Great Teachers and Great Leaders Are Necessary

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

The recent Commentary by Kerri Briggs, Jacquelyn Davis, and Gretchen Rhines Cheney accurately points out why a national focus zeroing in on teacher effectiveness is shortsighted without an equal and critical emphasis on creating and developing great school leaders ("Teacher Effectiveness, Yes. But What About Principals?" May, 9, 2012).

Great schools need both great leaders and great teachers. Pipeline preparation is incredibly important, and the George W. Bush Institute's Alliance to Reform Education Leadership initiative is doing a superb job in identifying what matters in creating strong educational leaders.

What also matters equally is what kind of support, development, and acceleration of skills these practicing leaders receive once they are in the positions. Fifty percent of these leaders currently leave their positions before five years pass. We must recognize how exceedingly difficult these positions are, and how much continued support and development are necessary so that school leaders can effectively transform schools into strong communities of learning enabling all children to succeed.

School leaders are not cooked and done after initial training or even after a year of coaching. The right kind of professional development after placement in a job will not only retain our good-to-great school leaders, but also ensure they will be able to meet the standards discussed by the Wallace Foundation in their recent report "The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning," as well as those of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium regarding the critical work that needs to be accomplished for all of our students.

Elizabeth Neale
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
School Leaders Network
Hinsdale, Mass.

Vol. 31, Issue 33, Page 31

Published in Print: June 6, 2012, as Great Teachers and Great Leaders Are Necessary
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories