ERIC Number: EJ794408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr-30
Reference Count: N/A
Principals at the Center: The Pittsburgh School District Believes Cultivating Effective Instructional Leaders is the Key to School Improvement
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v27 n35 p26-28 Apr 2008
For schools to improve in the Pittsburgh school district, it is not just the children who have to learn. Embracing the idea that strong principals are essential to academic success, top administrators have launched several initiatives based on the philosophy that school leaders need to be cultivated as carefully as students. A committee of principals has devised an evaluation system believed to be characteristic of good leadership. A flattened central-office structure encourages mid-level supervisors to get out of the office and spend most of their time walking school halls and sitting in classrooms. An emerging leadership program, modeled after a medical residency, has immersed seven educators in the world of principalship by placing them next to successful school leaders and community leaders. And everyone, from the superintendent to individual principals, gets coaching. The array of changes fit together under the umbrella of the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership System for Excellence (PULSE). It is hoped that the changes will mark a turning point for the school district, which faces declining enrollment, a persistent achievement gap between black and white students, and a failure to meet federal academic standards for five years.
Descriptors: Principals, Leadership, Urban Schools, Educational Change, School Districts, Educational Improvement, Improvement Programs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania