New Tool Will Assess, Strengthen Partnerships to Develop Effective School Leaders

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In a new initiative supported by The Wallace Foundation, a team led by Dr. Cheryl King will develop, pilot, and field-test a tool and protocols to assess the effectiveness of partnerships between districts and university principal preparation programs. The tool and protocols can play a key role in fostering the “great leaders” called for by Race to the Top by leveraging the capacity of districts and universities to align program elements and resources and pursue a shared vision for preparing “great leaders.”

King reports, “In a national evaluation study funded by Wallace, we found that school districts are taking a more active role in helping university principal preparation programs adapt to district needs. This makes sense—on their own, neither districts nor universities can provide the depth and range of experiences needed to ensure that aspiring principals are equipped to lead schools to improve learning for all students.” Formal partnerships between districts and universities are viewed as a promising approach to effective principal preparation. Yet there is currently no way to assess the effectiveness of such partnerships. The tools and protocols being developed by EDC and Wallace will help partnerships ensure that leader training and preparation programs are of the highest quality and address school district leadership needs.

For over a decade, EDC has advanced The Wallace Foundation’s goals to promote effective school leadership by conducting studies, providing consultation—most recently supporting the efforts of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative—and developing tools and protocols. “The Wallace Foundation is both an investor and an innovator in advancing educational leadership,” King notes, “we are pleased to have been selected to partner with Wallace in this effort that is so important to meeting national goals and ensuring all students receive an excellent education.”

Last Updated: December 2012