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


Role Group Strategies

Investigate the changing nature of the principalship and examine characteristics of effective instructional leaders. Participate in the North Carolina Principal Executive Program

Principals who Know How to Share Leadership
Alabama Best Practices Center.  (2004, Spring).
The Spring 2004 issue of "Working Toward Excellence" profiles several principals who've discovered (some late in their careers) the power of teacher leadership to revitalize teaching and learning. The issue also describes the Alabama Reading Initiative's principal coaching program, which is helping dozens of principals gain the confidence, skills and knowledge they need to lead reforms in literacy instruction.

The Knowledge Loom:  The Principal as an Effective Instructional Leader
The Education Alliance at Brown University
This tool gives detailed explanations of the standards for instructional leadership created by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) and the National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP).  Under each standard, the site provides success stories in actual schools, research, policy and additional resources related to each standard.  There is also a discussion forum where participants can discuss principal instructional leadership with other peers and with experts.

Leading for Learning:  Reflective Tools for School and District Leaders
Knapp, M.S., Copland, M.A., and Talbert, J.E. (2003). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy
While principals are expected to be instructional leaders within their buildings, many have not been trained to handle this complex task.  This document, created by the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, examines the relationship among student learning, professional learning, and system learning and describes five "areas of action" for leaders to create more effective learning opportunities for all students.  The authors outline concrete tasks for school leaders, details what quality efforts would look like, and describes challenges leaders might face.

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.

The Changing Shape of Leadership.  
King, D. (2002, May).  Educational Leadership,  59 (8), 61-63.
This short article describes six areas where administrators are now expected to offer leadership, with a particular emphasis on instructional leadership and a focus on improving learning for students.

Instructional Module:  View of the Principal and the Job
The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2004).
This module outlines the various job responsibilities of a principal for those outside of or thinking of joining the profession.  The contents focus on professional development and mentoring and profile three innovative leaders in different school settings.

The New Principal
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.  (2000, Spring). Northwest Education Magazine
This tool outlines the characteristics needed by principals to effectively serve as instructional  leaders and capably build leadership in others.  It provides examples of successful principals from the Northwest and links to school leadership resources.

Complete a self-assessment process designed to highlight strengths and areas for improvement.

Individual Assessment Exercises and Development Guide
National Association for Secondary School Principals.  (2001).
This site provides several easy to use resources that encourage administrators to reflect on their personal strengths and weaknesses as leaders.  A Self Assessment Checklist covers areas from educational leadership and resolving complex problems to communication and developing self and others. The Personal Development Guide helps administrators who have completed the Self Assessment create a plan to address areas of weakness discovered.  Finally, the Mentor/Protégé Suggestions provides possible strategies that mentors and their protégés can use to maximize the results of a program of self-investigation. 

Individual Development Plan Guidebook
National Association for Secondary School Principals.  (2001).
This web link provides a guidebook that administrators can fill out when reflecting on their own personal strengths and weaknesses.  Complete with sections that help an administrator to reflect on their personal as well as professional goals, this document provides a strong foundation for principals interested in their own professional growth.  This document would be a good starting point for administrators interested in reflecting on their current position combined with their plans for the future.

Leadership Audit Tool:  A Participatory Management Checklist
Center for School and Community Development.
This online tool helps school administrators and leaders to reflect on the degree of participatory management that they allow for within their own schools.  Covering areas related to decision-making and problem solving, survey takers get a chart showing their personal areas of strength and weakness.  This tool can be used multiple times during the course of a year, tracking progress and growth.  It can also be effective to identify the individual strengths of administrators across an entire county. 

Develop a mentor protégé relationship with an experienced colleague.

Virtual Mentors
National Association of Secondary School Principals.
On the “Virtual Mentor” page, three NASSP/Metlife State Principals of the Year volunteer their time to be online mentors, answering questions on any topic in a discussion board forum.  In addition to submitting questions, principals can browse the questions and responses from administrators across the nation who likely have similar concerns.  Topics run the gamut, from online security for staff development sessions to dealing with difficult parents and students.

Making the Case for Principal Mentoring
The Education Alliance at Brown University
This report created in 2003 by the Education Alliance at Brown University outlines the importance of effective programs that recruit, develop and support principals.  It identifies elements of effective principal mentoring programs and profiles eight principal support programs from across the United States.

More than Mentors:  Principal Coaching
Bloom, G., Castagna, C. and Warren, B. (2003, May/June). Leadership Magazine.
This document describes the Principals’ Leadership Network, an initiative from the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory that focuses on the needs of school principals.  With sections on mentoring, the role of the principal as instructional leader, developing and retaining quality principals, and professional development, this document provides a comprehensive look at how one area is addressing the challenges of supporting principal growth.

Executive Coaching
Pardini, P. (2003, November). School Administrator
This article addresses the growing trend of using executive coaching to provide individualized, on-going professional development to school administrators and leaders. It explains the difference between coaches and mentors, provides guidance on how to find a coach, and highlights several successful coaching arrangements.

Instructional Module:  View of the Principal and the Job
The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2004).
This module outlines the various job responsibilities of a principal for those outside of or thinking of joining the profession.  The contents focus on professional development and mentoring and profile three innovative leaders in different school settings.

Participate in collaborative study groups with other district administrators. Collectively examine the role of school administrators in fundamental organizational change.

Come Together
Onick, R.E. (2003, September).  Principal Leadership, 4(1).
This article from NASSP describes the work of a collaborative group of middle school principals in Milwaukee, WI.  Motivated by Michael Schmoker, who once said, “Just imagine the benefits if administrators began to do their own action research on effective ways to promote a culture of effective collaboration and data-driven improvement?” these principals have committed to monthly meetings focused on identifying promising models for school reform.  The article includes a description of several projects that these principals have successfully examined and implemented in the past several years.

Issues about Change:  Principals and Teachers:  Continuous Learners
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.  (2001).
This resource from SEDL outlines the importance of continuous learning for principals and for teachers.  It shares the stories of three principals who are committed to their own development and the impact that this leadership has had on their school community.

Principals Evaluating Peers
Gil, L.S. (1998, October). School Administrator
There has been much emphasis on the development of formative evaluation programs for teachers that emphasize professional growth over summative evaluation programs that emphasize performance.  This article examines an attempt in the Chula Vista School District of California to bring the same changes to the evaluation of administrators.  Abandoning the traditional system of summative evaluations provided by district superintendents, Chula Vista School District has created a system of peer review for administrators.  Based on monthly meetings of Peer Evaluation Groups consisting of 4-7 principals, this system encourages administrators to grow professionally through collaboration with peers and self-reflection.

Rapid Results:  The Breakthrough Strategy
Schmoker, M. (1999). Results: The key to continuous school improvement.
In this chapter from his book Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement, Mike Schmoker explains how rapid reform is possible if an organization commits to focusing on short-term, achievable goals based on a shared vision of success.  He argues that the momentum created by experiencing short-term victories leads to continued enthusiasm, as well as contributes to a spirit of collective inquiry and problem solving, and he provides examples of several schools who have experienced rapid change as a result of focusing on short-term goals.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

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