BCPS in the News

Wallace Foundation Invests $3 Million to Strengthen BCPS Principal Supervisors

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
 
The Wallace Foundation is investing about $3 million in a significant five-year effort to help Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) improve the effectiveness of its principal supervisors (cadre directors), so they can better assist and support principals in raising the quality of teaching and learning in schools, and improve their ability to lead schools.
 
Wallace chose BCPS and five other core districts with a willingness and potential to change their principal supervisor positions to compete to be chosen for the initiative.  The school districts are among the nation’s most advanced districts in recognizing the importance of the principal supervisor position. The other participating districts are Long Beach (California), Des Moines (Iowa), Minneapolis (Minnosota), Cleveland (Ohio) and DeKalb County (Georgia). The foundation will spend $2.5 million on an independent evaluation of whether the grants result in more effective principals. The grant would provide BCPS $500,000 for the first year of the program.
 
“We welcome this opportunity to partner with the Wallace Foundation to enhance the training and expand the capacity of our cadre directors (principal supervisors) and principals,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “As our nation has significantly raised educational standards for our students, the success of this transformation will ultimately depend on highly-effective school leaders.”
 
Wallace launched the new initiative because it believes the overlooked supervisor position has emerged as central to improving principals’ performance. “In many school districts, principal supervisors oversee too many principals – 24 on average – and focus too much on bureaucratic compliance,” said Jody Spiro, Wallace’s director of education leadership. “This will allow supervisors to be frequently present in the schools, providing mentoring and guidance, particularly to new principals but also to experienced principals who need this kind of support.”
 
In Broward County, the initiative will finance training and support for principal supervisors (cadre directors) and help to reduce the number of principals they oversee. BCPS currently has 11 cadre directors who serve as principal supervisors, and each oversees an average of 20 principals.
 
The foundation will select independent researchers to provide evidence on how the Principal Supervisor Initiative is carried out. They will examine, among other things, whether the effort improved the performance of principals, as measured by VAL-ED, a leader assessment tool developed with Wallace funding by researchers at the Universities of Vanderbilt and Pennsylvania.
 
The evaluators plan to issue two major reports: one assessing the early experiences of the districts and how they manage the process of changing principal supervision; and a final report assessing how the districts change the supervision of principals, how supervisors and principals respond to the new approach, and how the new principal supervisors affect the performance of the principals they supervise.

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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is internationally recognized as one of the world’s largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school systems, a distinction held since 2006. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 229 schools and education centers and 94 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 130 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit (browardschools.com), follow us on Twitter (@Browardschools) and like us on Facebook @ (facebook.com/browardschools).
 
ABOUT THE WALLACE FOUNDATION
The Wallace Foundation is an independent,national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at www.wallacefoundation.org about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and through the effective use of additional learning time during the school day and year; enhancing out-of-school time opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.
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ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States, the second largest in the state of Florida and the largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school district in the nation. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 229 schools and education centers and 95 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 130 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit (browardschools.com), follow us on Twitter (@Browardschools) and like us on Facebook @ (facebook.com/browardschools).