“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.
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’ 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.
AACTE invites you to join us for the next session of The Wallace Foundation’s second University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPP) Learning Series. Teaming and engaging in meaningful and difficult conversations require teams to not only be open to learning together but also to develop their leadership abilities together. This session is designed to equip teams with tools to strengthen teamwork and engage in conversations that cultivate the leadership capacity of one another.
- Facilitator: Ellie Drago Serverson, professor of education leadership and adult learning and leadership, and director of the PhD Program in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University
- Thursday, July 16, 2020
- Presentation: 1:00–1:45 p.m. EST
- UPPI member-only discussion: 1:45–2:30 p.m. EST (A separate email will be sent with registration link for this session to all UPPI member registrants.)
- Register for the presentation.
The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which supports universities redesigning their principal preparation programs, has never been more important to students and communities. In addition to creating and sustaining efforts to improve equity and academic achievement for their students, school principals are navigating unprecedented changes to the way teaching and learning occurs.
AACTE invites you to join us as we continue to participate in the national conversation about principal preparation redesign through UPPI’s online learning series, “Taking Education Preparation to the Next Level.”
The five-session series, brought to you by The Wallace Foundation’s UPPI Network, in coordination with the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), will provide university/college principal preparation faculty within and beyond the UPPI network some important, collaborative tools and practical ideas on ways to support principal preparation and pipelines. Through the five-part series, national experts provide 45-minute, interactive sessions that address the following questions:
- How can principals lead schools focused on equity and academic improvement now and in the future?
- How can universities engage with partners to develop and sustain principal preparation programs to meet future challenges?
All are invited to attend the 45-minute interactive sessions facilitated by national experts. These sessions, described below, provide ideas and tools to advance leadership preparation, and foster improved collaboration between teacher and principal preparation.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently updated its Supporting Inclusive Schools for the Success of Each Child: A Guide for States on Principal Leadership guide. Developed in collaboration with AACTE and other education partners, this online guide strengthens principals’ capacity to lead inclusive schools to ensure each student has an equitable opportunity to succeed. The updates include additional resources and a new policy to practice section, showcasing the work of the four states—Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio—involved in CCSSO’s Advancing Inclusive Principal Leadership (AIPL) State Initiative, of which AACTE is also a partner. The four states are refining their school leader preparation and development efforts to ensure there is a focus on supporting the academic and social and emotional success of each learner, with an emphasis on those with disabilities.
We are a couple of weeks away from AACTE’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, and AACTE is just as excited as you are. Get ready to accomplish your educational leadership goals by attending the Preconference Luncheon sponsored by The Wallace Foundation, Food for Thought: How to Successfully Develop and Support School Leaders, February 27, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
AACTE welcomes all preconference participants to attend an interactive discussion while enjoying their meal. The luncheon is free to all registered preconference participants. Attendees will hear from educational leaders:
- Andy Cole will highlight important work being done in the school leadership space to enhance the school leadership pipeline.
- Hayward Jean will share his journey to school leadership and the role of mentorship along the way.
Luncheon attendees also are invited to participate in a networking discussion on how to start planting seeds early to grow effective school leaders.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone addressed more than 150 education stakeholders at the recent collaborative meeting of the Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Pipeline Initiative (UPPI). Gangone’s address, How teacher and leader preparation can work together to further principal pipelines, is available to view online for those who were unable to attend the convening.
The UPPI focus is on inclusive principal preparation, and builds on 15 years of Wallace-supported research and experience about what makes for effective principals and their “pre-service” training at colleges and universities. AACTE maintains a strong commitment to these initiatives including principal and leader preparation in inclusive and clinical placements.
Learn more about AACTE’s principal preparation initiatives, supported through its Wallace Foundation partnership.
“Clinical learning experiences for candidates must include real-time work with real data and in real settings,” said Janis Carthon, an associate professor at Albany State University in response to AACTE’s Twitter chat question focused on the use of data to support principal preparation for 21st century learning. Carthon joined other experts in the area of principal and leader preparation during AACTE’s second Twitter Town Hall on December 5.
AACTE is hosting four Twitter Chat Town Halls in 2019 aligned with its Wallace Foundation Webinar Series. All AACTE members and education stakeholders are encouraged to follow the Twitter hashtags noted below to participate in the Twitter chats, where experts join the public in dialoguing about principal and leader recruitment, retention, support, and successful clinical experiences.
The next Twitter Chat Town Hall will take place December 10, and will addresses the From Teacher to Principal: Educational Leadership Tracking Systems that AACTE partner the Wallace Foundation developed in collaboration with their University Principal Pipeline Initiative. Follow @AACTE and use #principalpipeline to join the conversation from 5:00 – 6 p.m.
The role of today’s principal is changing. Now, more than ever, school leaders need to be prepared from day one to succeed in a complex and ever-evolving school context. But what does quality principal preparation look like? How can principal preparation programs ensure that school leaders are ready to meet the demands of the job? Join us for our final webinar in the four-part series on principal preparation, a collaboration with the Wallace Foundation, to hear a panel of researchers and practitioners dig into the answers to both of these questions.