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NYC puts leaders through the wringer

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Over 14 months, including one yearlong school residency and two summer-training periods, the New York City Leadership Academy teaches would-be principals how to run a school.

In its three-year existence, the academy’s program for aspiring principals has placed grads in about 20 percent of the system’s vacancies for school principals. This year alone, it turned out 75 graduates, all of whom signed on to work in the city for at least five years.

What’s more, the system taps experienced school leaders to serve as mentors before they retire. That way, trainees hear the voices of experience during their year as interns.

Even though it’s a workable solution, the fast-track program does have drawbacks. Future principals might not receive enough theoretical grounding, and with only one mentor, they’re exposed to only one leadership style.

Furthermore, program grads often are sent to the toughest schools. That makes it harder to perform … and to succeed.

Still, an imperfect succession program is better than none. What’s your succession plan?

—Adapted from “Fast-track principal training programs gain popularity,” Kris Kitto, Education Daily.

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