Delaware Raises the Bar for Instructional Leadership

July 7th, 2011

Category: News, Policy and Practice

When we look back forty years from now, the Delaware Leadership Project will be one of the key programs that helped move Delaware forward,” according to Governor Markell, who met with the seven aspiring principals last week as part of the program’s guest visitation day.

At the event, visitors were able to see the program’s innovative problem-based learning approach through a simulation that demonstrated the types of situations they could expect on a day-to-day basis.  This included responding to internal and external stakeholders (parents, teachers, community groups, etc.), prioritizing certain streams of work and/or delegating to specific staff, and conducting in-person meetings with concerned parents – while providing ample time to debrief and discuss ways to improve afterwards. 

The program, run by Innovative Schools, is modeled after the nationally recognized New York City Leadership Academy.  Beginning with a five-week summer intensive, the principal preparation program lasts a total of 14 months.  This is followed by a 10-month school-based residency working side-by-side with an experienced, highly-effective school leader four days a week – while conducting work sessions on Fridays and day-long walkthroughs once a month.  After the school year, participants will plan for their transition into campus leadership roles and then receive two years of ongoing support once in their building. 

The participants, who are required to commit three years within a Delaware high-needs school, represent a critical piece of Delaware’s overall commitment to raise the bar for incoming teachers and leaders.  To learn more, visit

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Brett Turner



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