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5 Ways to Improve Principal Preparation of Tomorrow

By: MaryBeth Crissman Date: May 3, 2016

Wallace foundation

Teacher training and preparedness is often the focus of most conversations about school quality. When schools are performing well, it is the teachers that are praised for their dedication and effectiveness. And when a school is doing poorly, it is the teachers that bear the brunt of the blame.  In reality, a school’s successes or struggles cannot be attributed to just one group of people. It is the entire team of faculty and staff that contribute to school quality. A crucial part of that team is those educators responsible for leading and guiding those teachers receiving the praise or the criticism … principals.

In a recent announcement, The Wallace Foundation has committed to investing $47 million over the next five years in principal preparedness and training programs at six universities. This money will be used to improve existing principal preparation programs that have been reported as unsatisfactory by superintendents, program graduates, as well as universities themselves. The six universities to receive the investment will be announced in fall 2016.

In a previous report on university-based principal training, The Wallace Foundation revealed five primary themes that are key to the principal’s role in improving student achievement:

  1. Many universities report that their programs are in need of improvement, and district leaders echo those concerns.
  2. Effective university training partnerships are key to highly-prepared principals but such programs are not commonplace.
  3. University programs often fail to prepare principals for the real life demands of the job.
  4. University culture can often be an impediment to meaningful change.
  5. Many states with the power to improve principal training are not using it effectively.

To learn more about the Wallace Foundation’s efforts, visit their site.