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Meaningful partnerships: Lessons from two innovative principal preparation programs

The Hunt Institute was pleased to have Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of the Hunt Institute, and Patrick Sims, Director of Policy & Research at the Hunt Institute, who shared their recent case study Meaningful Partnerships –Lessons from Two Innovative Principal Preparation Programs

The study highlights two innovative programs – the Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA) in North Carolina and Kansas City Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools (KC PLUS) in Missouri. In creating pro­grams to meet the unique needs of districts located in rural and urban settings, respectively, both NELA and KC PLUS have built rigorous, practice-based principal preparation programs utilizing equity-fo­cused school leader development. The report takes a closer look at each program and considers the policy conditions that both supported and hindered the programs’ success.

This webinar highlights policy considerations and key takeaways from both programs, including their work to build rigorous, practice-based principal preparation programs utilizing equity-focused school leader development to meet the unique needs of their partner districts.

Key takeaways:

  • With the onset of more robust teacher evaluation systems and the increasing importance of personalization and differentiation, the role of the school leader has shifted dramatically. This requires principal preparation programs to reimagine how they prepare school leaders.

  • The Northeast Leadership Academy in North Carolina and Kansas City PLUS in Missouri are two programs that have worked to create principal preparation programs that utilize practice-based curriculum, executive coaching, meaningful district partnerships, and robust principal residencies to ensure that their students are prepared to be highly effective school leaders.

  • Policymakers should consider the importance of districts and universities working in tandem to determine program needs and make hiring recommendations. Additionally, both of these programs revealed the value of high-quality field experiences that offer students the opportunity to practice what they are learning with strong support from executive coaches along the way. 

For more on our conversation with Javaid and Patrick, please check out the full webinar here.

To learn more about these two innovative programs, please visit the Northeast Leadership Academy(NELA) and Kansas City Pathway to Leadership in Urban Schools (KC PLUS).


Editor’s note: This perspective was originally published by the Hunt Institute. It has been published with the author’s permission.

Javaid Siddiqi

Former Virginia Secretary of Education, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi is the President and CEO of The Hunt Institute. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, which partners with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Under his leadership, the national, nonpartisan Fellowship has garnered praise from former governors and generous financial support from major funders across the country.

Patrick Sims

Patrick Sims is the Director of Policy and Research at the Hunt Institute.