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PEABODY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, 84: 453466, 2009 Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 0161-956X print

/ 1532-7930 online DOI: 10.1080/01619560902973654

Declining Support for Higher-Education Leadership Preparation Programs: An Analysis

James G. Cibulka
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

University-based leadership preparation programs no longer enjoy a near monopoly on the right to prepare school principals and other administrative leaders, and now compete with a growing number of alternative providers. This article utilizes the new institutionalism literature to analyze this shift. Practitioners and policymakers demanded reforms beginning in the 1980s. Two alternative state responses are discussedincreased regulation alongside deregulation. University-based providers have been weakened by value disagreements, inability to monitor quality, and weak research on program effectiveness. Strategies are discussed for creating a market of providers that is more strongly regulated around quality.

This article examines developments that have placed colleges and universities with leadership preparation programs (LPPs) on the defensive. University-based LPPs no longer enjoy a near monopoly on the right to prepare school principals and other administrative leaders in education, as was the case as recently as 2 decades ago. Today many new providers of programs have emerged. State departments of education or state licensure boards, which establish the rules for program approval and for licensure1 of school principals and other leadership personnel, have relaxed their regulation to facilitate a competitive market of diverse providers. The programs most greatly affected by this development primarily prepare principals and superintendents, but other roles also have been affected to a lesser degree such as assistant principals and directors of instruction. Why has this shift occurred? To interpret the developments that are described in this article, I draw on the literature from the new institutional analysis. A THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE This article uses an institutional lens to interpret these developments, drawing on the contributions of the new institutionalism literature. Why use this framework? Institutional theory,
1 Some states use the term certication rather than licensure. Correspondence should be sent to James G. Cibulka, National Council for Accreditation of Teachers Education, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036-1023. E-mail:



particularly as it has been developed by sociologists, has been applied quite extensively to understand educational organizations. The theory posits that educational organizations operate in a highly institutionalized arena where pursuit of goals often is displaced by pursuit of legitimacy. Legitimation emerges as a response to conicting demands emanating from the institutional environment, particularly when the technology of the organization makes it difcult to measure whether organizations are performing successfully. Measuring student achievement is, of course, complicated. Technical ambiguity about measurement of goals and performance also contributes to the lack of coordination and control over teaching and learning (Weick, 1976). Further, the publics expectations for schools vary and are disputed. Meyer and Rowan (1977, 1978) argued that under conditions of goal uncertainty, many features of modern bureaucracies are, in fact, rationalized myths that become institutionalized as rulelike understandings about how to organize an enterprise to achieve particular ends. Rowan and Miskel (1999) explained that many of these responses cannot be understood as rational. Institutional theory challenges models of social and organizational action in which relatively autonomous actors are seen as operating with unbounded rationality to pursue their self-interests2 (p. 359). Other scholars (e.g., Rowan, 1981, 1982a, 1982b) have applied the new institutionalism to educational administration and the politics of education. For example, Crowson, Boyd, and Mawhinney (1996) edited a volume whose contributions centered on the implications of the new institutionalism for the study of the politics of education and policy analysis. Ogawa (1994) applied the concept to school-based management. Although institutional theory offers an explanation for why organizations maintain their legitimacy irrespective of goal attainment, the theory also permits us to see the process of institutionalization as destabilizing. The logic of legitimation may buffer the organization from responding to demands from its environment, thereby threatening its legitimacy (Cibulka, 1995). The current loss of condence in leadership preparation programs can be understood as a crisis of legitimacy. The inability of the profession to respond to the expectations in the policy community has destabilized this institutional framework.

Organization of the Analysis The article is organized as follows. First, the institutional framework is explained and a brief history of its development is provided. Second, the emergence of new expectations for reforms in LPPs coming from practitioners and the policy community beginning in the 1980s is discussed, along with two alternative state responses: stronger regulatory accountability and/or deregulation and markets. The third section of the analysis describes four problems in the professorate that have limited its credibility with the policy community and its effectiveness in reforming leadership preparation. The concluding section of the paper lays out a possible strategy for the profession to restore its credibility and relevance.
2 Earlier versions of the theory ignored the role of individual actors entirely, but more recent developments do incorporate perspectives that capture the role of agency in shaping institutions. As Rowan and Miskel (1999) explained, the new institutionalism in sociology often subordinates actors rational action to their pursuit of institutional legitimacy. This perspective sees rational action . . . as a cultural construction in which ends-means sequences and the very calculus of rational efciency are understood as ideological constructs institutionalized in society (p. 362).



THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW INSTITUTIONAL SECTOR Educational administration as a discipline with specialized knowledge evolved as part of a new institutional sector that was inspired by Progressive ideology, with its commitment to trained executive leadership. As it evolved, this institutional framework came to rely on a combination of bureaucratic regulation and professional self-regulation through accreditation. Meyer and Scott (1983) discussed the concept of institutional sectors. These entail all the actors that produce, distribute, consume, and regulate a product or service. Public schools, for example, form a population of more than 15,000 producing organizations, but they are embedded in a much larger institutional sector consisting of suppliers, numerous consumers (taxpayers, parents, businesses, etc.), and regulators. Institutional theorists argue that institutional arrangements are created and sustained in several ways; they have regulatory, normative, and cognitive roots (Scott, 1995). The origins of LPPs to the Progressive reform movement in the early part of the 20th century embraced all three of these elements. Progressives were remarkably successful in shaping the institutional arrangements of American public schooling still existing today. Tyack (1974) described Progressives efforts to build a one-best system. Many of the reforms created by Progressives were addressed at wresting control from urban political machines and laypersons. Progressive reform principles were extended more broadly to consolidation of school districts, curricular reforms, age-grading, student tracking, and other education reforms. One Progressive strategy cutting across many governmental domains, including education, was governmental regulation of the actions of private individuals, groups, and organizations to protect the public interest (Tarr, 2000). Drawing their inspiration from business and industrial bureaucracies, Progressives also favored putting trained executives in charge of professional bureaucracies. Administrative Progressives argued that specially trained experts should operate these bureaucracies. They were strong advocates of using Frederick Taylors scientic management, with its principles of bureaucratic hierarchy and efciency, to the tasks of organizing and administering Americas public schools (Callahan, 1962). State bureaucracies were to be organized along the same principles. This ideology contributed to two complementary developments affecting leadership preparation in elementary and secondary schools. First, it led directly to the momentum to professionalize training of school principals and superintendents. Progressives argued that universitytrained experts, unlike politicians and parents, would bring specialized knowledge as well as a commitment to impartiality and standardization, in the interests of fairness and efciency. With these unifying principles, training programs multiplied in universities to prepare principals and superintendents by offering courses, and even masters degrees, in educational administration. The second development was a state regulatory framework to manage licensure and programs. The expansion of these training programs in educational administration continued for many decades (and, in fact, continues today despite some contraction). Although the University of Michigan and Columbia University had developed limited coursework prior to 1900, it was in the decades beginning in 1915when Progressive ideas had picked up momentumand extending through the 1930s that programs were developed at many universities (Moore, 1964). This movement fed on itself as doctorally trained Progressive school administrators established themselves in the public eye as the certied experts by conducting large scale surveys, developing



curriculum guides, and otherwise erecting the edice of the new system of public education (Grant & Murray, 1996). Although no accurate record exists of how many of these programs were created, the University Council on Educational Administration estimates that today there are approximately 500 that offer masters degrees, in addition to an unknown number that lead to licensure/certication only. The multiplication of such programs, as well as their highly variable quality, makes them somewhat analogous to the medical profession before the profession closed many poor quality programs in the early 20th century (Starr, 1982). Of course, Progressives were convinced that their reform nostrums would raise educational and governmental standards, so this raises the question of why so many LPPs of variable quality were permitted to exist. One answer is that, like the development of LPPs, the expansion and renement of this state regulatory framework emerged over a period of decades. In our decentralized political system, where education is by law and tradition a state and local responsibility, states varied widely in their regulatory policies; adoption of regulations varied in timing and intensity from state to state, depending on state political cultures, leadership, and tax resources. By the 1930s many states were licensing this new class of administrative professionals. (State licensure of teachers generally preceded these developments; see Imig & Imig, 2008.) States also began to use their regulatory authority to approve the LPPs offered in higher education. In some states, program approval conferred on the institution the right to recommend licensure to the state upon the candidates completion of an approved program of study. However, states varied in whether they linked licensure to graduation from an approved program of study at a university. Although the pattern was a gradual one, it was one of institution building, and newfound legitimacy for the LPPs that owed from these arrangements. By the mid-1950s, more than 80% of the states required completion of some graduate coursework for administrative licensure. More than half the states required completion of a masters degree (McCarthy, 1999a). This period, which extended for another several decades into the 1980s, might be regarded as the high point in the credence paid to the Progressive model, as well as its other policy achievements. LPPs became part of a complex institutional framework in which approved programs enjoyed a clientele because they alone had the authority to offer programs that meet state licensure standards. At the same time it is important to document why the state regulatory framework for LPPs was relatively weak and made it vulnerable to attacks in the 1980s and thereafter. First, educational requirements for licensure, training, and program approval were never universal across all states. Coordinating efforts among the states during these decades were weak. It was not until the 1960s that the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certication (NASDTEC) recommended common standards (Mackey, McHenry, & Einreinhofer, 2003) for teacher education and other programs. Even then, these voluntary standards were so vague as to allow any state to make the claim that it was meeting the national standards. State education agencies also were understaffed, and poor salaries made it difcult for them to recruit highly competent personnel, further eroding any pretense to rigorous bureaucratic regulation of program quality. During this period state standards reected the philosophy that states should set only minimum standards for licensure, or for whatever/whomever they were regulating. Regulatory policies (and the institutional structures surrounding them) purported to provide quality assurance; they were



