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ERIC Number: ED491085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 65
Abstractor: ERIC
When Learning Counts: Rethinking Licenses for School Leaders
Adams, Jacob E., Jr.; Copland, Michael A.
Wallace Foundation, The
This report asks two fundamental questions: do the licenses that states require of school principals encompass the knowledge and skills those principals need to promote student learning? If not, what kind of policy framework would help decision makers, educators, and others rethink principal licenses and the school leadership they support? To find the answers, licensure content for principals in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia was examined. Based on that in-depth investigation, the following conclusions were reached: (1) Licenses do not reflect a learning focus; (2) Licensing requirements are unbalanced across states and misaligned with today's ambitions for school leaders; (3) Licenses form the foundation of school leadership development; and (4) Doing licensure well means tackling licenses in the larger context of school leadership development. Leadership for learning requires more than a license. It needs a policy framework that makes coherent linkages among the standards, goals, and policy targets that define licensure's purpose and the practice it enables; then situates licensure within broader school leadership development strategies that account for differences between entry-level and expert practice. This framework is called "Licensing-Plus" and raises the prospect that school principals will be upstanding, educated, qualified, administratively competent, on target, possessed of the right know-how, and able to handle their job in any school or district that beckons; that is, it raises the prospect that principals will match what reasonable citizens might demand in school leaders. In short, when student learning matters, states must view principal licenses as tools to promote learning. Tackling new demands for school leadership requires that states rethink principal licenses in ways that move the profession toward the learning-focused school leadership the nation now demands. Appended are: (1) Acknowledgments; (2) Methodology; and (3) Coding. (Contains 47 endnotes, 4 figures, and 1 table.) [This report was prepared under a grant from The Wallace Foundation.]
The Wallace Foundation, Five Penn Plaza, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel 212-251-9700; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Center on Reinventing Public Education.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED502394