Principal's Challenges


NewsHour With Jim Lehrer (PBS)

This NewsHour segment — available in video, audio and transcript formats — profiles principal Parker Land, charged with turning around an underperforming Virginia middle school, as his students arrive for classes in September.

Land is one of Virginia’s “turnaround specialists,” an educator with more than three decades of experience who left his higher-paying suburban principal’s job this year to lead Boushall Middle School, an inner-city school on the state’s warning list. The turnaround-specialist program is just one effort Virginia has undertaken, with support from The Wallace Foundation, to improve the quality of school leadership and produce corresponding gains in student achievement.

The NewsHour will follow Land as he works to improve the school, where half of the students have failing scores in reading and which has had three different principals in the last seven years. The link below connects to the show’s first installment, which explains the innovative Virginia program that brought Land to his challenging new position and follows him through the first day of school.