A column in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times (David Brooks, March 12th) discusses how strong leadership improves city schools. The article highlights schools in Washington, New Orleans, and Chicago that have increased test scores, increased graduation rates, and an increased percentage of students going to two – or four-year colleges directly after graduation. These improvements are due to talented leaders who build a culture within these schools and collaborate with their staff. These leaders embody trustworthiness, honesty, optimism and determination. In addition, Chicago has one of the highest principal retention rates of any large urban system. Principals are given support, training, and independence.

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute believes in access to excellence for all of New York’s young children, starting at birth. This article points out that the excellence of schools and programs is reliant on the quality and caliber of the leader. The Institute, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, launched the Leadership Initiative to support site-based leadership as a key strategy towards ensuring that every child has access to excellence. Through this initiative, current early childhood leaders, as well as those who aspire to leadership roles in the future, receive assistance and support to identify and meet individualized leadership development goals. They also have access to coaching and have the opportunity to engage in a range of professional learning activities including events, seminars and conferences that serve as opportunities for growth and development. Each of these efforts help to ensure that the children in these programs receive the high quality learning experiences they need to thrive and be successful.

To learn more about the Leadership Initiative, click  here.