Innovative School Leadership Programs

˙ PREAL Blog

This post is also available in: Spanish

We are pleased to share with you the most recent edition of PREAL’s Best Practices Series, No. 37, “Formación de liderazgo escolar: programas pioneros en Estados Unidos.” This edition reviews three exemplary programs in the United States that recruit, train, and retain highly qualified principals. These programs target school principals with incentives to make the role attractive to qualified leaders.

The first program, New Leaders for New Schools, contains a two-part program for aspiring principals including a rigorous selection process, a four-week training period, and one year of residency in a school. Successful candidates for this program have experience as leaders in the school system. The second program, Broad Residency in Urban Education, consists of a two-year training period with interactive seminars and focused projects, combining training with work experience in high levels of school administration. This program targets residents with at least 4 years of prior work experience who may be able to use business skills to improve educational management practices.

The third program, First Ring School Academy, was developed in response to the extreme shortage of qualified principals in an attempt to attract school leaders who will reform the education system in Cleveland area districts. Unlike the first two programs, this program recruits participants from highly exceptional current teachers from within the local district. The 15-month training emphasizes topics central to school management work and incorporates interaction with the school’s current principal. This program is beneficial in that it uses the district’s own resources for its educational progress, leaders are selected with an understanding of local problems, and the relationships between school leaders and local authorities are strengthened.