Scholarship Incentive: Training hundreds of school administrators each year will be the goal of the new Principal Leadership Institutes, opening next summer in California.
The University of California has announced that it will open principal-training academies at its campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles.
Up to 400 educators a year will be awarded scholarships to attend the 15-month master's-degree programs at UC-Berkeley and UCLA if they agree to work four years in hard-to-staff schools.
"We think it's an excellent program to help support and recruit the best administrators possible," said Jean Brown, the director of the Administrative Academy for the Los Angeles public schools.
Gov. Gray Davis helped establish the institutes by including $500,000 in the state budget for the program.
While many universities in the San Francisco Bay area and Southern California offer education degrees for aspiring administrators, the new approach will help train a larger number of candidates in an era when schools badly need those administrators.
In Los Angeles, more than one-third of principals have reached retirement age, and nearly three-fourths will be at retirement age within the next five years.
Meanwhile, Ms. Brown said, the 710,000-student district keeps growing, further increasing the need for administrators.
School board members are talking about building up to 100 new schools in the next 10 years, she said.
All of those schools will need administrators—especially ones trained in instructional leadership and in improving low-achieving schools, Ms. Brown said.
The demand will require school districts to hire less-experienced educators as administrators, but the new training may help improve the quality—and quantity—of candidates from which California can choose.
Two-Year Contracts: The superintendent in Albuquerque, N.M., says his school board can't expect stability unless it guarantees his top advisers job stability.
Superintendent Brad Allison asked his school board Nov. 29 to sign two-year contracts with his cabinet members. Extensions will help reassure applicants set to replace several top employees that Mr. Allison didn't keep on his staff during a reorganization that took effect in June.
School board members are divided in their opinions of the plan.
Vol. 19, Issue 16, Page 12