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GUEST COLUMN: Creating Successful Schools and Administrators
Start Date: 7/12/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/12/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

by State Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville)

In the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly approved many initiatives to encourage growth and development in Hoosier schools. One of these laws takes that goal a step further by focusing on administrators and their impact on a school’s success.

When you consider the various roles a principal plays, it’s no surprise that an effective one can make a major difference in a school’s ability to reach its students. A recent study by Harvard- and Stanford-based education journal Education Next found that an effective principal can improve student performance by the equivalent of two to seven extra months of schooling. If an administrator is significantly ineffective, however, he or she can negatively influence student achievement by a similar amount. This trend is especially important in high-poverty and low-performing schools where an effective principal can have the impact of an additional seven months of learning.

But when our school principals do not have the proper tools to become better leaders, they often aren’t aware of ways they can improve. And if a school district doesn’t have the means to get these resources, administrators are sometimes unable to find them on their own.

To solve this problem, our legislature passed a new law that established the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute through Indiana State University’s Bayh College of Education. At the Institute, participants learn from a wide-ranging curriculum that focuses on many features of school leadership. This includes developing personal goals, improving building-level dynamics and using action research. Additionally, the program facilitates support networks of mentoring administrators and participating principals, which will extend beyond the Institute itself.

The Institute’s first class will accept fifty principals. Participants will be required to attend five seminars each year of the two-year program, and school corporations must contribute a one-time $1,000 fee to solidify the commitment of the principal and superintendent. School districts may nominate a principal if the superintendent and school board believe he or she has the potential to improve their school, are supportive of positive change in the school and will allow data collection to occur.

It’s my belief that this program will better prepare principals to lead, which can only create higher performing schools. That means better results for our students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole. I look forward to seeing how the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute’s first class performs and the positive impact of their efforts.

To learn more about the program and apply, go to

Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Education
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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