School & District Management

Competition Yields Funds to Assist 3 Urban Districts In Developing Principals

By Lynn Olson — September 04, 2007 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Broad Foundation has awarded $8.3 million in grants for in-depth principal-preparation programs in three districts.

The grants from the Los Angeles-based foundation will prepare and support 150 novice principals in Chicago, Gwinnett County, Ga., and Long Beach, Calif., over the next three years—from vigorous recruitment efforts to on-the-job coaching and mentoring.

“Principals are the front-line leaders who are critical to the success of a school,” Eli Broad, the founder of the philanthropy, said in a statement announcing the awards. “We are investing in the necessary recruitment, training, and ongoing development that will cultivate top-line talent into the principalship and ultimately lead to improved student achievement, particularly in our urban schools.”

The foundation has a history of supporting programs to prepare school leaders for urban districts. But this marks the first time it has conducted a broad request for proposals from interested big-city districts, nonprofit organizations and universities, and charter- management organizations. More than 40 programs applied for funding.

The three winning programs “all demonstrated a real commitment to monitoring and evaluating student achievement as part of their program design, and the districts have demonstrated real gains in student achievement,” said Frances McLaughlin, the senior director of the foundation, who oversaw the application process.

She added that the winners recognized training as only one part of a comprehensive principal-development process that includes actively recruiting and selecting the right talent, training the candidates and matching them to the right schools, and providing ongoing support and regular assessments of their performance on the job.

Big Demand

See Also

Read the related story,

Inside the ‘Long Beach Way’

The 90,000-student Long Beach Unified School District will receive $2.7 million over three years for its Aspiring Principal Apprentice Cohort Program. The grant will expand a current pilot program in California’s third-largest school system, including adding a yearlong apprenticeship, to train 50 principals.

The 154,000-student Gwinnett County school system, just outside Atlanta, will receive about $3.5 million for its Quality-Plus Leader Program, which recruits candidates from the district and provides them with a yearlong training program, including a 60-day residency with a successful principal and continuing support once they are placed. The grant will pay for the training of some 60 new principals.

Glenn E. Pethel, the executive director of leadership development for the Gwinnett County district, said it anticipates needing some 400 new assistant principals and nearly 100 new principals in the next five years because of staff attrition and student- enrollment growth. The Broad grant, in part, will help fund the residency portion of the program as well as mentoring by exemplary veteran principals during the novices’ first two years on the job.

The University of Illinois at Chicago will receive $2.1 million over three years for its doctoral program in urban education leadership. Under the program, the Chicago district hires doctoral candidates as principals early in their coursework. The candidates then receive site-based coaching and mentoring from former high-performing principals as the recruits earn their doctoral degrees. The grant will support up to 50 new principals to work in the more than 420,000-student Chicago public schools, which lost 159 principals to retirement last school year.

“We make a flat-out statement that we are preparing urban principals to transform schools,” said Peter R. Martinez, one of the Chicago program’s co-founders, “which to us means that they are going to move those schools in terms of student-achievement scores 50 or 60 percentage points over a certain period of time.”


Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
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.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls
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.
School & District Management Webinar
Modernizing Principal Support: The Road to More Connected and Effective Leaders
When principals are better equipped to lead, support, and maintain high levels of teaching and learning, outcomes for students are improved.
Content provided by BetterLesson

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

School & District Management Opinion Principals: Supporting Your Teachers Doesn't Have to Be Such Hard Work
Principals can show teachers they care by something as simple as a visit to their classrooms or a pat on the back.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
6 min read
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion 7 Ways Principals Can Support Teachers
Listening more than talking is one vital piece of advice for school leaders to help teachers.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
7 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP