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Abstract

Traditional principal preparation programs, those bound by a university degree, are sometimes viewed as theory-based and have little to do with the real world in which school leaders work. Even the licensing exam in some states, such as in Texas, asks the candidates to view each scenario as the ideal situation when selecting responses. Traditional preparation programs frequently meet the standards for national accreditation that indicates that the curriculum and assessments in these programs are subjected to rigorous scrutiny for quality control. The question remains, what should universities do to improve their programs or change the perception that the graduates of traditional graduate programs are ill-equipped to be effective leaders in today's schools? A 2012 report from the Wallace Foundation, Districts Developing Leaders: Lessons on Consumer Actions and Program Approaches from Eight Urban Districts by Margaret Terry Orr, Cheryl King, and Michelle La Pointe, provides insight into the efforts of eight school districts partnered with selected universities to develop leadership programs centered on district needs and improved quality of candidates for leadership positions.

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