NASBE Session :: What Do We Now Know About Preparing School Leaders - and How are We Doing?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Panel Presenters
Paul Manna, College of William & Mary, Wallace Foundation
Jonathan Supovitz and Bobbi Newman, Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania
William "Bill" White, Chair of School Leader Study Group, West Virginia State Board of Education

NASBE: State BOD chose two study groups: one on career readiness & the other took a look at the adequate number of school leaders - - lead to this report, partially funded by Wallace Foundation. At the same time that the study group was working on this, Paul Manna published his report for the Wallace Foundation: Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning

Paul Manna
  • The need for high-quality leaders -->not high priority on state policy agenda - currently, more attention to teacher-related issues than principal-related
  • A focus on "school leadership" conflates the principal's role with the roles of other school leaders
State Policy Levers Examined:
- Setting principal standards;
- Recruiting aspiring principals;
- Overseeing principal preparation programs;
- Licensing principals; supporting professional development of principals; evaluating principals
  • ON Recruitment: Wallace FDN has a big focus on Urban Emphasis --> have to also talk about rural settings
  • North Carolina: NELA (Northeast Leadership Academy), mission to recruit, train, then place in rural locations in North Carolina. There are some common needs in both rural and urban; explicit training for rurals, like how to find resources for their particular settings; recruits also learn to write a grant
  • Illinois and Kentucky: they have had principal preparation programs for over 10 years
Local Contexts
- Educational governance
- Diversity of locales
- Capacity of state agencies and local districts and schools to implement policy
- Policies and practices

"... perhaps a principal's job is to go to work and decide which law to break because there are so many conflicting rules and policies..."

State boards of ed have The Power of Collective Voice to affect change:
  1. The Power of Policy - authority to officially adopt and enact rules and regs to govern an area of the education system (often referred to as "rule-making")
  2. The Power of the Question - as a body, has authority to ask agencies individuals, or organizations for information updates, and assistance on nay matter regarding the education system
  3. The Power to Convene - for the purpose of discussing issues and collaboratively working toward solutions involving the education system in areas were the Board retains policy authority, as well as where it does not
With this in mind, SBEs could do some kind of systematic audit that bear on the Principals' job every day - - with an eye to removing 4 or 5 things...!

Dr. Jonathan Supovitz & Dr. Bobbi Newman
  • How do we look holistically at the system of support for capacity for school leaders?
  • Framework: Leadership Standards - Individual Supports
  • Data: used for monitoring and informing continuous improvement (Distributed model for review of data - -Organizational Supports and Individual Supports)
  • Hoping the study group report will help you
Organizational Supports
In the course of contacting all 50 states about their programs, spoke to lots of SEA folks

Program Approval & Licensure --> go hand in glove
- requirements for leaders
- leadership exam

- partnerships provide the conduit through which candidates can better access these pathways
- findings

Financial support for:
- recruitment programs
- induction programs
- mentoring
- recognition

Emerging TRENDS:

  • IL: sunsetting programs and asking folks to reapply
  • AZ & MA: high standards for leaders
  • DE: new report cards focus on a cycle of continuous improvement
  • many states have "grow your own" programs for leadership
  • developing "teacher leaders": many states have the requirement that prospective principals have teaching experience, but no evidence of leadership is required - - this needs to change

Going forward: guiding questions for policymakers (begins on p. 22 of the NASBE report)

Bill White

  • in addition to the guiding questions, check out  REFERENCES, beginning on p. 28
  • need to look at the way we do leadership development, beginning on p. 17

The take-away: There are bright spots, but no exemplary states

There's more in the Storify
- - -
There's an excellent twitterchat for aspiring administrators called #Admin2B. Drop in Monday nights, 8:00-9:00 PM (EST). Check out archived convos HERE and HERE