Ch. 3 - Building a Pipeline of New School Leaders (HFR '07)

December 2007

Like previous editions of Hopes, Fears, & Reality, the 2007 report explores some of the most challenging issues currently facing the charter school movement. This chapter takes up the issue of charter leadership pipelines via in-depth interviews with Jonathan Schnur, co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools. Schnur's insights provide six major lessons for the charter field.

  • Ensuring a pipeline boils down to good recruitment.
  • One-person-leadership training approaches are not enough.
  • Training programs and trainees should be accountable for results.
  • Hands on training with support trumps coursework.
  • District demand will drive true scale in innovative leadership training.
  • Charter leadership training is the future of traditional public school training.

Campbell argues that based on the experience of NLNS, the right direction for school leadership training rests on setting a high bar, supporting candidates as they learn and settle into their new jobs, making adjustments based on experience and data, and holding individuals, schools, and the system accountable.