designed to assure the public that the quality of a program was at least minimally adequate, thereby assuring that its graduates would do no harm. In the case of educator preparation, the criterion normally was that graduates of LPPs would not harm children. This do no harm criterion still is widely applied in setting the bar for pass rates on state licensure exams. Regulatory regimes that focus on minimums can regulate through efforts to assure compliance with mandates that focus on program inputs. Accordingly, program approval processes generally were conned to paper reviews of courses or the curriculum offered by institutions of higher education. These bear little direct relationship to how the program actually performs, much less how well its candidates are prepared. Third, notwithstanding the aforementioned, state regulatory oversight over programs in higher education has tended to be especially limited. Whatever successes Progressives had in extending state regulation of elementary and secondary schools in the name of equity, quality, and efciency, their regulation of higher education was less, perhaps reecting deference to the presumption of academic freedom. State coordinating authorities for higher education did not exist in many states until recent decades; the federal government did not address this void until the 1972 amendments of the Higher Education Act of 1964 (Thelin, 2004). Generally, higher education has enjoyed a presumption of signicant autonomy from state oversight, and to a degree this orientation has shielded LPPs from rigorous bureaucratic regulation.

DEMANDS FOR REFORM OF LPPs The education reform movement of the 1980s opened a debate about the adequate performance of American students. In doing so, it also raised questions about whether teachers were adequately prepared to help all students learn at high levels and whether school administrators were being prepared to help schools move to high performance. Initially, LPPs did not receive much attention in the education reform movement from state regulatory agencies, governors, or state legislatures. Most attention was given to reform of teacher preparation (e.g., Holmes Group, 1986). However, states heard complaints from school districts about the quality of the graduates coming out of these LPPs and from the graduates of programs who were dissatised with their preparation programs. The effectiveness of state regulation of teacher preparation programs through testing also began to be debated in the 1980s (McCarthy, 1990). Weak state regulation had been justied on the premise that the states role is merely to prevent no harm to students. However, this approach led to low expectations for students and schools, where high rates of failures and drop outs were tolerated. Also, it ignored the quality of the teachers these programs produced. Meyer and Scott (1983) provided a helpful way of interpreting the reason why the older regulatory framework proved inadequate as the performance of American schools came under greater scrutiny in the 1980s. They posited that organizations are embedded in both institutional and technical environments. The former reward conformity, whereas the latter reward performance. Weak technical environments encourage institutions to engage in compliance and convergence around practices that may make them legitimate but that may bear no relationship to goal achievement or even contribute to displacement of goals (Rowan & Miskel, 1999, p. 365). It follows that regulatory policies that focus mainly on eliciting compliance rather than performance will reinforce these tendencies. In these cases, regulation may serve largely a legitimation function



by holding institutions accountable for standards of quality that are decoupled from evidence of actual effectiveness. If state regulation was ineffective, however, what path to reform should be followed? The 1980s reform movement spawned two very different pathways to reform, as these applied to K-12 schools and to higher educations role in preparing professionals for schools. One approach sought to reform regulation itself, the second to weaken or dismantle it.

