Education Week reports (subscription required) on a new initiative announced last fall “aimed at changing the way America’s principals are recruited and prepared-and how they run schools.” The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) program, which will be managed by the nonpartisan George W. Bush Institute, is intended to provide educators with strong the strong leadership they have asked for:
Set to begin in six cities, the initiative aims to seed and nurture consortia of colleges, districts and private organizations across the country that will work together to train principals in nontraditional ways and in field-based settings. It also looks to broaden the talent pool for the profession by tapping into organizations such as Teach for America and New Leaders for New Schools to recruit a different set of school leaders.
Each city’s program will vary as each will be controlled by a different group of organizations, ranging from local school districts and universities to corporate partners, such as AT&T. James Guthrie, director of education policy studies for the institute explains that while these differences may yield fluctuations in results, the program was designed in this manner enabling the group to evaluate the efficacy of multiple approaches.
For those who see the development of effective principals as a key factor in helping schools align with the Common Core State Standards, the AREL program, along with programs like New Leaders for New Schools, has the potential to facilitate a shift in thinking and assist educators in moving students from proficiency to college and career readiness.