U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today introduced the Instructional Leadership Act -- legislation that would establish innovative programs to provide principals with training in leadership skills, and encourage states to develop and incorporate standards of instructional leadership into the certification and training of school principals.
"We count on principals to create the best environment for learning in our schools -- not only as administrators but also as instructional leaders," said Congressman Sarbanes. "We need to make sure that principals have the resources and training to perform both duties at the highest level."
The passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) changed the role of principals in schools across the country, mandating they serve as organizational leaders accountable for student achievement, as well as the broader goals of the legislation. Without the proper training, many principals have fallen short of the federal benchmarks set by NCLB.
The Instructional Leadership Act would help fill this skills gap by providing grants to state and local educational agencies to establish programs that enhance instructional leadership and incorporate instructional leadership standards into certification requirements; define the concept of a highly qualified principal; and create a mentoring program for new principals to help them succeed.
Throughout his time in office, Congressman Sarbanes has remained dedicated to providing America's schools with the resources they need to educate the next generation of our country's workforce. Before coming to Congress, he served for seven years with the Maryland State Superintendent as liaison to the Baltimore City Public Schools.