Last week, AACTE and National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) kicked off National Principals Month with the first webinar in a four-part series highlighting principal preparation, titled The Challenges and Success of Principal Recruitment and Retention. The webinar series is developed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation. The premier webinar focused on the challenges and successes of principal recruitment and retention. Three panelists shared their experiences and research related to principal preparation and retention: Ed Fuller from Pennsylvania State University, David Wick, president of NAESP, and Jamon Flowers, currently a doctoral student at William & Mary and former principal.
Collectively, the panelists stressed that context matters when it comes to principal preparation, placement, and retention. One size does not fit all when it comes to recruiting and retaining principals. In addition to leadership best practices, principal preparation programs should be helping principals to understand what it means to lead in specific settings and provide them with the necessary skills to be successful. Furthermore, the turnover rate for principals is high, especially in high-poverty schools. For insights into the potential causes contributing to this high turnover rate and for additional recommendations for principal preparation, watch the webinar recording.
October is National Principals Month —a month to honor our nation’s principals and the important work they do leading schools. Led by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), this annual celebration recognizes our nation’s principals for their tireless dedication to their students and the schools they serve.
To effectively lead a school, today’s principal must fulfill the role of instructional leader and create the learning conditions to support teaching and learning. To do this, principals are in classrooms, observing instruction, engaging with teachers in the nuts-and-bolts of leading learning communities, and connecting teachers with professional learning opportunities. Thus, principals are now more than ever multipliers of effective teaching and possess an enormous capacity to impact student achievement.
Simply put: You can’t have a great school without a great principal. Whether it’s supporting their teachers, ensuring students have access to nutritious meals, or making parents and families feel engaged and welcome their child’s school, principals make it happen.
Despite the many rewarding aspects of the principalship and its importance in improving teaching quality and boosting student outcomes,
Research has shown high-quality principals play a key role in the effectiveness of public schools and are second only to teachers in their impact on student achievement. The development of a principal’s leadership skills and disposition is critical to their effectiveness as a school leader. Educational leadership programs across the country are working to improve their programs and prepare principals for the challenges school leaders face today. AACTE invites you participate in an upcoming webinar series, developed in partnership with the Wallace Foundation and focused on research that highlights the role of building the principal pipeline, university and district partnerships, educational leadership tracking systems, and standards for ensuring high-quality preparation programs. Each webinar will be followed by a corresponding Twitter chat for a chance to ask more in-depth questions of the presenters and keep the conversation going.
The first webinar in the series will kick off in October to coincide with National Principals Month. It will focus on the challenges and successes of principal recruitment and retention. Recruiting and retaining highly effective principals is an ever-growing
The Wallace Foundation has launched Series Two of The Principal Pipeline podcast with it seventh episode, A District Strategy to Improve Student Achievement. The episode features Linda Chen, chief academic officer for the New York City public schools, and Susan Gates, co-principal investigator of the Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools study. Chen and Gates walk listeners through important findings on student outcomes and their significance. Also spotlighted in the podcast is Wanda Luz Vazquez, a New York City principal, who discusses her experience as a “pipeline” principal.
“It is true that a principal has to do everything under the sun,” said Chen, “But, at the end of the day, the purpose is to advance learning and instruction for every student and that is what we really focus our efforts on.”
The Principal Pipeline podcast features principals, district and state leaders, and university officials who have developed strong principal pipelines and are eager to share their lessons learned with the broader field. While Series One explored how these efforts proved to be feasible and affordable in six large school districts, Series Two examines the effectiveness of building principal pipelines. New episodes are released every Wednesday.
View the full list of podcast episodes, and learn more about the Wallace Foundation principal pipeline strategy.
The journal of the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, , has successfully navigated from a print journal with a subscription price to an online, open access journal that is free. Our new co-editors, Christine Ashby and Julia White have just published their first issue. The journal welcomes submissions from all interested teacher and leader educators.
