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51 Successful Innovations in Educational Leadership Preparation This manuscript has been peer-reviewed, accepted, and endorsed by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) as a significant contribution to the scholarship and practice of school administration and K-12 education. Stephen P. Gordon Texas State University John Oliver Texas State University Rachel Solis Rawson Saunders School The purpose of this study was to identify and describe successful innovations in educational leadership preparation programs. Professors of educational leadership from across the nation nominated innovations of 12 programs. Based on review of descriptions of the innovations provided by nominees, further documentation on the innovations was requested from the programs. Various stakeholders in the programs with the most promising innovations were interviewed to gather additional data on those innovations. Data analysis in relation to three criteria for selection—fidelity of implementation, positive student learning outcomes, and adaptability to other programs—resulted in the identification of six successful innovations. NCPEA International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, Vol. 11, No. 2– December, 2016 ISSN: 2155-9635 © 2016 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration
52 Research studies and reviews of research have concluded that school leaders have significant direct effects on teacher performance and significant indirect effects on student learning (Leithwood, Seashore-Louis, Anderson & Wahlstrom, 2004; Marzano, Waters, & McNutty, 2005; Orr, 2006; Orphanos & Orr, 2013). According to Orr (2006), “Evidence suggests that, second only to the influences of classroom instruction, school leadership strongly affects student learning” (p. 3). Moreover, despite the need for more research on the relationship of school leadership preparation with the leadership capacity of program graduates, “Available research has been promising, showing positive relationships between innovative, research-based leadership preparation approaches and graduate outcomes (Orphanos & Orr, 2013, p. 3). One problem that educational leadership preparation as a field needs to address, however, is the reality that there still are many programs that are not “innovative and research-based.” Reformers recommend that innovations be incorporated across at least seven components of traditional educational leadership preparation programs, including (a) recruitment and selection procedures (Green, 2013), (b) program structure (Everson, 2006), (c) curriculum (Perez et al., 2010), (d) instructional strategies (Doolittle, Stanwood, & Simmerman, 2006), (e) field experiences (Perez et al., 2010), (f) student assessment (Knoeppel & Logan, 2011), and (g) school-leader induction (Daresh, 2004). McCarthy and Forsyth (2009), however, conclude that the field lacks any “systematic research examining the recruitment and admission of school leaders” (p. 89), the leadership preparation curriculum has been “relatively stable since the 1970’s” (p. 91), and leadership programs “often lack focus and relevance for particular

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