Principals of Leadership
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Involving parents in the education of their children is just one of
the challenges today's school leaders face. But through programs like
PLI in UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies,
campus leaders learn new skills to address the complex issues facing
school administrators in urban settings, from increased federal and
state accountability to ensuring school safety and meeting the academic
needs of an increasingly diverse student population.
The institute, which was founded in 2000, offers a 15-month, multidisciplinary
program that strives to arm its students — full-time teachers,
specialists and coordinators — with the skills necessary to
meet those issues head-on and to bring about change in struggling
schools. Those who complete the program receive a master's degree
and qualify for the credential they need to become a principal.
The program cuts across the spectrum of the university, with faculty
from not only the education school but also from the UCLA Anderson
School of Management and the School of Law.
"We decided this should be more than an education-school program,"
says Bruce Newlin '58, M.S. '59, Ed.D. '71, director of the institute.
"So we brought in professors from other schools and tried to
put together something unique that represented the best thinking
on how you go about developing leaders for schools."
And the schools where leaders are most needed are urban schools
with diverse student populations and typically low achievement numbers,
"Not just those schools in downtown L.A., but a lot of schools
throughout Los Angeles County meet that description," he says.
"We encourage [institute graduates] to stay in school districts
where things aren't where they need to be, to not run away from