One State Response: Intensication of Regulation One reform impulse was to strengthen those state policies that would build a technical environment focused on performance of students and school personnel. The problem for state policymakers was not to guarantee a oor beneath which no one could fall, but to raise the ceiling. Systemic reform was advocated (Smith & ODay, 1991) including development of standards for students. States increased their regulatory oversight of school districts by developing standards for preK-12 students. Although state program standards for higher education programs had preceded pre-K-12 student standards, the era of student standards-setting led to demands to align higher education preparation program standards more closely with P-12 education. Thus, even education reformers in the 1980s quickly turned away from minimal compliance approaches such as increasing graduation requirements and other inputs. They began to focus on higher levels of student performance, such as students ability to demonstrate critical thinking, and concomitantly the reforms that showed promise of creating high student performance. Reform of licensure and preparation programs (Hart & Pounder, 1999; Imig & Imig, 2008) also was part of this reform agenda. In 1987 the Council of Chief State School Leaders created the Interstate New Teachers Assessment and Support Consortium. Although the groups function was focused on improving state licensure standards, it also turned its attention to helping states develop model preparation programs. An off-shoot of that group was the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, focusing on ve key state policy levers: professional certication, professional standards and assessments, professional preparation, professional development, and state reporting and accountability for administrator quality. Because participation in the consortium is voluntary, only about half the states have participated at any one time. Nonetheless, this resource began to turn the conversation toward alignment of policies, outcome-based approaches to setting standards, and other indicators of improved quality. In 200304, 37 states required assessments of candidates, the most popular being the School Leader Licensure Assessment offered by the Educational Testing Service (Sanders & Simpson, 2005).3 After a decade of effort in 200304, 39 states required a candidate to complete a preparation program for licensure, and 25 states required internships as a component of that program. At the time, 39 states required masters degrees (Sanders & Simpson, 2005). Some states looked to foundations for support in redesigning their policies. The Wallace Foundation created the State Action for Education Leadership Project in 2001 to focus on reform of policies and regulations in 15 states.
3 The adoption by states of national assessments for licensure has created incentives for LPPs to align their programs to the knowledge and skills contained in the assessments. This was another way in which LPPs were inuenced by the professionalization agenda.



National accreditation also has been a tool to strengthen the regulatory framework surrounding LPPs. Unlike state regulation, accreditation represents the professions attempts to regulate itself. The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) was created in 1954. Five groups were instrumental in the creation of NCATE ( the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, NASDTEC, the National Education Association, the Council of Chief State School Ofcers (CCSSO), and the National School Boards Association. Despite NCATEs existence dating to the 1950s, it was not until the 1990s that it began to work closely with specialty area associations (SPAs) to set standards for individual programs such as leadership. SPAs are membership associations consisting primarily of practitioners, with some academics. Although many of these associations had developed program standards, most states used their own standards. In the program area of leadership preparation, no standards were available until they were developed by Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium under the leadership of CCSSO in 1996. The new standards addressed the knowledge, skills, and attributes required to lead and manage an educational enterprise centered on teaching and learning (Hart & Pounder, 1999). These were initially conceived as licensure standards, but then were adapted for program approval under the auspices of the National Policy Board on Educational Administration.4 National accreditation remains voluntary in most states. Nevertheless, NCATE became more inuential as it developed partnerships with states in the 1990s, which led to better alignment between national accreditation and state program approval. Also, by 2002 NCATE had moved away from course or curriculum standards to outcome-based standards. LPPs were required to develop assessments that demonstrate candidate performance aligned with those standards. In 2004 NCATE brought the process of developing standards under its management and control. This gradual consolidation of NCATEs authority led more states to utilize NCATEs national program approval process, or to align their program approval policies with NCATE standards, even if they maintained separate program reviews. By 2008, 29 states had aligned their program reviews with NCATE processes and standards, and an increasing number of these began to use the NCATE program review process. In sum, NCATE, working with other professional associations such as CCSSO, has helped states strengthen their regulation of LPPs. Its focus on candidate outcomes has begun to move the regulatory framework surrounding LPPs toward performance rather than the minimal standards and do no harm policies that became discredited by the 1980s. A Second State Response: Deregulation and Markets Many states also responded to complaints about leadership preparation programs in the 1980s in a very different way. They deregulated their policies and created a competitive market. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 had ushered in a period of anti-government sentiment at all levels of the political system. The Reagan revolution included weakening and dismantling regulatory regimes wherever they existed in favor of the so-called self-regulation of the market.
4 The Educational Leadership Constituent Council is an arm of the Board. It consists of three NCATE member organizations (SPAs): the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.



