The Wallace Foundation has announced a five-year, $24 million initiative to help school districts boost their support for principals' supervisors.
The New York City-based foundation has invited twenty-three districts to submit proposals and in September will award grants of up to $3 million to as many as six large urban school districts to develop job descriptions, hiring criteria, training, and provide other support for principal supervisors. The funding also will enable districts to hire new supervisors or reassign staff members and establish a "professional learning community" that includes participating districts and other experts. The ultimate goal is to help districts reduce the number of principals each supervisor oversees and enable them to better train and support the principals they do supervise.
"Strong schools need strong principals, and strong principals need strong support from the people they report to in the districts' central offices," said Wallace Foundation president Will Miller. "Principal supervisors can help principals create high-quality schools by providing them with the individualized support and personal development that makes them more effective leaders. Yet, these supervisors often are unprepared for this work and oversee twenty-four principals on average, raising questions about whether they have the time to focus on anything other than compliance."