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Principal Training on the Ground

Ensuring Highly Qualified Leadership

By Lizabeth Gewirtzman, Sandra J Stein
Foreword by Anthony J. Alvarado
Afterword by Elaine Fink

    For more than a century the field of education has struggled—largely unsuccessfully—with how to make the preparation of school principals both intellectually rigorous and deeply connected to the world of practice. Principal Training on the Ground describes a new and powerful solution to this problem—one that will reshape conventional views of principal preparation, and one that brings schools and universities into promising new partnerships. School and university administrators should read this book.
    —Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    The training of new principals described in this clear and concise volume has come alive in the public schools of New York City. Many of the fine principals I have hired consider Sandra and Liz the masterminds behind the professional preparation that has enabled them to become confident and competent school leaders. This is an essential text in the study of educational administration.
    —Shelley Harwayne, Superintendent New York City Public Schools

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    For more than a century the field of education has struggled—largely unsuccessfully—with how to make the preparation of school principals both intellectually rigorous and deeply connected to the world of practice. Principal Training on the Ground describes a new and powerful solution to this problem—one that will reshape conventional views of principal preparation, and one that brings schools and universities into promising new partnerships. School and university administrators should read this book.
    —Richard F. Elmore, Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    The training of new principals described in this clear and concise volume has come alive in the public schools of New York City. Many of the fine principals I have hired consider Sandra and Liz the masterminds behind the professional preparation that has enabled them to become confident and competent school leaders. This is an essential text in the study of educational administration.
    —Shelley Harwayne, Superintendent New York City Public Schools

As our nation faces a severe principal shortage, Sandra Stein and Liz Gewirtzman offer a timely breakthrough—a detailed overview and explanation of a principal training model that can easily be implemented through school-university partnerships.

The authors base their book on the Aspiring Leaders Program (ALP), a collaboration of several New York City school districts and the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, The City University of New York. The program takes a unique approach to principal development that integrates the craft knowledge of master practitioners with the theoretical knowledge and research of college professors. Stein and Gewirtzman provide not only a provocative rationale for radically transforming school leadership development through such a program, but also a practical guide to get there through a model that includes:

  • systems of accountability
  • cycles of continuous improvement
  • responsiveness to local realities
  • delivery of a rigorous curriculum
  • instruction as the center of the principal's role.
To address the problem of quality leadership in education, administrators and government policy makers can find no more effective approach than the one offered here.

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