Principals have a tough job. And it’s getting tougher to do it well with the sea of major initiatives they are tasked with implementing in their schools—the common-core standards, revamped teacher evaluations, and new assessments, to name a few.
How are principals prepared for their challenging and rapidly changing roles and what supports do they need to not only stay on the job but also to be effective leaders by improving teacher practice and student achievement?
Education Week delved into some of those areas for a special report on principals, which is being released today.
“Shaping Strong School Leaders” examines ways that districts, professional organizations (such as the National Association of Elementary Schools Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals and others) and training programs are retooling efforts to enhance preparation for school leaders, deepen their professional development, and reorganize school staff to make the principal’s job more manageable.
The package of stories, written by me and my two colleagues, Corey Mitchell and Arianna Prothero, look at efforts to develop a strong leadership bench: a Maryland program that prepares aspiring principals for the top job; the expansion of strategic, research-proven professional development programs to help principals deepen their craft; rigorous charter school principal preparation programs; the reprioritizing of the principal supervisor’s job in districts to emphasize support instead of compliance; and expanding teacher-leadership opportunities.
We also look at how Denver Public Schools, which aims to have at least 80 percent of its principals come within its school system, has focused on grooming its own people to take on leadership roles as teacher-leaders, assistant principals, and principals.
You can read the entire package here and view an audio-slideshow of Omaha principal supervisor Pam Cohn and principal Dan Bartels discuss how they work together to help him become a better instructional leader.
Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StrongPrincipals.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.