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Seven Universities to Take Part in New $47M Effort to Improve Principal Preparation

The Wallace Foundation has named seven universities to partner with their local school districts as part of a new $47 million initiative to improve principal preparation, particularly for high-need schools. We heartily congratulate the recipients – all AACTE member institutions – and their partners selected for the University Principal Preparation Initiative (the following descriptions are courtesy of The Wallace Foundation):

Celebrate National Principals Month This October

The month of October is known for colorful trees, last-minute election campaigning, and ubiquitous pumpkin-spice flavoring. But it’s also National Principals Month, a time designated to recognize school leaders in your programs, in your neighborhood, and around the country. Please join AACTE in celebrating their leadership and partnership on behalf of student and teacher development!

National Principals Month gives us the opportunity to honor and reflect on the contributions of principals and the importance of preparing them well. Marked by national and state resolutions, formal awards and recognitions, and other official acknowledgments, this celebration allows us to say “thank you” to principals across the nation.

How Can Accrediting Organizations and Standards Improve Principal Quality?

When we are faced with changes in standards or other expectations for our programs, we often worry about their impact on our work. But sometimes revisions are needed to improve our processes and outcomes, informed by our ever-growing body of research and experience with partners in the field. How can new rules or laws enhance rather than upend our work?

Please join me October 5 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for a free webinar, How Accrediting Organizations and Standards Can Improve Principal Quality, made possible with support from The Wallace Foundation. Panelists will discuss their varied viewpoints on these parameters for improvement and lessons they’ve learned in national and state agencies, PK-12 districts, and higher education.

Sept. 13 Webinar to Explore University-District Partnerships for Principal Preparation

On Tuesday, September 13, AACTE will host the second free webinar in its series on partnerships for principal and supervisor preparation. Please join us 12:30–1:30 p.m. EDT for “Successful University–District Partnerships to Prepare School Principals.”

This event will feature participants in two of The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative districts, Hillsborough County Public Schools (FL) and Tulsa Public Schools (OK), and two partner universities in Florida, Saint Leo University and the University of South Florida. Because the Tulsa district is working within a slightly different framework to assist principals via role and structural changes, its participation lends an “outside” voice to this webinar.

Aug. 17 Webinar to Kick Off New Series on Principal, Leader Preparation

On Wednesday, August 17, AACTE will present the first webinar in a new series called “Raising the Bar and Enhancing Partnerships for Principal and Supervisor Preparation.” This event will look at how colleges of education can engage with state legislators and agencies responsible for standards implementation, program approval, licensure, professional development, and school improvement.

UNLV Leadership Program for Educators Graduates First Class

This article originally appeared in the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) News Center and is reposted with permission.

UNLV
Urban Leadership Development graduates Diana Gomez, left, Dawn King and Benjamin Feinstein. (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)

Diana Gomez always felt a pull toward a teaching career.

Even as a child, her heart was happiest when she was supervising her sisters’ and cousins’ cursive writing and math lessons, recess sessions, and lunch duty during games of “school.” She spent 5 years post-college exploring an accounting career, but the passion for her first love — education — remained.

Gomez returned to school to obtain her teaching credential, moved to Las Vegas because of vast job openings, and might have been content to teach first grade forever. But one fateful day, a mentor, whose “growing our own” mantra had encouraged Gomez to spend the last several years moving up the ranks, urged her to attend an informational meeting about the University of Nevada Las Vegas Urban Leadership Development (ULD) program.

Comment by May 22 on New School Leader Preparation Standards

The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) seeks comment by May 22 on new draft standards for leadership preparation programs. Once approved, these preparation standards will replace the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) standards and be used to guide the educational leadership program design, accreditation review, and state approval of preparation programs for principals and superintendents.

The proposed National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards specify what novice leaders should know and be able to do, at the building and district level, after completing a high-quality educational leadership preparation program. The new draft aligns the standards for preparation programs with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) approved by NPBEA last fall. Formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, the PSEL standards articulate the knowledge and skills expected of school leaders broadly.

School-University Partners Discuss Clinical Principal Preparation and Partnerships at Preconference Event

Wallace PreCon
Facilitator Angela Sewall talks with participants in the Wallace-sponsored preconference event

Prior to the start of the 68th Annual Meeting, AACTE hosted a daylong workshop titled “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Through School-University Partnerships Educational Leaders Preconference,” sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. The event was attended by more than 125 PK-12 and higher education leaders from across the nation, including school-university partners who attended together with the goal of strengthening their collaboration in principal preparation programs.

The event agenda featured a series of presentations and interactive PK-24 “table talk” discussions, focused on examining aspects of clinical practice and effective partnerships to advance principal preparation. Participants explored topics such as these:

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders Now Housed at NPBEA

The National Policy Board for Education Administration (NPBEA) has officially assumed leadership for the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) 2015, a revision of the former Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards. The standards were formerly owned by the Council of Chief State School Officers, which worked with NPBEA to update the document last year with extensive public input.

"Leaders in higher education and principals at all levels of the K-12 continuum engaged in a thoughtful, deliberative process based on the reality of the contemporary principal’s work," said JoAnn Bartoletti, NPBEA president and executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "Our consensus is that the new standards are aspirational, reflect the complexity of school leadership, and filter the principal’s work through a lens of student-centered practice. They recognize the importance of cultural responsiveness in the context of a role that addresses the needs of each student."​

Wallace Foundation Launches New Investment in University-Based Principal Preparation

The Wallace Foundation this month announced a major new initiative to support the redesign of higher education-based programs for preparing school leaders. Investing $47 million over 5 years, the University Preparation Program Initiative will bring together selected institutions and school districts to share best practices and develop more effective principal training.

The initiative will fund improvements to principal preparation programs at up to six universities in partnership with high-need districts. It will also invest in research on effective partnerships, course work, and clinical experiences, and it will engage states in reviews of pertinent policies in support of the work. The selected universities and their district partners will be announced in the fall.

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