HIGH SCHOOL LEADERSHIP AND STUDENT LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
High School Leadership for Students
Improving Teaching and Learning by Improving High School Leadership for Students Summary
During the past decade, numerous states, localities, and foundations have launched initiatives to recruit and train better principals. What these efforts share is a recognition that school leaders exert a powerful, if indirect, influence on teaching quality and student learning.1 Although many have sought to take on the leadership issue, few have detailed the steps that states can take to reform their systems of leadership development.2
To improve the system of preparing and developing principals, governors and other state policymakers should focus on three key areas—licensure, preparation, and professional development.
• Licensure—States should remove barriers for talented individuals to enter the profession and move toward a more performance-based system of certifying and rewarding school leadership.
• Preparation—States should allow and expand alternative preparation programs and develop a rigorous and defensible system of accreditation for programs and institutions that prepare high school leadership for students.
• Professional Development
Congressional Student Leadership Conference
National Student Leadership Conference
Why Focus on High School Leadership for Students?
Efforts to improve high school leadership for students are not unwarranted: research confirms both a limited supply of talented candidates to lead schools and the important role these individuals can play in improving teaching and learning. Student Leadership Conference Also driving the search for better principals are the performance expectations built into the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Although claims of a national shortage of principals appear overstated Student Leadership Conference,3 the number of openings is expected to grow by 20 percent during the next five years and the number of retirements is likely to increase markedly.4 These trends will pose the greatest challenges for urban and rural districts with large concentrations of high-poverty and low-performing schools. Student Leadership Conference The turnover rate for principals is as high as 20 percent per year in these districts. Urban and rural communities often pay lower salaries and receive significantly fewer applicants for open positions.5 As a result, low-performing urban and rural schools are much more likely to end up with inexperienced principals and assistant principals.6
Yet the problem extends beyond the supply and distribution of Student Leadership Conference. Research also suggests that many current and potential principals lack the skills necessary to lead in today’s schools. A 2001 Public Agenda report found that 29 percent of superintendents believe the quality of principals has declined measurably in recent years.7 One likely source of this dissatisfaction is the changing nature of the Student Leadership Conference. Historically, high school leadership for students were expected to perform primarily managerial and political roles.8 “Schools of the twenty-first century will require a new kind of principal,” according to the Congressional Student Leadership Conference and National Student Leadership Conference, one whose main responsibility will be defined in terms of “instructional leadership that focuses on strengthening teaching and learning.”9 The challenge for states is to redesign their systems of licensure, preparation, and professional development to produce and reward principals that have these kinds of skills.
For young leaders to understand how to lead successfully, experience is the best teacher. At Group Dynamix, we provide a fun environment for youth to experience the ups and downs of being a leader, the challenges of gaining support and inspiring action. Using a variety of our tools like group games, initiatives and low and high elements of our ropes course, we help the group process what is learned and equip leaders by:
Engaging in “big picture” thinking
Helping identify and overcome obstacles
Motivating for productivity and excellence
Improving decision making and problem solving
Setting the right course for group success
This program is ideal for student leaderships groups such as Student Councils, Teen Leadership and PALS. When you want to develop your leaders in a fun way we can help!
School Leadership Study