Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Principal Principle: PreK-3rd «

The Principal Principle: PreK-3rd «

The Principal Principle: PreK-3rd

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Instructional leadership is a critical component of a successful education system, and two recent publications look at the role of the elementary school principal in early childhood. Policy analyst Sara Mead looks at ways to improve principals’ support of early education and the primary grades in a recent brief from the Foundation for Child Development. And the National Association of Elementary School Principals devotes the May-June issue of its Principal magazine to early childhood. I’ll write about Mead’s brief today and Principal magazine in my next post.

“Educational improvement strategies that focus on the early years – preventing children from falling behind in the first place – have a much better chance of long-term success than those that emphasize remediation later on,” Mead writes in “PreK-3rd: Principals as Crucial Instructional Leaders.” “But in an era of test-based accountability, principals face pervasive systemic incentives to direct resources and energy away from the early grades and into later, tested grades.”

Mead also notes that principal preparation programs are often weak in building