Professional Development Report Roundup

Study Tracks Training Of Principals in 8 Cities

By Sarah D. Sparks — November 02, 2010 1 min read

The scarcity of so-called “turnaround principals” has led more urban districts to get involved directly with local colleges of education and other training programs to groom a specialized group of new leaders, according to a study released last week by the Wallace Foundation.

Researchers from the Boston-based Education Development Center analyzed leadership training in eight districts that received foundation grants to experiment with principal preparation: Boston; Chicago; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Jefferson County, Ky.; Providence, R.I.; St. Louis; Springfield, Ill.; and Springfield, Mass.

At a minimum, most of the districts changed their hiring criteria for school leaders assigned to work in struggling schools. They required those principals to have more explicit understanding of school and district systems and procedures, as well as internships in difficult schools.

The study also found that some districts could get education colleges to make changes if they were forceful enough—three districts actually established their own training programs that competed with local universities’ programs—yet eventually, most districts collaborated with their universities. For example, Springfield, Mass., which initially devised a competing training program, later formed a partnership in which college faculty members teach a curriculum tailored to district needs.

In contrast to standard college-based principal training, which often lasts one or two years, district preparatory programs spanned three to four years, including more seminars directly related to district issues and course schedules built around full-time internships. But the jury is out on how good a job the new specialist principals will do. By the study’s end, the first cohorts of new principals had just started their tenures in the schools.

A version of this article appeared in the November 03, 2010 edition of Education Week as Study Tracks Training Of Principals in 8 Cities


Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
The Social-Emotional Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on American Schoolchildren
Hear new findings from an analysis of our 300 million student survey responses along with district leaders on new trends in student SEL.
Content provided by Panorama

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

Professional Development Return of the In-Person Edu-Conference: Elementary Principals' Group to Meet in Chicago
Registration for the organization's first in-person conference since the pandemic started is keeping apace with that of previous years.
4 min read
Abstract blurred image of attendees in seminar room or conference hall and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. new normal life concept.
Pratchaya/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Professional Development Some Kids Had a 'Choppy' K-12 Experience This Year. ISTE Will Explore Solutions
Big themes at this year's online-only ed-tech conference will include acceleration and finding K-12's way in a new, more virtual world.
2 min read
Image of a student working on a computer from home.
Professional Development How to Fix 7 Fatal Flaws in Tech Professional Development
One silver lining of the pandemic is that it forced some districts to rethink their PD priorities and find new ways of training teachers.
8 min read
A team analyses data and tracks progress
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
Professional Development Opinion How Can Coaches Use a Cycle of Inquiry to Establish Themselves and Help Others?
A cycle of inquiry can both help coaches establish themselves and help those they coach develop areas of improvement.
10 min read
shutterstock 546692113