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December 13, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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Board of Regents Approves $500,000 in Grant Funding to Broaden Research to Restructure School Building Leader Preparation in New York State

Grant from the Wallace Foundation will Support Work to Improve
Principal Preparation Programs in New York State

The New York State Board of Regents approved a $500,000 grant from the Wallace Foundation to broaden research to restructure school building leader preparation in New York State by examining and sharing best practices with work that has been done in other states and preparation programs around the country as well as initiatives implemented by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE).

“Research and experience tell us that effective school leaders are one of the most critical components to a successful and high-quality school,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We also know that aspiring principals need the right training, support and resources to become effective school leaders. This grant gives us the opportunity to identify the most important and valuable elements of already established preparation programs. Our goal is to replicate those best practices across the State so all districts can benefit from richer school leader preparation programs.”

“This grant money will be help us continue to focus in on how best to train our school leaders, particularly those who will serve in our highest need school districts,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “As part of our effort, it is essential to review programs already doing this work. Such research will show us which aspects worked and which ones were challenging. We will keep these lessons in mind as we move to restructure school building leader preparation in other districts.”

With this grant made through the Regents Research Fund, the Department will review and learn from work in several districts and States around the country, as well as New York City, where the NYCDOE has developed various programs, and partnerships with local universities to support school building leader selection and professional development. The lessons learned from these other states and New York City will ultimately be used to inform and improve principal preparation in other parts of New York.

Additionally, the Department will use this new grant to study whether and how to use an option under Title II, Part A that permits the Department to set aside a portion of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funding specifically for state endeavors to support principals and school leaders, including the development of training academies. This research will help to inform the Department’s decision on exercising this option.

This grant is related to research that is currently taking place as part of the Department’s effort to improve school building leader preparation in New York State. With an earlier grant from the Wallace Foundation, the Department established an Advisory Council made up of stakeholders representing P-12 schools, the higher education community, teachers, superintendents, parents, civil rights organizations, and leaders from other states. The Advisory Council is examining New York's current principal preparation; the new National Standards for Principals; and the possibility of changing residency requirements to ensure that all principals are ready to take on the responsibilities of leading a school building when they step into the job. 

The Wallace Foundation awarded the grants to the University of the State of New York (USNY) Regents Research Fund (the Fund), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that engages in educational, cultural, and historical research and other related scholarships and projects for the State Education Department. The Fund has long provided the Department with supplemental expertise and capacity. The Board of Regents is the governing board of USNY, and the Commissioner of Education is the President of USNY.