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View Blog Archive WebSchoolPro Blog > Plans Set for National Certification of Principals

Category - General
Posted - 12/10/2009 11:05am
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Plans Set for National Certification of Principals
Plans Set for National Certification of Principals
By Lesli A. Maxwell
Washington

After years of talk and stalled efforts, the creation of a national certification program for principals is finally under way, with plans to launch the initiative formally sometime in 2011.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards—which is spearheading the effort that will mirror the now 20-year-old advanced-certification program it runs for teachers—announced this week that it has completed work to define what skills and characteristics school leaders need to be effective. It is in the final stages of crafting specific standards for principals.

The nonprofit organization has raised roughly $3 million to help pay for developing the certification program so far, including a $1 million appropriation from Congress and $1 million in funding from the Chicago Public Education Fund.

As is true for the teachers who pursue voluntary national certification, the NBPTS program for principals is intended for those with at least a few years of experience who can prove a high level of accomplishment.
If done right, said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, the executive director of the Arlington, Va.-based national board, “we will end up with broad professional consensus around standards for principals and can use the framework we create to talk about different ways to develop principals in the first place.

“We don’t want this to just be a yardstick,” he said, “but a tool to help educators get to where they need to be.”

Critical Time

In an era of high-stakes accountability and intense public scrutiny, especially for the most beleaguered schools and districts, there is widespread consensus that who runs an individual school can make or break it.

“I think many of our teachers support this effort and are saying, in so many words, ‘Give me a principal who gets it and I will go work for them anywhere,’ ” Mr. Aguerrebere said.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan endorsed the effort last week at a Washington event the national board hosted to announce its progress on developing the advanced certification. The secretary, who is overseeing the distribution of billions of dollars in economic-stimulus funds for public schools, said pouring money into fixing troubled schools will be futile if the principals running them aren’t effective.

“If we don’t have great leadership in our schools, we’re kidding ourselves,” Mr. Duncan said.

Link to the full article here http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/12/10/15principals_ep.h29.html?tkn=ZZZFkf4AH%2Bcg2wOX4uLNzyDJqj4I1r4T4c1f