D.C. principals, Georgetown launch leadership program

A group of 25 principals of D.C. public schools this week began a master’s-degree program at Georgetown University, part of an effort to improve the quality of leadership in the city’s schools.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson — who earned an undergraduate degree at Georgetown and later a leadership degree there in 2007 — helped launch the program after she determined that principal training programs were lacking what she believed are the essentials needed to elevate the school system. The program, which runs through the calendar year, mirrors Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Leadership program in the McDonough School of Business.

More news about education

Loudoun considers ending Thomas Jefferson bus service

The county School Board may cut funding to transport students to the magnet high school in Fairfax County.

E-mail from Woodson High School to parents

E-mail from Woodson High School to parents

Following a series of suicides, the Woodson community is working to prevent more loss.

Parents seek action at Woodson High after suicides

Parents seek action at Woodson High after suicides

The Fairfax County school’s parents want to prevent more suicides after six student deaths in three years.

Read more

Henderson, working with academic leaders at Georgetown, created a curriculum that includes such topics as how to deal with uncertainty and how to lead tough conversations.

“This program is about to set these people on fire,” Henderson said. “They’re good principals, but they could be great principals if they had the tool kit.”

Georgetown reduced its tuition for the program, two-thirds of which is covered by the federal government’s Teacher Incentive Fund as well as a grant from the CityBridge Foundation, which hopes to create a system of top-performing schools in the District. The principals pay the rest.

“This serves as an indication that the District sees principals as an integral part of development,” said Kwame Simmons, principal of Kramer Middle School in Southeast.

Simmons said the degree could help him revolutionize his approach to leadership at Kramer, one of the city’s 40 lowest-performing schools.

The newly enrolled students will meet every other weekend and will study cases and examples tailored to their educational background and context.

David Catania, chairman of the D.C. Council’s education committee, attended Tuesday’s opening reception and called the initiative “exactly the right strategy for principal development.”

 
Read what others are saying

    Man killed in Loudoun crash