On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, NASSP member Everett Davis, principal at Redland Middle School in Montgomery County, MD, participated in a series of briefings and meetings with congressional staff and US Department of Education officials to discuss the importance of profession-ready teachers and principals for each and every student.
Research reveals that teachers, principals, and other school leaders are the most important school-based influences on student learning, and every student deserves to be taught and led by excellent teachers and school leaders. However, data show that students in many high-need schools do not have access to great educators.
Recognizing this disparity, the Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ), of which NASSP is an active member, released “Excellent Educators for Each and Every Child: A policy roadmap for transforming the teaching and principal professions.” In the document, CTQ—which comprises more than 100 organizations dedicated to ensuring that every child has educators who are fully prepared and effective—offers a continuum of the teaching and principal professions to meet its goal.
The coalition also released “Profession-Ready Teachers and Principals for Each and Every Child,” the first in a series of reports that take deeper looks at the policy roadmap. This report describes four steps that future teachers and principals must take to ensure that they are profession-ready. For principals, profession-ready means having a strong instructional background as a teacher and having demonstrated abilities related to effective school leadership competencies and prior success in leading adults.
During the Hill briefings and meetings, Davis reinforced the importance of the CTQ documents by sharing his experiences as a principal intern last year. This innovative leadership program embeds an aspiring school leader for a full year in a school under the supervision of an accomplished principal. The aspiring principal is provided with a professional development team during the internship and participates in monthly seminars where candidates address authentic school leadership scenarios.
“The practical application of the theory and skills obtained in my preparation program through the principal internship fully prepared me for when I took the reins of the principalship,” said Davis.
As a principal intern, Davis also became the acting principal for six weeks during the school year. Even though Davis is now a principal, he still receives ongoing support from a mentor principal as part of the leadership program. This program embodies the recommendations of NASSP and the Coalition of Teaching Quality in that aspiring principals complete a one-year residency under the guidance of an accomplished school leader.
Every child, regardless of race, ethnicity, disability status, income, or zip code, deserves great teachers and principals. With the release of these documents, the CTQ has laid out a vision of how to achieve this lofty goal. NASSP is a proud member of CTQ and will continue to advocate to ensure that all children have access to excellent educators.