Aspiring superintendents soon may be able to take courses that are recognized by top-flight universities wherever and whenever they choose.
The American Association of School Administrators is trying to identify promising superintendency candidates and offer them courses with times, locations, and formats that best suit their needs.
Students who participate in the Leadership Institute for School Administrators, or LISA, could have their coursework recognized by up to 25 universities that the AASA hopes to involve in the project.
By the end of this year, the Arlington, Va.-based association plans to have designed a course of instruction, selected a national faculty, and enlisted universities that will accept the courses as partially fulfilling their requirements for a doctorate in educational administration.
Joseph Schneider, the staff liaison to the project, said the program is being designed to provide AASA members with high-quality instruction about things that matter to administrators.
LISA is being developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. An advisory committee and a design team, made up of practitioners and professors, are helping craft the initiative.
The Southern Regional Education Board believes good schools require strong leaders. With primary support from NationsBank, it has been working with 12 school systems on a new approach to leadership training based largely on corporate training philosophies, which it describes in a new booklet, "Making Leadership Happen: The SREB Model for Leadership Development."
Five-member teams from each of the participating districts identified up to three measurable goals for improving student learning. Over four years, they worked to achieve those goals and attended a series of three-day training programs. In addition, each member of the team developed a personal learning plan. Each team was assigned a coach or mentor to work with individuals and with the district as a whole. And each team received training in human-services collaboration.
The Atlanta-based SREB wants states to use the model, in whole or in part, that its "leadership academy" has developed. "The behaviors, attitudes, values, and skills of those who lead schools must change for schools to improve," academy director Alton C. Crews said.
Copies of the report are $8 each, plus shipping and handling. For more information, call the Southern Regional Education Board, (404) 875-9211.