Two pieces by Wallace staff members in the May 2013 issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine throw a spotlight on what it takes to be an effective principal – and how school leadership can be bolstered.
In a commentary, Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, argues for a sharper focus on principal training as a part of the larger effort to improve the country’s schools. Miller suggests that principals should be trained with the same amount of care and diligence as doctors and soldiers. He outlines basic steps that can help better prepare principals for the jobs that await them, including ensuring that the training they receive prepares them to improve classroom instruction, not just manage buildings.
In a separate article, Jody Spiro, the foundation’s director of education leadership, lays out five key practices of effective school leaders. Summarizing a decade of Wallace research, Spiro argues that successful principals must shape a vision of success, create a climate hospitable to education, cultivate leadership in others, improve instruction, and manage people, data and processes.
Phi Delta Kappan is published by PDK International, a professional association for educators.