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AACTE/UPPI Podcast Explores ‘Redesigning Instructional Leadership Training’

UPPI Podcast logoAs the role of the principal evolves, so too does the extent to which they play the role of instructional leader. As a vital part of student outcomes and teacher retention in schools, it’s alarming that new principal often have skill gaps when providing instructional coaching. Teacher retention is due largely in part to the support of their principal, which is why AACTE continues to advocate for quality education leadership preparation programming. 

In the sixth episode of AACTE’s podcast covering the University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), AACTE talks to Jason Grissom, author of How Principals Affect Students and Schools, about what the research says regarding instructional leadership. The episode also dives into Albany State UPPI program’s efforts to address the gaps in preparing principal candidates to be effective instructional coaches with UPPI Project Director Janice Carthon, and Felisa McDavid, who is a graduate of Albany State’s principal prep program and principal of St. James Elementary in South Carolina.

Listen now to Episode 6: Redesigning Instructional Leadership Training

AACTE/UPPI Podcast Highlights ‘A Sustainable Approach to Customizing Clinical Practice’

University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) podcastIn the fifth episode of AACTE’s podcast covering the Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), David Lorden and Alejandro Gonzalez Ojeda from San Diego State University share how to restructure principal preparation programs to meet the array of needs required by various districts.  During the episode, titled “A Sustainable Approach to Customizing Clinical Practice,” Lorden and Gonzalez Ojeda share insights from their own UPPI experiences as faculty in diversifying the clinical experiences of candidates through collaborative redesign with the districts. Through these insights, they answer the following questions:

  • How do you prepare a principal to lead anywhere?
  • How can prep programs adapt to meet the various needs of districts?
  • Why is customization critical for education leadership prep programs? Especially for equity?
  • How can a university sustain customizing their learning experiences for candidates with different backgrounds and strengths?

New Podcast Episode: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

Principal preparation programs serve two major consumers: the candidate’s that enter their programs and the districts that hire them. Therefore, it is essential to align program redesign efforts to district needs, which we have learned vary across the state. In episode four of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling the Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative, Franciso Edobedo, superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), located in southern San Diego County, shares what superintendents are looking for in principals and other school leaders entering the field. Also featured is Douglas Fisher, professor and chair of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, who discusses why and how prep programs should work with districts like CVESD.  Their collaboration led to various redesign improvements over the course of Wallace’s UPPI Initiative, but this episode dives deeper into how they were able to share, evaluate ,and act on data through an equitable lens.

Listen now to Episode 4: Districts and Programs Collaborate in Commitment to Equity

New AACTE Podcast Episode Provides Insights into Education Leadership Program Redesign

The third episode of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling this Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative is now available. In the last episode, AACTE identified the gaps between “learning” and “doing.” In this episode, guests dive into a case study of the UPPI program at University of Connecticut (UConn ) and what they have learned from their program redesign. Episode 3 features Richard Gonzalez, who oversees the principalship and superintendency program at UConn and serves as the director of UConn’s UPPI initiative project. Gonzalez and current program candidate Symone James, explain the core assessments, how they were tied to clinical practice and what that structure accomplished in closing the “learning” and “doing” gap of principal preparation.

App State partners with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to Prepare Equity-Focused School Leaders

Appalachian State University has partnered with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (WS/FCS) as part of a five-year, $102 million initiative to prepare school principals who are capable of advancing equity in education.

The Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative, sponsored by the Wallace Foundation, supports eight large, high-needs school districts in building evidence-based principal pipelines—with the goal of developing principals who can advance each district’s own vision of equity.

New Podcast Explores Gaps in the Journey to Becoming a Principal

While the role of the principal remains essential, it has evolved over time. Throughout its evolvement, preparation programs, districts, and state policy makers have worked in silos, creating gaps between the skills learned in an educator leadership program and what a principal actually does on the job. In the second episode of AACTE’s new University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast series chronicling this Wallace Foundation multi-year principal program redesign initiative, listeners will learn what the research says about what the gaps between “learning” and “doing” and how to address them.

In the “Gaps in the Journey to Becoming a Principal” podcast segment, listeners will hear how those findings are seen and implemented through the eyes of one of the UPPI’s Project Directors, Tim Drake.

Don’t Miss Out on Newest Member Resources

As the fall semester creeps to a close, it’s easy to forget about all that is available to you via your AACTE membership. Check out these member resources:

Resource Library – Have you accessed the AACTE Resource Library lately?  If so, you have probably noticed a few changes, including a single sign on system. AACTE has completed its database migration and with that you will find a seamless way to transition between your AACTE profile and the improved AACTE Resource Library.  Feel free to view some of the latest resources below:

AACTE Releases New Podcast Series: The University Principal Preparation Initiative

The University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast logoAACTE has released a new podcast series that chronicles the multi-year principal program redesign initiative undertaken by the Wallace Foundation: The University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). This podcast is designed to inspire learning opportunities and educational partnerships among AACTE members and stakeholders and to create highly trained and qualified principals who will influence and shape their learning communities. 

In the first episode, AACTE interviews Rochelle Herring, senior program officer at the Wallace Foundation, to introduce the initiative, though which seven principal preparation programs were selected to partner with district and state leaders in their redesign efforts, as well as investigate how state policy could be leveraged to improve the quality of principal preparation statewide. Throughout the conversation, Herring cites research proving that the principal is a multiplier of good teaching and therefore, improved learning.

