New Leaders for New Schools, a national nonprofit organization that recruits and grooms principals to serve in high-poverty schools, has announced that it will begin training leaders in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., district this summer.
At the same time, leaders of the New York City-based group announced last month that the North Carolina state school board had approved a new policy to allow its principal-trainees to become licensed by the state without having to go through a university-based training program. That arrangement—which was a major factor in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s success in attracting New Leaders—is similar to principal-licensure agreements that the organization already has with state departments of education in Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The 137,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg district is the 10th to partner with New Leaders since the organization was founded in 2000 and started training its first class of principals a year later. Charlotte was selected from a pool of more than 20 districts whose education and civic leaders sought to bring New Leaders to their cities this year, said Jackie Gran, the national director for growth and policy for the group.
Ms. Gran said strong district leadership in Superintendent Peter C. Gorman and Charlotte’s supportive corporate and philanthropic community also gave the city an edge over other applicants.
The addition of Charlotte-Mecklenburg to New Leaders’ portfolio moves the organization closer to its goal of working in as many as 15 urban districts within the next six years. In addition, the group aims to have, on average, one-third of each of those districtsâ€™ schools run by New Leaders principals, said Jonathan H. Schnur, the chief executive officer.
The organization plans to recruit, train, and place roughly 50 principals in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools over the next five years, Ms. Gran said. Training for the first group will start in June. New Leaders also works in Baltimore; Chicago; the District of Columbia; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee; New Orleans; New York City; Prince George’s County, Md.; and the San Francisco Bay Area.
A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2009 edition of Education Week