This week a steering committee meets for the first time to plan for the complete revision of the SUNY Plattsburgh Ed Leadership Program. Their charge is to help update the existing program to best reflect the changing face of education and school leadership. With the New York State Regents Reform Agenda and the growing gaps in student achievement relative to those of other students around the world, there is an urgency to raise the bar for all practicing and future administrators. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
My colleagues who presently run the program and I have given much though to this important endeavor, and together we’ve organized a most impressive group of regional thinkers and leaders in the education field. Our committee includes two practicing superintendents, one principal, two recently retired superintendents, one national consultant, a technology director/educator, and three others who have helped craft ed leadership programs in their career. It’s an exciting and high-powered team that will help steer the important work that lies ahead. As one Steering Committee member commented to me, this transformation work is Theory U! After all, if we hope to break out of the schema of 20th Century Ed Leadership program models, we must be willing to be open-minded, open-hearted, and open-willed about what is possible.
To help inform our work and push us to the razor’s edge, we’ve surveyed the region’s superintendents for feedback on the quality of recent graduates from the program and for ideas and strategies for embedding ISLLC and ISTE-NETS standards-based projects into the program. Survey data may help provide the impetus for creative reform as we acknowledge the gaps in our existing program.
At our meeting, we will present an exemplar of the course outlines we will ultimately use for submission for New York State Ed Dept approval. The outlines will include learning objectives aligned with standards, rigorous and relevant assessments associated with the objectives, and a bibliography. With steering committee feedback, we will then update the course outline exemplar and share it with other professors teaching in the program. Our goal is to have every proposed course outline aligned to the standards and evaluated through embedded authentic assessments. In addition, our committee will learn of the current research in the field of ed leadership and then break out in sub committees to brainstorm potential cornerstone projects/studies and the clinically rich internship experiences. There are innumerable directions our program could go, including executive coaches, journals, portfolios, podcasts, and much, much more. All in all, this is timely and very exciting work!