Spotlight

AASA’s Statement on a ‘Disconnect’

AASA issued a public response to the recommendations of “Educating School Leaders” in a joint statement with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The full text of the statement is accessible at: www.naesp.org/05eslreport.htm. The full text of the report, issued in March 2005, can be accessed at: www.edschools.org/reports_leaders.htm.

Excerpts from the statement by AASA and the two principals’ organizations follow:

“The ‘Educating School Leaders’ report confirms much of what school leaders have said for decades, that many university preparation programs fall woefully short. Many programs simply do not teach what it takes to run a school or school district. ...

“Many university preparation programs are not based in the reality of school life or reflect the massive demands that school leaders face today. There is a disconnect between what is taught and what practitioners need. Many classes are taught by scholars who have never — or have not recently — been in a classroom or a superintendent’s office. Furthermore, many programs do not focus — or insist — on actually training candidates to move into a job as a school leader. ...

“Our associations have continually warned of the critical shortage of candidates for school leadership positions. And we have all established practical, job-oriented professional development and assessment programs that we offer for our members and non-members, as do most of our state affiliates. ...

“Finally, we see no advantage to changing the degree from an Ed.D. (the doctor of education degree) to an M.E.A. (Masters in Educational Administration). Changing a label will not solve a problem; changing the rigor of the programs will.”