Educational administration is the weakest program that schools of education offer…most (principal preparation programs) vary in quality from inadequate to appalling. Their shortcomings include irrelevant and incoherent curricula, low admission and graduation standards, inadequate clinical instruction…(and) degrees that are irrelevant to the jobs students eventually hold” (Levine, 2005, B16).  Arthur Levine, the president of Teachers College at Columbia University, was roundly lambasted for these comments by the educational leadership community.  In particular, his report was criticized for ignoring the many positive aspects of leadership preparation programs (Young, 2005).   While Levine (2005) contends that Universities are not connected enough with local district practices, Flessa (2007) counters that non-university based school leadership programs lack the ability to meaningfully critique substandard local district policies that may be in place.  Perhaps it is not surprising to find that schools of education have vehemently defended their usefulness – but is there value in Levine’s critique?  Can educational administration programs improve their relevance to the jobs their graduates hold while continuing to provide them with a sound theoretical base?  Full Text Journal attached on Front Page in PDF (subscription or NCPEA Member ONLY)

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