Lehigh University
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Training leaders for urban schools

The grant, which comes through the U.S. Department of Education, will be used to develop the Institute for the Mentorship of Urban School Leaders. The new institute will address a growing need throughout Pennsylvania and the nation.

Large, urban, resource-poor school districts have faced difficult challenges in attracting, developing and retaining individuals to assume leadership positions. While growing teacher shortages have been recognized as a priority at the federal level, discussions are just beginning about the lack of qualified school leaders to fill the position of principal.

The national institute will develop and deliver professional development training for aspiring and practicing principals. Two other partners—the School District of Philadelphia, and the National Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals (NAESP)—will join the College of Education in developing the institute.

Each partner brings unique strengths to the training model. The College of Education has a long history of excellence in educating principals and graduates and has educated more principals in Eastern Pennsylvania than any other university or college.
Professionals in the School District of Philadelphia, the seventh largest district in the nation, understand the needs of the schools, students, and families they serve and understand the politics of working in a large district. NAESP will provide its national framework for what is required of elementary and middle school principals.

A national advisory committee will guide the institute and will include individuals from urban school districts, state government, business leaders, national associations, and faculty from research universities.

Project leaders include faculty members from the College of Education’s educational leadership program: George P. White, Class of 1961 Professor and program coordinator; Karen Evans Stout, associate professor; and C. Russell Mayo, assistant professor.

--Joanne C. Anderson

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2004

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