All the talk is about teachers, but school leadership makes a huge difference, notes the Hechinger Report.
Of everything we’ve learned about the art and science of reforming a failing school in the past decade, school leadership is second only to teacher quality in terms of importance – and the more dire a school’s predicament, the greater the need for strong leadership. Because of this, the emphasis is now less on the lone dynamic teacher and more on the whole school environment.
“Indeed, there are virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a powerful leader,” said Kenneth Leithwood, a professor at the University of Toronto who studies leadership.
There are many training programs for school leaders, but “few do a first-rate job of preparing principals and superintendents for today’s challenges.”