Recommendation One:
Create a system where principals have meaningful PD that enhances their knowledge and skills as effective instructional leaders serving students and teachers. - Resources for related strategies


Role Group Strategies

Advocate and provide funding for principal professional development programs that emphasize instructional leadership. Continue to provide support for the North Carolina Principals’ Executive Program.

The Story of CSLA:  Making a Difference for Administrators
WestEd Regional Educational Laboratory.  (2000, Fall).  R+D Alert.
Leadership development academies have become an increasingly common approach to addressing the issue of principal professional development.  This brief outlines several state-wide approaches to principal professional development and school leadership.  Beginning with a description of the California School Leadership Academy (CSLA), the brief also examines what it takes to be an effective leader and the leadership potential in the community.  Finally, the it profiles the Western Assessment Collaborative’s Leadership Initiative, which emphasizes leadership in support of standards based instruction.

Va. Principal Cadre Aims to Fix Schools
Archer, J.  (2004, April 28).  Va. Principal cadre to fix schools.  Education Week.
The types of skills and personalities that principals need to thrive in challenging schools are often different than the skills needed for most school administrators.  Recognizing this challenge, the State of Virginia has instituted a program that will grant principals certification as “turnaround specialists.”  This article from Education Week outlines the need for the program and describes similar plans in states around America.  Initially planned as a pilot program with 10 principals, if successful, the state plans to widen its pool of principals qualified to work in challenging schools.

Improving School Board Decision Making: The Data Connection
Linda Dawson
This site contains training tools, PowerPoint presentations, and quizzes designed to introduce school board members to using data to make good decisions. The site also highlights the activities of school boards in specific communities and provides links to additional resources on how to use data effectively.

The Principals’ Executive Program
The Principals Executive Program (PEP), a part of the Center for School Leadership Development at the University of North Carolina, provides public school administrators with professional development on topics such as curriculum mapping, data-driven decision making, and developing future leaders.  In addition to topical programs, PEP also offers residential programs, in which administrators attend longer leadership seminars ranging from three to twenty days.  This website includes information on upcoming seminars and links to various administrative resources.

E-Lead:  Leadership for Student Learning
Laboratory for Student Success.
This website describes the principles of professional development for school leaders, outlines leadership development programs in place across the United States, and provides a Leadership Library that contains resources on topics ranging from action research and professional learning communities to mentoring and supplying the principal pipeline.

Financing Professional Development in Education Website
The Finance Project.  (2002).
This website takes a comprehensive look at professional development in education. The site addresses funding and costs, the role of federal, state, and local decision-making, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of professional development programs.


New Help for School Administrators
Furger, R.  (2000, October).  Edutopia Online.
This article outlines the need for principal professional development programs and profiles the Higher School Performance Program of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Center for School Leadership.  The program helps principals from low-performing schools to understand their school data and to identify structural changes for school improvement.  The program also matches principals with "critical friends" or retired administrators who act as mentors.

Establish a set of standards that define excellence in administration.

Recognizing and Encouraging Exemplary Leadership in America’s Schools: 
A Proposal to Establish a System of Advanced Certification for Administrators

Mandel, D.R. (2000, January 26). National Policy Board for Educational Administration
While the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has worked to define excellence in teaching, there has been little effort to define excellence in administration.  This proposal prepared for the National Policy Board for Educational Administration outlines the rationale for creating a National Board for Professional Administrator Standards.  Doing so, the proposal contends, will generate standards of exemplary practice, facilitate professional development, and provide quality assurance.

Participate in community conversations about instructional leadership and school reform.

Making the Connection:  A Policymaker’s Guide to Participating in a Community Dialogue on Education
Guzman, J., Mutchler, S., Pan, D., and Pollard, J.  (2000). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
This guide describes the purpose of community dialogues about education and the unique benefits of such discussion for policymakers and the community.  The authors provide a description of different roles for participants, discussion ground rules, and advice on how to make the most of participation both during and after the dialogue.

Policymakers Build Bridges
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.  (2000, November). Insights on Education Policy, Practice, and Research, 13.
In 1998, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory implemented a program named “Calling the Roll:  Study Circles for Better Schools,” which was designed to engage policymakers and the community in meaningful conversations about issues related to education.  In this issue of SEDL's newsletter Insights, policymakers from Arkansas and Oklahoma discuss their experiences with the programs "study circles" method of communication with constituents. 

Deliberating about Education:  A New Policy Tool?
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. (1999, December).  Insights on Education Policy, Practice, and Research 10.
For fundamental changes to occur in American education, conversations must involve all stakeholders from policymakers to parents and teachers.  These types of conversations are often difficult to create and sustain because participants often don’t understand their own roles, or the roles of others in the process of dialogue.  This article from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory outlines a “long-standing model for public engagement known as deliberative dialogue.”  The document explores the potential of deliberative dialogue to enhance communication between policymakers and the public.

If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email us at

data analysis | time | leadership | Empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource