Effective Principals for California Schools: Building a Coherent Leadership Development System

By Karen Kearney

Produced by Integrated Leadership Development Initiative

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Description

This proposal, prepared by Integrated Leadership Development Initiative (ILDI) and written by ILDI member Karen Kearney, Director of WestEd’s Leadership Initiative, suggests an organizing frame for principal development. The frame—a continuum of career stages, with related system support—recognizes that principals develop their capacity to successfully lead schools over the course of their career and that the career stages are distinct, but interrelated.

This document examines each stage of the leadership development continuum, providing related research, best practices, and any relevant information from earlier state task force reports; in doing so, it draws on the authors’ collective years of on-the-ground leadership development experience. For each stage, readers will also find a summary perspective, as well as implications for action that are tailored to the roles and responsibilities of various sectors of the California education community.

Taken as a whole, the proposal is intended to guide the state’s education community in planning and implementing a cohesive set of improvements to strengthen the principal pipeline so as to better ensure a quality workforce that would make it possible, and more probable, for every California school to be led by an effective principal.

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