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Press Release: Teachers Network Leadership Institute Calls for Improved School Leadership

Teachers Network Leadership Institute Calls for Improved School Leadership

Non-profit Education Organization Releases Report about Shared Leadership
Among Principals and Teachers

New York, September 12, 2005 – Recognizing that nearly half of New York City principals are eligible to retire within the year, Teachers Network, a non-profit education organization, has released a report entitled “Successful School Leadership – A View from the Classroom” to help policymakers and schools train and support principals and staff. With assistance from the MetLife Foundation and The New York Community Trust, Teachers Network Leadership Institute (TNLI) MetLife Fellows worked with educators and policymakers to develop recommendations for shared leadership.

“We can reduce class size, increase spending or mandate a curriculum, but unless a school has a strong teaching staff led by a dedicated and competent principal, we will not achieve true success,” said Ellen Meyers, Senior Vice President and Director of TNLI. “During a pivotal time in education, our report offers a true view from the classroom that identifies what is needed most to provide meaningful, sustainable leadership in our schools.”

TNLI guides teachers, principals, schools districts and policymakers in helping to strengthen teachers’ role in school governance and improve the quality of principal leadership. Overall, the report advocates that the Department of Education (DOE) provide greater resources for teacher and school collaboration; work with the union to garner greater freedom for schools’ funding and scheduling; and increase administrative support so principals can focus more on instructional leadership. In the report, principals are advised to network across schools; offer flexible options to staff to increase retention; and produce a shared vision of leadership that takes teachers’ experience and students’ needs into account.

Additionally, TNLI addresses the scarcity of principals during a time when school creation is on the rise. A MetLife Survey of the American Teacher found only 9% of teachers nationally had a strong interest in becoming a principal. To help fill the principal shortage, the DOE has developed new programs such as The Leadership Academy, a one-year principal training program. TNLI recommends training new principals in the schools where they will be assigned and explore additional models of leadership such as the co-director model where each leader has part-time instructional responsibilities. The MetLife Fellows’ research also shows that job shadowing, job rotation and continued professional development for school staff helps to strengthen leadership skills.

About Teachers Network
Teachers Network is a non-profit organization—by teachers, for teachers—with a 25-year track record of success, dedicated to improving student learning in public schools nationally and internationally. Teachers Network is unique in its focus on professional development as the key to improving student achievement. Using the power of an award-winning web site, videos, and print resources, Teachers Network leverages the creativity and expertise of a national and international community of outstanding educators. Through its leadership, Teachers Network empowers teachers to transform public schools into creative learning communities. The Teachers Network Leadership Institute was established 10 years ago by Teachers Network to connect education policy with actual classroom practice to improve student achievement. For more information about Teachers Network, go to http://teachersnetwork.org.


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