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Contact: Alan Richard
(404) 879-5544
Released: 6/3/2010

SREB Joins with Gov. Riley to Mark Alabama’s Success In Improving School Principals’ Standards, Training

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Senior officials from the nonprofit Southern Regional Education Board join Governor Bob Riley of Alabama and other state leaders today to mark significant progress in improving school leadership in the state.

The SREB Learning-Centered Leadership Program found in a new review of the state’s work to improve school leadership that Alabama has implemented outstanding new standards for school leaders and has successfully redesigned and upgraded 13 university-based graduate programs that train school principals. School Leadership Change: Results of the Governor’s Congress on School Leadership

"Alabama in many ways is the pacesetter for the entire Southeast in raising the quality of school leadership preparation, standards and practice," said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. "I hope the state will continue this work, which will result in better public schools and student achievement across the state."

Governor Riley launched the Governor’s Leadership Conference in 2004 to push the state to upgrade training for school principals and other education leaders. As a result, university programs in educational leadership have become more rigorous and relevant — and much more selective, enrolling only about half the aspiring principals they previously did each year. About 70 aspiring school leaders graduated from the programs from fall 2008 through fall 2009.

The state also now requires an intensive 10-day, full-time internship to offer aspiring principals strong practical experience in school leadership positions that will help them successfully lead school improvement as principals. Mobile and Baldwin counties go further and provide semester-long internships for aspiring principals studying at the University of South Alabama.

SREB recommends in its review that Alabama evaluate its resources during difficult budget times to ensure the internships can continue, that trained mentors for aspiring principals are compensated, and that redesigned university programs partner more closely with the school districts that send them principal-candidates.

The SREB Learning-Centered Leadership Program will publish an in-depth report later this year on all 16 SREB states’ progress in improving school leadership policies and practices.

For more information about the SREB review, please contact SREB Communications.

Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
(404) 875-9211

For additional information, please e-mail communications@sreb.org