Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Instructional Leadership Act of 2012, which will strengthen schools by helping principals become high-performing instructional leaders.
The passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) charged school principals with additional responsibilities. They not only serve as organizational leaders, ensuring that school culture and resources support teaching and learning, but they are also accountable for student achievement and the broader goals of NCLB. Unfortunately, principals often lack the appropriate training and resources needed to accomplish these goals. It is time to bring attention to the importance of developing programs that train principals on the best practices to guide instruction in schools, so that they can more effectively support teachers in improving student academic achievement.
The Instructional Leadership Act of 2012 provides grants to State and local educational agencies to drive gains in academic achievement for all children by: 1) Creating innovative programs and sites to train principals in instructional leadership skills including developing a school vision, staff development, and effective instructional practices; 2) Developing pilot programs to evaluate the incorporation of standards of instructional leadership into State principal certifications; and 3) Establishing state-of-the-art principal induction programs that provide mentoring and on-the-job training for new principals.
This legislation is strongly supported by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), two of the leading organizations working to develop and promote excellence in school leaders. The Instructional Leadership Act of 2012 represents a necessary first step towards developing the next generation of school leaders who are committed to, and effective in, increasing student achievement. I will continue working to include this bill in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act during the next Congress, and I urge you to join me in championing our Nation's principals by supporting this important piece of legislation.