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Profiles in School Leadership - Welcome to AREL’s Spotlight (#SpotlightEDU) Series

June 19, 2013 by Kerry Ann Moll

Nine months out of the year , five days a week, eight hours a day.  At minimum, this is the amount time 49.3 million children spend in our nation’s schools every year.  We all know at least one of these kids in some way: the parents who make two daily trips, dropping off and picking up their sons and daughters from school; mentors who sit with high school students after school, helping prepare college applications and financial aid; small business owners down the street who are invested in the way the community educates its children because they know the better we prepare our kids for the future, the brighter the outlook will be for everyone in the neighborhood.

As a country, when our students succeed, we collectively succeed.  At its core, this is why school leadership matters.

School leaders account for up to 25 percent of a school’s impact on student learning – and great leadership in high-poverty schools can have an even larger impact.  But what does this percentage really mean?  Why is this research important?

For the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), this percentage and its accompanying research represents the potential to positively impact millions of students.  It shows that a great school leader can literally be the difference between a life of success and one of stagnation. Most importantly, this research demonstrates why we need to have a quality leader in every school who possesses the ability to lead a team of professionals on campus who are able to dramatically increase student achievement and raise life prospects.

Principals like this have names.  And stories.  And deserve to be heard. 

Which is why I am excited for AREL to launch our “Spotlight Series” this summer which will feature graduates from across our Network of 28 principal preparation programs who embody the sentiment that leadership makes a difference in the lives of children.  The principals in our spotlights lead some of their cities’ most challenging, yet successful schools.  Each time I have the opportunity to meet one of our programs’ principals, I always want to share their challenges and exciting successes with our Bush Institute community.  Their stories are powerful.  The difference they are making is meaningful.

So that is what we will be doing this summer.  AREL’s “Spotlight Series” will showcase school leaders making a difference in their communities and demonstrate the power of effective principal preparation, combined with district conditions that empower school leaders to maximize student achievement.  These individuals are as dedicated to closing the gap in academic achievement between minority students and their non-minority peers, as they are inspiring.

I hope you will follow this series throughout the summer and share with your friends and family.  If you are particularly inspired by a story, we ask that you share by means of social media using #SpotlightEDU

Leadership matters and the Bush Institute is excited to spotlight principals making a difference for our kids.