Expanding the Network: AREL Welcomes Nine New Principal Preparation Programs
As Director of The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), I am proud to announce the addition of nine new innovative principal preparation programs into the AREL Network. Now in its second year, the AREL Network has grown to 28 affiliates spanning 15 states and the District of Columbia and includes universities, non-profits, non-traditional school leader preparation programs, school districts and statewide efforts. Each AREL affiliate is chosen through a robust and rigorous recruitment and selection process, in which the effectiveness of each program is measured by AREL’s nine competency standards. A major focus when selecting principal preparation programs to join the AREL Network is a core belief in the principal’s being a crucial factor in student achievement and an affiliate’s commitment to bettering graduates and their program as a whole through evaluation and data collection. AREL and its team at the Bush Institute are excited to welcome these nine cutting edge principal preparation programs and are confident each will utilize its unique characteristics to further the goal of redefining and empowering America’s school leaders:
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, NC)
- Delaware Leadership Project (Wilmington, DE.)
- Hillsborough Country Public Schools Preparing New Principals Program (Tampa, FL)
- Loyola University Chicago (LUC) Principal Preparation Program (Chicago, IL)
- The Boston College Lynch Leadership Academy (Boston, MA)
- The Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship, the District of Columbia Public Schools’ Aspiring Leaders Program (Washington, DC)
- Morgridge College of Education Leadership Preparation (Denver, CO)
- School Executive Leadership Academy (Charlotte, NC)
- Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC)
The AREL Network is a first of its kind Professional Learning Community of principal preparation programs where affiliates are able to come together to share best practices, learn from each other and network in an environment where programs’ sole focuses are to graduate highly effective leaders for our Nation’s schools and our children. In today’s public schools, the principal plays a critical role in advancing student achievement. They must set the vision and create a culture of success on campus, oversee all human capital aspects including the hiring, developing and releasing of teachers and set the expectations necessary to improve achievement for nearly 50 million students attending public school every day. However, in a policy environment where no standards exist for principal preparation, the programs in the AREL Network have committed to implementing best practices including collecting data on their graduates’ effectiveness. As a collective group, the programs in AREL’s Network will serve as a blueprint for how principals can be effectively trained to positively impact student achievement across the nation. Believing principals are a crucial component of a child’s education, accounting for 25% of the impact on a child’s academic success, the Bush Institute is enthusiastic about the growing national dialogue surrounding the significance of redefining and empowering school leaders. To better raise student achievement across the Nation, our country’s principal preparation programs must create the types of leaders capable of developing excellent teachers, making data-informed decisions, and cultivating a culture of success and achievement throughout school buildings. The addition of these nine principal preparation programs into AREL’s Network brings our country closer to realizing a new generation of principals who turn even the lowest performing schools into institutions that produce citizens capable of competing in a 21st century global economy.
This blog was written by Dr. Kerry Moll, Director for The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) at the George W. Bush Institute.
By the Numbers: Why Do Principals Matter?
This week, the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership released two related major studies: research on evaluating principal preparation programs and the Principal Talent Management Framework, a guidebook for school districts to get, support, and keep great principals. So, why do principals matter? Principals may account for up to 25 percent of a school’s impact on student learning. Among school-related factors, principals are second only to classroom teaching when it comes to impact on student learning. In fact, a 2013 Education Next report found that “highly effective principals raise the achievement.” A principal’s impact is even greater in high poverty schools. The impact on achievement can be even greater in schools serving disadvantaged students, according to the same article above, which means it’s even more crucial to attract and retain high-quality principals in schools where the need may be greatest.
The Need for a Strong Principal Bench
A recent story of a principal who left the high school he successfully turned around in Newark, New Jersey illustrates how vulnerable turnaround reforms can be when the leader who implemented those reforms moves on.
Data on School Leaders: What’s in Your System?
We know good school leaders matter. Knowing how to prepare school leaders to be effective can transform the leadership landscape. To better understand the effects that principals from select innovative preparation programs are having on student achievement, the George W. Bush Institute and American Institutes for Research are conducting a two-year principal preparation evaluation study for release this fall. Working on this study, we have encountered and overcome several challenges, but one of the most surprising being districts’ lack of consistent, reliable, and readily available data on principal training and experience. Few districts were able to identify the name of the program or institution where each of their principals was trained and certified. Few knew how many years of experience principals had or how much or what type of internal professional development or training principals may have experienced. These are the very data that school districts should be collecting an