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Summer Principals Academy NOLA
Teachers College, Columbia University
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in New Orleans

About SPA > Mission Statement

Mission Statement

Teachers College is dedicated to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country. Through programs of teaching, research, and service, the College draws upon the expertise of a diverse community of faculty in education, psychology, and health, as well as students and staff from across the country and around the world.

Through the Summer Principals Academy, aspiring school leaders are encouraged to construct transforming possibilities for student learning, school improvement, social equity, and opportunity.  We foster leadership development through an integrated set of experiences that include sound theoretical and "best practice" knowledge, problem-based coursework and field-based experiences, including an intensive and extended internship.  The following seven statements represent the core values of the Summer Principals Academy:
  
  • Quality education and education leadership are central to promoting social justice and diversity and these values are central to ethical leadership;
  • Excellent leadership development and preparation will nurture not only knowledge, skills and values, but also personal self-actualization and transformation;
  • School leaders are responsible for nurturing not only the teaching and learning of all members of the school community, but also for nurturing their own self-actualization and personal transformation;
  • Skillful collaboration and teamwork are essential to foster quality schools;
  • All aspects of leadership development and education will promote the practice of intellectually and ethically reflective leadership;
  • Active, participatory, learning that is rooted in actual school contexts, simulations, case-studies, and offers multiple opportunities to improve leadership skills is core to the curriculum; and
  • Innovation and risk-taking play a key role creating a vision and promoting educational change.

The knowledge, skills and dispositions we seek to develop in the cohorts of students selected for the Public School Principals Summer Masters Program need to reflect and sustain these core competencies.  They are also substantially present in the guidelines developed by ELCC and New York State for the certification of school building leaders.  However, we seek to exceed the competencies of "good principals" and develop the intellectual, moral, and practical foundations that will permit principals of excellence to emerge.  Excellent principals are developed over many years in the cauldron of reflective school leadership.