Recognizing the critical role that principals play with improved student learning, many states are examining university programs responsible for the preparation of principals. An SREB publication, Are SREB States Making Progress? Tapping, Preparing and Licensing School Leaders Who Can Influence Student Achievement notes progress made by states involved in the University Leadership Development Network. Common review criteria from two states (Iowa and Louisiana) that underwent principal preparation redesign was outlined for the School Leader Task Force. A website hosted by the National Association of State Boards of Education documents other states involved with principal preparation redesign. This section highlights and references materials from eight states working to redesign their principal preparation programs.
In 2002, The Iowa Department of Education required all Iowa higher education institutions to re-submit applications for the approval of their school leader preparation programs according to new guidelines. The Department of Education aligned the Iowa Standards for School Leadership to align with the ISLLC standards, McREL competencies, and competencies developed by the Iowa Council of Professors of Educational Administration (ICPEA). All preparation programs were required to align with these new standards and competencies (go to the "Leadership" section for is a list of our standards and criteria. For descriptors for principals and superintendents, go to Resources and then to Evaluation).
A review panel of persons from outside the state reviewed the nine applications. Five programs received approval. A power point presentation of Iowa ’ s principal preparation reform was presented by Don Hackmann at the May 2008 Working Together to Prepare School Leaders Conference.
For additional information see:
In 1999, the Blue Ribbon Commission for Educational Excellence was formed by the Governor, Board of Regents, and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. This group examined the status of teacher and educational leader preparation programs in the state. In 2002, the Blue Ribbon Commission created guidelines and expectations for the redesign of educational leadership programs. In 2004, the state began the program review process of redesigned program utilizing a team of external experts composed of national experts. The external evaluators reviewed redesigned post-baccalaureate program proposals, interviewed university/district teams, provided feedback to universities regarding their proposals, and made recommendations to the Program Review Committee composed of representatives from university system boards, Board of Regents, and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. This committee reviewed the recommendations of the external evaluators and recommended program approval (or non-approval) to the Board of Regents and BESE. Of the 15 universities that submitted program applications, one received approval, thirteen received approval after meeting stipulations, and one rescinded their application.
More information about Louisiana ’ s principal preparation redesign can be seen at:
In 2004, New York required all preparation programs to submit new program approval plans based on new standards and regulations described below. New rules stated that candidates must graduate from an approved program (rather than collecting course credits at various universities over time). All programs must redesign their coursework and provide a 15-week full-time internship supervised by a certified building level leader as well as provide other practicum experiences. All programs must be nationally accredited. The accreditation process will use outcomes data from the state ’ s administrator assessment to inform the decisions. The state also revised its state school leader standards to the following nine essential characteristics of effective leaders:
For more information, see:
Alabama ’ s leadership redesign goal is to “create a seamless system of school leader selection, preparation, certification, professional development, and working conditions and incentives that results in every school having leadership that improves the school and increases student achievement ” resulting from the Alabama Governor ’ s Congress on School Leadership report. This includes the focus of supporting universities in preparing principals able to improve student learning in all of Alabama schools. The first step in doing this was to revise the Alabama School Leader Standards around the following areas:
The revision of the standards required by state statute that all university principal preparation programs redesign and resubmit for state accreditation aligned with the new standards. According to the new criteria, new programs must:
For more information, see the SREB case study on Alabama.
Georgia developed new state school leader standards called the Eight Roles of School Leaders around the following areas:
A literature review was done on the business and education research behind the eight roles.
After approving the new standards, Georgia mandated a redesign of the state ’ s principal preparation programs requiring:
Georgia requires an integrated relationship between the university and school districts based on principles of quality assurance, collaboration, and responsiveness. The institutions responsible for training school leaders shall also guarantee that graduates meet all expectations listed under performance and results, and provide additional training for any graduate identified by a school system as not meeting expectations. They will increase the numbers of high quality applicants from majority and minority groups and mentor graduates on all dimensions of the guarantee during their first two-years of practice as newly certified educational leaders in Georgia. Institutions have at least an annual 80% pass rate on certification exam(s) for each reportable demographic group of leader candidates by 2006, while maintaining or increasing the number of minority leaders prepared. Institutions support and recognize faculty for participation in leader preparation and in school improvement efforts through decisions in such areas as promotion and tenure, salary increases, workload, and allocation of resources, and the institutions shall ensure collaboration in the preparation of leaders, counselors, and teachers that is focused on the interrelated roles of all school personnel in improving student academic success. The state uses impact data in program approval reviews. Georgia has also developed a model training program to train leaders for low-performing schools. It is being piloted in three regions of the state. New administrative rules for principal preparation approval criteria were also developed in Georgia.
