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.”

Events

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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
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
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

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 5 Things to Know About How the Culture Wars Are Disrupting Schools
Disruptions were more acutely felt in districts with more affluent and white students, but there weren't always clear-cut political lines.
6 min read
Illustration of neutral warning symbols, with two standing out in the colors red and blue.
filo/DigitalVision Vectors + EdWeek
School & District Management Divisive Politics Are Harming Schools, District Leaders Say
A new survey reveals how tough the politics are for some leaders, especially in the suburbs.
8 min read
Illustration of tug of war.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week, SvetaZi, and iStock/Getty
School & District Management Leading a City School District Is Tough. A New Program Aims to Ease the Way
Its creators hope to drive down big-city superintendent turnover by preparing candidates for the stresses of leadership.
3 min read
Woman standing on a paper boat with a tsunami wave approaching.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management 5 Tips for Switching From Snow Days to Remote Classes
Two district leaders say communication, flexibility, and adaptability are key to success.
4 min read
Close up of hands holding a smartphone and working at a laptop near a window showing a snowy day
iStock/Getty