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Lessons learned

The complexity of program redesign, the number of people involved in planning for change, and the novelty inherent in using untried procedures and assessments came with opportunities to change plans that had seemed viable in conference room discussions, but paled during cumbersome or inefficient application. Among them:

  • Notify superintendents when a teacher from their district seeks admission. Program requirements are abstract until paying a substitute teacher becomes an issue.
  • Designate a member of the program faculty to manage and collate data (i.e., admissions, surveys, leadership inventories, PRAXIS results). If superintendents are hesitant about paying for substitute teachers, data about the leadership qualities of the residents returning to their classrooms are persuasive.
  • Encourage mentor principals to provide formative feedback to residents soon after each leadership task is complete. Reconciling principals’ and residents’ perceptions about the urgency of feedback was an ongoing challenge.
  • Principals and residents must meet early in the semester to identify school activities that will satisfy the state’s ability requirements. Hasty assignments were not as meaningful as those made through deliberate planning.
  • Celebrate success when the program is complete. A faculty-student dinner or social activity is welcomed by everyone and is an important reward for residents.
  • Invite superintendents and key staff to formal, data-sharing sessions so they understand what their residents have accomplished. School leaders should know what they are getting for the money they spent.
  • Encourage principals chosen as mentors to attend the orientation session prepared for them. The learning curve for those who did not attend had a much greater slope than for those who did.
  • Remind school district representatives to assign residents to learn from the best principals they have. Several assignments were marginal. Two were unproductive.

Challenges ahead

Evidence gathered through multiple assessment instruments, site visits by USA faculty, feedback from district central office staffs, resident reflections, mentor principals’ surveys, the LPI, and the PRAXIS are conclusive: the most effective way to train aspiring school leaders is through extended assignments in schools, where they experience the intensity of the principal’s day and the complexities of leadership that come with working with students, teachers, and parents to improve student learning. USA’s instructional leadership program includes authentic assessments of leadership behaviors and guides residents through the initial stages of survival , which is the first challenge they will face as instructional leaders.

Finally, the greatest threat to program survival is its reliance on school district resources to pay substitute teacher salaries during the residency. At an average cost of slightly more than $17,000 for each substitute, superintendents are faced with a choice of paying to train aspiring leaders or using those funds either to reduce the impact of teacher layoffs or to support other curriculum initiatives. Presently, Alabama’s schools are in the throes of the most severe proration of funds in the state’s history and the viability of all non-essential programs is threatened. USA’s redesigned program is precisely what the schools in Alabama need, but its survival depends on the ability of state legislators and local superintendents to look further into the future than the current fiscal year.


  • Abrams, I.M.,&Madaus, G.F. (2003). The lessons of high-stakes testing. Educational Leadership, 61 (32), 31-35.
  • (Author) (2009, August). Preparing tomorrow’s school leaders with a standards-based, prescriptive curriculum. International Education Studies, 2 (3), 27-29.
  • Klein, M.F. (2005). What imposed standards do to the child. In C.J. Marsh&G. Willis, Curriculum: Alternative Approaches and Ongoing Issues, New Jersey: PearsonEducation.
  • Guilfoyle, C. (2006, November). NCLB: Is there life beyond testing? Educational Leadership, 64 (3), 10-11.
  • Hoff, D.J. (2008, December). Schools struggling to meet key goal on accountability. Education Week. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/12/18 onFebruary 5, 2009.
  • Jazzar, M.,&Algozzine, B. (2006). Critical issues in educational leadership. Boston: Allyn-Bacon.
  • Kouzes, J.M.&Posner, B.Z. (2007). The leadership challenge (4th ed.), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
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