In the latest edition of the Wallace Foundation’s Perspective, the focus is again on school leadership. In “The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training,” the authors seek to discover what it will take to ensure that all public schools have leaders equal to the challenges facing the public school system.
The report finds that more districts, particularly large urban districts most in need of good leaders, have been investing in principal preparation programs and more rigorous mentoring and other supports to new principals. States have also been tightening accreditation rules and adopting new standards to push universities and other principal training providers to improve their programs.
However, though some steps have been taken to better prepare principals, the authors note that there is still “a long way to go” before principal preparation programs are adequate to meet the challenges facing principals. From the research culled by the authors, they suggest districts heed the following five lessons:
- A more selective, probing process for choosing candidates for training is the essential first step in creating a more capable and diverse corps of future principals.
- Aspiring principals need pre-service training that prepares them to lead improved instruction and school change, not just manage buildings.
- Districts should do more to exercise their power to raise the quality of principal training, so that graduates better meet their needs.
- States could make better use of their power to influence the quality of leadership training through standard-setting, program accreditation, principal certification and financial support for highly qualified candidates.
- Especially in their first year on the job, principals need high-quality mentoring and professional development tailored to individual and district needs.
To read the full report, please visit http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/effective-principal-leadership/Pages/The-Making-of-the-Principal-Five-Lessons-in-Leadership-Training.aspx