A New Approach to Principal Preparation: Innovative Programs Share Their Practices and Lessons Learned

Remmert Dekker

This report from the Rainwater Leadership Alliance brings back into
focus the challenge of preparing top-notch school leaders. Utilizing
case studies from nine highly-effective principal training programs
(thankfully, none could also be called “traditional”), the volume
adduces a six-stage model that’s worth examining. Each featured program
attacks what we have dubbed the “crisis in leadership
head-on, through selective recruiting, on-the-job training, and support
to their alumni in the field. Principals emerge from such programs
better able to utilize data, offer ongoing feedback to teachers, create
curriculum and student support programs, and manage staff and its
development. Most importantly, they’re able to shift school cultures.
Infusing the system with this new brand of school leader is just one
part of the equation, though. They also need enough autonomy to be effective.

Gretchen Rhines Cheney, Jacquelyn Davis, Kelly Garrett, and Jennifer Holleran, “A New Approach to Principal Preparation: Innovative Programs Share Their Practices and Lessons Learned,” (Fort Worth, TX: Rainwater Leadership Alliance, 2010).