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ERIC Number: ED512875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 94
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4933-0
Leadership Development: An Assessment of the Aspiring Leaders Program in Seven Delaware School Districts and One Charter
Brittingham, Sharon
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, University of Delaware
Since 2000, The Wallace Foundation, nationally recognized for its involvement in educational programs, has supported efforts to improve the training and conditions of school leaders to better enable them to improve student achievement. One of these efforts in Delaware was the development of district level aspiring leadership development programs. Seven Delaware school districts and one charter school developed and initiated aspiring leadership training programs funded by the Wallace Foundation. The purpose of this research project is three fold. First, it describes the ideal components of a leadership development program based on the criteria established by "best practice" processes in succession plans and through the quality measures developed by the Wallace Foundation centered on content and supervision. Next, it assesses the aspiring programs being implemented in Delaware. Finally, the position paper provides recommendations for improving and replicating the aspiring leaders' program throughout the state. A literature review of succession plans and leadership development programs reveals two distinct paths to analyze their implementation. One path uses the crucial components identified in a model leadership development program as presented by Development Divisions Incorporated (DDI), a consultant firm that works with organizations to assist them in clarifying the type of leadership they will need in the years to come and how to execute a strategic plan to identify, develop and manage talent. The process DDI presented--laying the foundation for the project, establishing a success profile, identifying leadership potential, diagnosing strengths and development needs, prescribing solutions and ensuring development, and reviewing progress--is closely aligned with the research on other model leadership development programs. Another way to analyze the programs is to examine the content and clinical supervision aspects using the Quality Measures for Education Leadership Development Systems and Programs developed through the Wallace Foundation research as quality measures of an aspiring program. Quality Measures for Education Leadership Systems and Programs evaluate two aspects of a program, content and supervised clinical, using a four point rubric. According to Wallace Foundation research, quality education leadership development pre-service and in-service programs have a comprehensive and coherent curriculum that is aligned with state and professional standards and grounded in effective schools and instructional leadership research. In addition, these programs provide participants with adequate time to practice and develop leadership skills in real-world settings under highly skilled supervision. The processes outlined by DDI and the Quality Measures for Education Leadership Development Systems and Programs from the Wallace Foundation research were used to analyze the districts' aspiring programs through case studies. This analysis was done through a review of artifacts, rubrics, and structured interviews. The case studies show that the Aspiring Leadership Programs implemented in Delaware range from containing all the key components of a succession plan to containing few of the key components. For example, in several districts there was no well defined selection process, success profile or program assessment. Using the Wallace quality measures, the programs ranged from "Beginning" to "Well Developed" when examining their content and clinical supervision. The research results indicate that for some districts the aspiring program became one more program to implement and was not implemented well or with fidelity with little if any executive management support, while at least two districts found the program as the means to ensure they had the school leaders they needed. Another aspect that appeared to be under-developed in all of the programs was that while clinical experiences were conducted under the direct supervision of expert field practitioners, only one clinical experience included supervision by university faculty, one of the components of the supervised clinical. Another area of concern was that there is a disconnect between the model for developing a succession plan which the districts used as presented by Developmental Division Incorporated and the quality measures of leadership development programs used by the Wallace Foundation to evaluate programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Delaware