Excelsior is the key outlet for publishing work in teacher preparation for the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. For over a decade, it has reported research across content disciplines, research methodologies, theoretical perspectives, and current issues in the field.
In addition to presenting authors the opportunity to publish in an open access journal, we want to increase the diversity of manuscript topics, including the diversity of research methods, and extend the range of researchers and practitioners publishing in Excelsior. To meet this goal we will routinely solicit submissions from:
This article by President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone was originally published in the “Empowering Our Educators” supplement to USA Today and on the Education and Career News website. The article and photo are reprinted with permission.
Effective educators are developed, not born. Their preparation begins in colleges and schools of education and persists through the professional development during their careers. As the needs of student learners evolve, so too must our development of educators.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Today makes summer official! The House has certainly given us something to celebrate!
- Massive Spending Bill Passes House with Large Increases for Education!
Education advocates are taking a moment to rejoice in a funding bill (H.R. 2740) that passed the House this week (with a vote count of 226-223) calling for a record high level of spending for the Department of Education bringing total investments to $75.9 billion. Big winners in the bill include Title I, special education and social emotional learning. Notably, the bill cuts funding for charter schools by 10%.
The rejoicing is tinged with the knowledge that this is as good as it will get for education spending. Unfortunately, the Senate will not have numbers this high, as the budget caps, which are yet to be determined, will undoubtedly require lower figures. And the Trump Administration has indicated that it would veto this bill.
The focus now turns to the Senate where Appropriations chair Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has indicated that they will begin moving bills in July. But that pesky budget deal lurks around the corner.
See the CEF charts on individual education program funding.
“Wait, what happened?!?”
“I had to help deliver a baby today.”
In the first day of her full-time residency, Jennifer Wilker had to help one of her teachers deliver her baby. Jennifer was in Warren New Tech High School, which is located near Norlina—a small, rural town in northeastern North Carolina that is over 30 miles from the Halifax Regional Hospital.
Though this seems like an extreme example, principals all over the country will no doubt smile, knowing that Jennifer’s experience isn’t too atypical.
In September of 2018, University of North Georgia (UNG) Educational Leadership staff began partnership discussions with Gwinnett County Schools. The UNG educational leadership program went through several iterations and was working toward revising the program to align with the Principal Pipeline Research from the Wallace Foundation. This revision also met the requirements for the new Tier 1 certification program implemented by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. We were new to the work and very interested in the successful, data-driven work Gwinnett County Schools Leadership development programs.
The initial discussions were about the application process and how we screen candidates, as well as, how we measured the success of our candidates beyond the obvious licensing test by the state. This was the beginning of deep thinking for us about our program. We quickly learned that to build a quality program, we needed to attract the best candidates and track them through their placements in schools as leaders to determine the effectiveness of our work. We were most impressed with Gwinnett’s systems for measuring the success of their leadership development programs. This was great timing for our program as our Tier I participants had just completed the first cohort.
The quality measures divide the process program improvement into six domains. We shared our practices in our Tier I program in each of the six areas, collecting evidence to support our work with our critical friends from Gwinnett. At the same time, Gwinnett County Schools examined its practices in its principal preparation program sharing with us as critical friends. The process was transparent and helpful. We both walked away with fresh ideas for improving our programs.
Research indicates that effective school leadership is associated with better outcomes for students and schools. A high-quality school leader affects their teachers and students for many years. School districts are also instrumental in affecting teacher and student outcomes by playing a pivotal role in supporting their school leaders.
The Wallace Foundation partnered with six large and urban school districts across the nation to study the effects of Principal Pipelines from 2011 to 2016. The purpose was to examine whether a comprehensive principal pipeline would be more effective than business-as-usual approaches to the preparation and management of school leaders. The term, principal pipeline, encompasses the following components: 1) leader standards that guide all pipeline activities, 2) preservice preparation opportunities for assistant principals and principals, 3) selective hiring and placement, and 4) on-the-job induction, evaluation, and support. School districts were also required to produce and implement systems to further develop and sustain the principal pipeline outside of the study’s original time frame.
