Teton County School District secondary administrators are among the first participants in a program developed by a University of Kansas education research center for enhancing leadership skills of school principals to promote equity in education.
The project will work with 70 principals in four districts across the country to increase their leadership capacities through professional learning and job-embedded coaching. They will learn as they apply proven methods for improving educational outcomes for students by ensuring equity for students of color, students segregated because of disability or learning disorders, students who are high achievers, who are English language learners, who are refugees, or who live in poverty, among others.
The program was developed and researched by the SWIFT Education Center, part of the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas, and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. SWIFT Education Center’s approach to ensuring equitable use of resources matched to all students’ needs stems from Wayne Sailor and Amy McCart’s long-term body of research and successful projects throughout the nation.
SWIFT will provide district administrators with leadership coaching and support in addressing our achievement gap and equitable access to educational programming and enrichment and intervention services to help us reach our Success 2022 goals. The first year of the multi-year program will focus on secondary schools, with elementary schools being added during the second year of the project. SWIFT researchers will work to support us in our current MTSS work and intervention programs and finding ways to make our work more effective.
In addition to helping principals to become better instructional leaders, the project will build local education agency capacities to sustain and develop future leaders. The sustainable nature of the program will allow efforts to continue developing other principals locally after the project ends. The project will also allow principals to earn “micro-credentials,” or certificates, for each competency they demonstrate. This micro-credentialing system will eventually be expanded to a national system available to educational leaders in any state.
The project also will be launched in Guilford County and Cumberland County School Districts in North Carolina; and San Diego Unified School District in California.