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The NYC Leadership Academy

Duration: 05:59

There is great demand for principals who have the skills to turn around low-performing schools, especially in our nation’s cities. Public school systems need a new generation of principals who can transform these high-need schools and close persistent achievement gaps. To meet this challenge, we must answer some tough questions: How do we train new principals to turn around underperforming schools? What are the best ways to provide aspiring principals rigorous and relevant development opportunities so that they are prepared to be instructional leaders in high-need urban schools?

The NYC Leadership Academy, an independent nonprofit organization, recruits, develops and supports school leaders with the skills and knowledge it takes to improve student learning. It focuses on preparing principals for New York City’s highest-need schools. This vignette features the Leadership Academy’s success in training aspiring principals to work in challenging school environments. It highlights a Leadership Academy graduate who has begun to turn around an underperforming elementary school in just three years.

THE PRINCIPAL STORY follows the journey of two elementary school principals throughout a school year as they strive to improve student achievement and implement school reform. Featured are novice principal Tresa D. Dunbar of the Henry H. Nash Elementary School in Chicago and veteran principal Kerry Purcell of Harvard Park Elementary School in Springfield, Ill. Their stories unfold in an hour-long documentary film that illustrates the struggles and successes these leaders encounter. In addition, a 23-minute clip reel, available on the film’s supplemental outreach DVD and website, draws from the documentary to highlight four themes critical to effective school leadership:

1. Stewardship of a vision;
2. Leading instructional improvement;
3. Creating the instructional environment; and
4. Holding people accountable.




Post Date: July 21, 2009