The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability

The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability

The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability

The Principal Challenge: Leading and Managing Schools in an Era of Accountability

Synopsis

A Blueprint for Developing Tomorrow's School Leaders "A penetrating analysis of today's whopping school leadership crisis, and a wake-up call for a revolution in principal preparation. Filled with provocative ideas on how to address the demands for unprecedented improvement in student performance." _ Jerome Murphy, professor of education and former dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education "The Principal Challenge does a brilliant job of chronicling the failure of our school districts and our schools of education to prepare school principals for the job ahead. This book is both a stimulus for action and a handbook of new models for leadership development. Everyone who wants public education to succeed should read it." _ John C. Fryer, Jr., superintendent, Duval County Schools, Florida and former commandant, National War College "This panoramic view of the principalship is powerful. Not only does this book present issues few are willing to openly discuss, it lays out solutions. It is a must-read for everyone interested in the future of our kids." _ Patricia A. Harvey, superintendent, Saint Paul, Minnesota Public Schools "For too long, the heart of educational leadership has been neglected. This book provides a welcome transfusion. The coeditors are obviously well grounded in both theory and practice. Their critique of schools of education is right on target." _ Terrance Deal, Irving R. Melbo Scholar, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California "The Principal Challenge represents a ray of hope and a voice of reason for principals, who are under enormous pressure from states, localities, and communities to produce results in demanding circumstances. There are few jobs today with as many and as divergent responsibilities as that of a principal. A new vision of the principalship is required, and The Principal Challenge delivers." _ Maria Tukeva, principal, Bell Multicultural High School, Washington, D.C.

Excerpt

In the summer of 1999, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) was asked by Michael Levine and Vivien Stewart at Carnegie Corporation of New York if we would be interested in producing a plan for a “war college” for school principals, a new kind of institution that could model a very different approach to the training of these key educational leaders and managers. This request grew out of a meeting sponsored earlier that summer by Carnegie, the Ford Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education addressed to the question as to where the United States was going to find the quality of people we will need to lead our schools.

Carnegie, like other philanthropic institutions, was growing concerned about the prospects for leadership in our educational institutions. Anecdotal data from many sources was revealing a very disturbing picture. the number of applicants for positions as principals and superintendents was declining. Experienced people seemed to be retiring at ever earlier ages. Even in the wealthy suburbs, applications were far below prior levels and continuing to trend downward. Recruiters were reporting ever greater difficulty in finding candidates with even minimal qualifications for positions in schools and districts serving low-income families. For the first time in our own work, there were schools in our network that had been without even minimally qualified principals for six months or longer because no one at all could be found to fill the job. More and more of the principals and superintendents we talked to were reporting that the pressures on them were continuing to grow and the rewards were diminishing.

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