The University of Tampa Partners with Pasco Schools to Produce Education Leaders for the Future

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa (UT) announced a partnership last month with Pasco County Schools that will provide Pasco educators interested in taking leadership roles a path to pursue either a certification in educational leadership or a master’s degree in educational leadership.

According to the agreement, the partnership is intended to “increase the supply of effective school leaders in public schools in Florida, and to produce school leaders who are prepared to lead the state’s diverse student population in meeting high standards for academic achievement.”

New Webinar on Wallace Report: The Role of Assistant Principals

Learn about the findings from a new, comprehensive study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, The Role of Assistant Principals: Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership. Based on two decades of research, the synthesis focuses on a role that is increasingly prevalent but often overlooked. The report suggests APs could become a more powerful force in advancing equity, student outcomes, and school leadership goals.

The Role of Assistant Principals: A New Synthesis Offers Evidence and Insights

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET via Zoom

We invite you to register for  this important, one-hour event.

Attend Session First Session of The Evolution of the Principalship Learning Series

Leading Literacy Webinar Series

Principals are leading schools through significant challenges and uncertainties and, in the process, some aspects of teaching, learning, and leadership may be indelibly changed. The Evolution of the Principalship learning series is an invitation to join with national experts in considering how principals’ work has changed and how our understanding of school leadership has evolved. Throughout this learning series, which is supported by the Wallace Foundation and organized by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the University Council of Education Administration (UCEA), we will talk with principals, researchers, and other experts about the following: 

  1. What have the disruptions in schooling taught us, as principals and education leaders?
  2. How have principals’ priorities and daily work changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Which changes are temporary, and which are indelible?
  3. How can leadership and learning capitalize on community social and cultural histories to deepen engagement, achievement and equity?
  4. What do the changes to school leadership mean for principal pipeline supports, including principal preparation and professional learning?

As you participate in these free online sessions, you can expect national experts to share their research and tools, and to engage you in dialogue about the evolution of school leadership.

Online Learning Session: Taking Educator Preparation to the Next Level

Moving Carefully into the Next Normal: Enduring Leadership Dilemmas and New Organizational Contexts

AACTE invites you to join the fifth and final session of The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) learning series. This session, Moving Carefully into the Next Normal: Enduring Leadership Dilemmas and New Organizational Contexts, will explore the question, “how can the teaching and learning faculty and education leadership faculty work together to prepare the next generation of school leaders?” Deans, department chairs, faculty, and district staff will receive a protocol designed to explore the assets of each department and how they can be combined to better prepare leaders.

Educational Leadership Students Create 388-page Re-entry Plan

“In early March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc on every aspect of life as we all knew it. Events were cancelled, businesses began to close, and classrooms became virtual spaces. The world looked and felt very different from anything we had ever known,” wrote Carolyn Gassman, Butler University graduate student.

The Experiential Program for Preparing School Principals (EPPSP), an educational leadership graduate program at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, canceled their summer 2020 research and study abroad learning experience to Italy due to Covid-19.  EPPSP Students, practicing school teachers and educators, understood the complexity of returning to a physical building in the fall 2020 and wanted to support school leaders as they transitioned back to school.

EPPSP’s 40-year history includes experiential and relevant learning opportunities along with proficiencies that allow students to engage in real-life school leadership practices.  Nationally, school leaders began developing re-entry plans and Indiana leaders were conducting plans of their own.

COVID-19 Hit Students with Disabilities, Their Families, and Their Teachers Hard: Here’s How We Can Prepare Principals to Help

Teacher with students running in hallway behind her

Inclusive leadership is better for schools, teachers, and all students. Every student deserves to attend a school led by a principal with the skills, knowledge, and training to promote equity for all students, including students with disabilities. Yet, general education teachers and school principals report being underprepared to effectively serve students with disabilities. Only 12 percent of a nationally representative sample of school principals and only 17 percent of general education teachers report feeling well prepared to serve and teach students with disabilities.

Support for Preparing Inclusive School Leaders During COVID-19

While the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, students with disabilities face unique challenges in transitioning to remote learning and in their eventual transition back to the classroom. Like the pandemic and the systemic racism plaguing our nation, inequitable access to effective school leadership is more prevalent for underserved populations, including students with disabilities. A recently released brief from CCSSO, the CEEDAR Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders highlights key recommendations, examples, and resources to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) and Deans of Education in addressing the pressing challenges for school leaders posed by the COVID-19 crises.

Principals Benefit When Principal Supervisors Have a Supporting Role, Studies Find

Principals’ leadership is a critical factor in schools’ success, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. Specific strategies and resources can support the growth of a strong pipeline of principals who are able to lead teaching and learning in today’s schools. AACTE supports the Wallace Foundation’s principal preparation work, which includes research and initiatives such as the Principal Pipeline Initiative and the University Preparation Programs. The following is a an announcement from the Wallace Foundation’s most recent research featuring three reports that examine efforts being taken in large districts across the country to shift the principal supervisor role from a focus on administration to supporting principals as instructional leaders.

The Wallace Foundation released a trio of reports examining the benefits school districts gained from changing the principal supervisor role to focus less on administrative duties and more on supporting principals in improving instruction. Teams of researchers from Vanderbilt University, the University of Utah, Mathematica, and the Council of the Great City Schools collaborated with the foundation to design and administer surveys that show how the supervisor role may be changing in large districts nationwide. The reports build on earlier research suggesting that effective supervision is part of a comprehensive principal pipeline, with aligned parts, that can lead to benefits for student achievement.

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