AACTE invites you to view a livestreamed presentation and panel discussion about the results of a new, groundbreaking study by the RAND Corporation on the impact of principal pipelines on districts, principals and students. The livestream is on Monday, April 8 from 10:30am – 12:00 noon ET. Register now!
Research has long confirmed principals’ influence on student achievement and the role districts play in shaping school leadership. Yet, until now, there’s been no evidence that districts approaching school leadership strategically and systematically could achieve benefits districtwide.
Launched in 2001, the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI) sought to test this hypothesis. The foundation funded six districts that implemented four interlocking components of a principal pipeline: rigorous leader standards, high-quality pre-service training, hiring procedures informed by data, and on-the-job evaluation and support.
Are you a current AACTE member and want to make the most of your membership? You’re invited to stop by the AACTE booth during the 71st Annual Meeting to learn more about the benefits offered to you as a member and how to become an even more engaged member. All members who stop by the booth will have the opportunity to receive a complimentary gift!
Stop by the AACTE Booth
Visit the AACTE Gallery and drop by the AACTE booth where the membership team will be on hand to share information on how to take full advantage of your membership and answer any questions you may have. Plus members will be able to join a Topical Action Group (TAG), subscribe to AACTE’s official blog, Ed Prep Matters, update your membership profile, and much more when you visit the booth!
The challenges educational leaders face in today’s school environment are ever evolving. With concerns related to school safety, the social emotional well-being of students and staff, and the pressures related to the role of instructional leader, school leaders are expected to have a wider variety of expertise in order to be successful. Several universities, and their district partners, are tackling these challenges and taking steps to ensure their candidates are prepared to meet the real-world demands of the job.
Attend the free Enhancing Principal Preparation through P-12 Partnerships preconference session at the AACTE Annual Meeting to hear about how university based principal preparation programs have redesigned their programs to better align with the challenges facing school leaders. Presenters will highlight the important role that P-12 partnerships play in building a pipeline of school leaders that have the tools and experiences they need to be successful in their new roles.
In December, the Wallace Foundation hosted a livestreamed discussion on Improving Principal Preparation Programs as the culmination of a two-day event for members of its University Principal Preparation Initiative Professional Learning Community (UPPI PLC). This initiative focuses on redesigning university principal preparation programs at seven universities in an effort to resolve the disconnect between what was happening in the universities to prepare educational leaders and the real-world demands of the job. The panel discussion highlighted the experiences of one UPPI university, Florida Atlantic University, and their district partners.
During this engaging discussion, panelists highlighted the importance of maintaining routines of collaboration so partnerships can advance and how those partnerships played a key role in the success of realigning the experience for educational leaders moving from preparation to school leadership roles. “Relationships and having the right people on the bus makes the difference,” said Ted Toomer of Broward County Schools. Panelists also spoke about the importance of tracking systems to better learn from the data to improve programs and cited that superintendent support for the work is critical.
AACTE hosted its final webinar of this year’s series on principal preparation sponsored by The Wallace Foundation on Wednesday, December 12. As co-hosts, we discussed “Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work” with invited guests: Dr. Traci Gile, a principal at Lopez Elementary in Fort Collins, Colorado, Travis Hargreaves, an assistant principal at Cherry Creek Academy in Denver, Colorado, and Donald Kotnik, an assistant principal at Mountain View High School in Loveland, Colorado. Presenters discussed how Colorado State University’s (CSU) School Leadership Institute helped bridge their preparation program to practice for participants.
The Institute consists of two retreats for CSU graduates who are currently in their first few years of school leadership. Institute fellows on the panel shared how their involvement not only improved their practice as leaders, but offered a desperately needed support network for a job that is often isolating. Presenters also shared the importance of contributing to the ongoing research project associated with the Institute and communicating the challenges of the profession through focus groups. This research, and their voices in the focus groups, will not only impact current preparation programs, but also the larger professional community.