skills needed by school principals are not sacrificed to theory and research in education-administration programs.

The new group, called the Organization of Professors of Elementary School Administration (opesa), was formed last month by 60 education professors who are members of the naesp

"There is a wide belief that professors don't care about the schools," said David Smith, dean of the College of Education at the University of Florida in Gainesville and president of opesa, in a prepared statement. "That's flatly not true, and this organization is an effort by those of us who are committed to the principalship to improve our contribution."

opesa plans to recruit additional higher-education faculty members who specialize in training principals for elementary and middle schools, or whose research focuses on the elementary or middle-school levels, he said.

Samuel G. Sava, executive director of the naesp, said he looked forward to clinical programs in universities that "team the practical skills of good principals with the latest research from the colleges." Such programs, he said, could be beneficial to both groups.

"Closer ties between principals and their colleagues in higher education will move the administrative profession forward and encourage capable young people to consider careers as principals," he said.

Faculty members who are interested in working with opesa can write Mr. Smith at the University of Florida's College of Education, Gainesville, Fla. 32611, or call (904) 392-0728.--ab

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