A recent article in Education Week discusses how school districts investing in principals before and during their tenure gave them a better chance to succeed and provided districts with a pipeline of effective school leaders.
"Leading a school to better teaching and learning requires a great principal. Unfortunately, finding and training new principals in effective school leadership has been a long-standing challenge for many districts. So it’s good news for districts and states focused on school improvement that six large, urban school districts have shown it is possible – and not expensive – to build principal pipelines that have a mission to produce a steady supply of effective school leaders."
An analysis found that to have effective "principal pipelines" school districts must have rigorous job standards, strong preservice training, selective hiring, and sound on-the-job support and evaluation for novice principals.
The article concluded, "A great teacher can electrify a classroom. A team of great teachers led by a great principal can electrify a whole school."
A recent article in The Eagle-Tribune discussed a summer program where Haverhill teachers participated in an AP course "Summer Institute."
"Five teachers from Haverhill High School ... spent the last few days at a weeklong program at Bridgewater State University, where they spent time with instructors and hundreds of fellow teachers from various states and foreign countries, honing their teaching skills specifically for Advanced Placement courses.
"The Summer Institute program is put on each year by Mass Insight Education, a national nonprofit that aims to improve school systems and student achievement through district restructuring and academic rigor. It runs two sessions, one week long each, and this year will see a total of 520 participants from 39 states and 10 foreign countries. "
The article continued, "Teaching an AP course requires different skills from teachers than an average high school course. Darshan Thakkar, the chief academic officer for Haverhill schools, said teachers need to impart more than the course material — they must teach students to synthesize information from various sources, then analyze that information and articulate their own argument about that information. "