Practices of Exemplary Principals Showcased in New WNET Videos

April 21, 2015

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The Wallace Foundation
Jessica Schwartz

Donna Williams

The Hatcher Group
Angie Cannon


WNET Shares Best Practices of
Exemplary Principals in New
“School Leadership in Action” Videos

Free video collection available on PBS LearningMedia and The Wallace Foundation websites

New York, April 21, 2015 –WNET announces the launch of School Leadership in Action: Principal Profiles, a free collection of videos that bring to life the five key practices of exemplary principals.  The collection is available on PBS LearningMedia and The Wallace Foundation websites beginning today.      The New York Times featured the videos last week in this op-ed about the importance of school principals.

In the five videos, each about 12 minutes long, the camera follows exemplary principals into their schools and offers an up-close look at what they do to improve teaching and lift student achievement. The videos show the principals interacting with students, teachers, and other administrators and using effective strategies to make their schools successful. The collection is intended for principals, aspiring principals and those who train and support principals so that they will see effective practices firsthand and be inspired by these outstanding principals.     

“WNET's ‘School Leadership in Action’ videos demonstrate the high standards of quality leaders and how principals are essential to improving student achievement and school success,” says Gail Connelly, executive director, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). “The videos will help aspiring, new and experienced principals and are a valuable source of information on best practices surrounding effective instructional leadership.”

Filmed in schools in Hillsborough County, Fla., Gwinnett County, Ga., Prince George’s County, Md., and New York City, each video focuses on one of five essential practices central to shaping instructional leadership. Those practices were detailed in The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning (Wallace, January 2013). They are:

  1. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students.
  2. Creating a climate hospitable to education.
  3. Cultivating leadership in others. 
  4. Improving instruction.
  5. Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement.

WNET also has produced accompanying support materials that can be integrated into a school system’s or university’s leadership programs/curriculum.  The videos are appropriate for both formal and information learning settings as well as for directed and self-directed learning.

These videos are part of WNET’s growing repository of videos for principals and those who support their professional growth and development.  They complement the series of school leadership videos “Critical Conversations about School Leadership,” previously posted on PBS LearningMedia. Those videos include 55 short segments based on events in 2013 by top education leaders discussing what it takes to get exceptional principals in all schools.

School Leadership in Action: Principal Profiles is funded by The Wallace Foundation and produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. The School Leadership in Action: Principal Profiles videos can be found here:

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About WNET
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.

Education at WNET
WNET creates and distributes resources that leverage its broadcast, multi-media and national production content for enhanced impact to viewers and constituents across the New York region and nationally.  The Department provides free access to high-quality digital instructional media content for students, teachers and parents.  In addition, the Education Department staff offers unique professional development opportunities for preK-12 educators throughout the school year. THIRTEEN and WLIW21 emphasize in particular service to NYS students and educators, supported by an ongoing major grant from New York State and administered by the New York State Education Department. 

About The Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its five current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; helping selected cities make good afterschool time programs available to many more children; making the arts a part of many more people’s lives by working with arts organizations to broaden, deepen and diversify audiences; expanding arts learning opportunities for children and teens; and better understanding the impact of high-quality summer learning programs on disadvantaged children, and enriching and expanding the school day in ways that benefit students.