Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Keep the Ed.D. Degree for Professional Programs

April 19, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The report by President Arthur E. Levine of Teachers College, Columbia University (“Study Blasts Leadership Preparation,” March 16, 2005) attacked doctoral-level educational administration programs for their allegedly inadequate professoriate, funding, and rigor. While we applaud the study’s intention to promote and ensure the preparation of highly qualified school leaders, we do not think the abandonment of the doctorate in educational administration furthers that cause.

The Ed.D. degree, as opposed to the Ph.D., is a professional degree. It is imperative that the Ed.D. program foster explicit and continual links between theory, research, and practice. The on-the-job training programs for education administrators recommended in the Levine report typically ignore the theoretical and empirical literature in the field and simply train workers to manage schools. The exemplary model for preparation joins faculty members with recent practice and researchers in the field of policy and leadership. By teaming scholars with practitioners, the faculty configuration reinforces and supports the commitment to integrating theory, research, and practice throughout all facets of a program.

In addition to this, some colleges of education, such as ours, are renewing their programs by raising entrance requirements, ensuring that every dissertation committee has a research professor on it, requiring students to enroll in dissertation-production courses, and limiting the ratio of doctoral students to faculty members.

School administrators find themselves engaged in a multitude of activities unassociated with traditional administrative responsibilities. Principals are expected to be agents of change, instructional leaders, disciplinarians for potentially dangerous students, standard-bearers for excellence, solution-makers for intractable social issues, and always-correct respondents to legal challenges.

All of these roles are to be completed in a typical 12-hour day. Broad-stroke studies such as Arthur Levine’s do little to assist with these challenges. In fact, such total condemnation simply creates more stumbling blocks by asserting that quick-fix, short-term training programs are adequate preparation for today’s educational leaders.

Everett B. Howerton

Professor and Director

Linda Lemasters

Assistant Professor

Virginia Roach

Assistant Professor

Education Administration Program

Graduate School of Education and Human Development

George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read