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Spring 2004
The Education Imperative
Beyond Rhetoric
8 Mile
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Starting Out on the Right Path
Principals of Leadership
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Globalization’s Missing Middle
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Spring 2004
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, says Newlin.

"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 that."

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