In 2006, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 14 (HJR14). This legislation called for the development of a task force to present recommendations on the redesign of principal preparation and support. The responsibilities of the Education Leadership Redesign (ELR) Task Force were divided into work groups facilitated by staff members of the EPSB. Four work groups were established for the redesign process:
In October 2007, the task force released its report, Learning Center Leadership: The Preparation and Support for the Next Generation of Kentucky ’ s School and District Leaders. The task force has continued to meet to create a content guide for what aspiring principals should know and be able to do to enhance student learning (hyperlink to document titled Continuum Report for EPSB CD).
In 2007, the Office of Education Accountability ( OEA), the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC), and the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) conducted a joint study of the current status of school leadership in New Mexico. The study highlighted concerns about preparation and professional development conditions that lead to high rates of principal and superintendent turnover and on New Mexico ’ s efforts to support leaders, including increased salaries and alternative pathways for recruiting and preparing principals. The joint study concluded with a number of recommendations that became the basis for the LESC-endorsed SJM 3 School Principal Recruitment and Mentoring.
Since the end of the 2008 legislative session, the OEA has conducted a series of meetings with staff from the PED, HED, LESC, LFC, all public universities in New Mexico with leadership preparation programs, superintendents, principals, and professional development providers. These collaborations have begun to develop the plan to enhance the recruitment, preparation, mentoring, evaluation, professional development and support for school principals and other education leaders called for in SJM 3. The OEA, in collaboration with the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators, is also conducting a series of surveys of, and focus groups with principals, superintendents, university faculty, and school board members to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of New Mexico ’ s current approaches to the recruitment, preparation, and support of school leaders. This work will continue during the summer and into the fall, with the goal to present the plan to the LESC by November 1, 2008.
In 2003, the Massachusetts Board of Education implemented significant changes to the state ’ s Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval Regulations (PDF and hyperlink to document titled Massachusetts guidelines). The changes provided “ licensed educations, nontraditional educators, and career-changing candidates from other professions to pursue licensure as an administrator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ” As a result, most aspiring administrators are no longer required to complete a master ’ s degree. Candidates instead have three options for obtaining licensure.
1. One option is to complete a program of study that has the Board of Education approval. These programs are offered by a variety of entities, including higher education institutions, professional associations, school districts, charter schools, and private organizations. The National Center on Education and the Economy, the Massachusetts Elementary Principals ’ Association, and the Boston Public Schools are just a few of the many organizations with board-approved programs.
2. A second option is an Administrative Apprenticeship/Internship. This path requires a minimum of 300 hours, or experience in the role in which the candidate wants to be licensed. Candidates are responsible for identifying a school district to support the experience. They must seek out a licensed administrator in an equivalent position who is willing to undergo mentor training and then provide supervision. The district is responsible for providing access to appropriate workshops to ensure the candidate will meet the Professional Standards for Administrators.
3. The third option is a Panel Review, which is only available to superintendent candidates and individuals who meet specific prerequisite experiences. Candidates for the superintendent and assistant superintendent licensure are granted preliminary licensure if they have a minimum number of years in an executive management or leadership role, or in a variety of roles in an educational setting. They must also pass a communication and literacy skills test. To obtain the initial license, superintendent candidates must work three years in an educational setting before completing the panel review process. They may elect to complete either an approved post-baccalaureate program or an administrative apprenticeship/internship. Candidates for all other licensures can only select the panel review option if they have completed a post-baccalaureate degree in management or administration at an accredited institution, or if they have three years experience in an executive management/leadership, supervisory, or administrative role. Regulations for Massachusetts ’ s Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval were developed.
In 2009, Ohio passed legislation (H.B 1) that transfers the duty to approve teacher preparation programs from the State Board to the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and expands that duty to include approval of preparation programs for other educators and school personnel. According to the law, the chancellor, jointly with the superintendent of public instruction, must 1) establish metrics and preparation programs for educators and other school personnel and the higher education institutions that offer the programs, and 2) provide for inspection of the institutions. Within one year after the provision's effective date, the chancellor, based on the new metrics and preparation programs developed with the superintendent, must approve institutions with preparation programs that maintain satisfactory training procedures and records of performance, as determined by the chancellor. The chancellor must notify the State Board of the metrics and preparation programs and the approved institutions of higher education, which the State Board must publish with the standards and qualifications for educator licensure.
The new metrics and preparation programs must be aligned with the State Board's standards and qualifications for educator licensure and the requirements of the Ohio Teacher Residency Program. The metrics and preparation programs also must ensure that educators and other school personnel are adequately prepared to use the value-added progress dimension, which measures student academic gain attributable to a particular teacher or school and is a factor in the performance ratings assigned to school districts and buildings on the annual report cards.