The 1980s deregulatory fever at the state level prompted the National Policy Board on Education Administration (Thompson, 1999) to develop qualications that candidates for alternative credentials should meet, to guide states. At a national level, alternative routes had been endorsed by the inuential A Nation at Risk report early in the decade, which encouraged states to move in this direction (Firestone, 1990). The last 2 decades have witnessed many efforts to deregulate state and local educational services and to introduce various consumer choices and market competition in education (Cibulka & Boyd, 2003). As privatization efforts expanded in P-12 education, this created a demand for administrators for charter schools and contract schools. One approach to meeting this demand was deregulationrelaxation or elimination of licensure requirements. Michigan and South Dakota have eliminated licensure requirements altogether. By the 1990s it was common to recruit urban superintendents from nontraditional backgrounds such as governors, former military ofcials, and business leaders (Cuban & Usdan, 2003). By 2009, only a few states required masters degrees for licensure as a principal ( Another approach authorized alternative providers of preparation programs. Elmore (2008) criticized state policies as reinforcing the status quo and being part of a cartel with higher education and local school districts, although he acknowledged that more than one fourth of the states now have some form of alternative certication for school leaders. Advocates of markets (e.g., McGuinn, 2006) argue that markets are more likely to produce the supply of professionals needed and to improve diversity. One fourths of states now permit alternative licensure of education leaders, either autonomous from higher education or in collaboration with it (Elmore, 2008; McCarthy & Forsyth, 2009). A number of urban school districts now offer their own training programs for school leaders, bypassing university-based programs altogether. New providers, some with venture capital support, have entered the market. New Leaders for New Schools began in 2001 and now operates in nine urban districts. Like many alternative providers it has a more focused mission than traditional LPPs. It seeks to produce school leaders committed to high levels of learning and achievement for every child. Although still relatively small (431 graduates in 2006), the program has ambitions to address the leadership challenge at scale (New Leaders for New Schools, 2008). The Broad Foundations Residency Program recruits individuals to work in management positions in urban school systems and charter school management organizations. The Foundation also supports a Superintendents Academy to prepare CEOs and senior executives from business, nonprot, military, government and education backgrounds to lead urban public school systems. Such initiatives would not be possible without changes in state (and local) program regulations, licensure rules, and civil service policies to recruit nontraditional individuals into these positions. New private-sector models of schools of education are emerging to challenge colleges and universities. The HTH Graduate School of Education in San Diego offers masters degrees in school leadership for individuals who wish to lead a small innovative school. Also, schools of education are losing their monopoly of training programs within universities. Rotherham (2008) cites as an example the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program operating entirely within a business school. Taken together, these deregulatory and market responses sanctioned by states operate in tension with the effort to strengthen LPPs through greater regulation. Although most states continue to take both paths, it is clear that momentum has increased for this second pathway.



REFORM EFFORTS WITHIN THE PROFESSORIATE AND THE ACADEMY It is unlikely that deregulation and market responses would have grown if the professoriate were able to gain more respect from policymakers and the practice community. The eld suffers from a number of long-standing problems including a lack of consensus on the knowledge base, the persistence of an academic program model, the inability of higher education to police itself, and a lack of research on effective programs. Each of these problems is discussed briey. Lack of Consensus on the Knowledge Base Many scholars have chronicled the inability of the professoriate in educational administration to develop a knowledge base that is widely agreed upon. In the early decades after LPPs were created, the faculty members of such programs typically were drawn from the eld of practice (almost exclusively White men) and had little or no formal training in their elds. As recently as the end of World War II, leadership preparation for principals and superintendents was highly practical and lacked any pretense to a scholarly base (Cooper & Boyd, 1987; Grifths, 1959). LPPs were staffed by practitioners who dispensed experiential wisdom (McCarthy & Forsyth, 2009). Murphy (1992) referred to this as the prescriptive era. It was not until the so-called theory movement began in the late 1940s grounded in behavioral science that preparation programs and their professors began to aspire to resemble an established academic discipline. Scholars at leading universities attempted to expand the knowledge base by infusing social science knowledge in the new discipline (Grifths, 1964). Formal training programs began to be developed for the professoriate, and scholarship began to emerge, although little of it focused on what constitutes successful practice in this eld. However, after the theory movements heyday between 1947 and 1957, controversy ensued over its philosophical assumptions. By the time it gained momentum in educational administration, its assumptions already were being questioned by human relations theorists. Also, as Murphy (1992) explained, the hypothetico-deductive approach came under increasing criticism. Among its earliest and most articulate critics was Greeneld (Greeneld & Ribbins, 1993). The University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA), which represents the professoriate at research universities, has played a leadership role in promoting reform since its inception in 1956 by 34 leading universities. However, UCEA encountered strong resistance when it attempted to codify the knowledge base after the collapse of the theory movement. Its 1989 effort (Forsyth & Tellerrico, 1993) to dene a knowledge base for preparing urban principals failed to gain traction. UCEA also initiated the knowledge-base project in 1992. Critics subjected the ndings (Hoy, Astuto, & Forsyth, 1996) to withering criticism. Donmoyer, Imber, and Schuerich (1995) asserted that the ndings reected a functionalist paradigm, which gave insufcient attention to critical perspectives in the curriculum. Persistence of an Academic Program Model Another layer of debate has persisted on whether to organize the curriculum around technicalrational knowledge or around problems of practice, following the work of Schon (1987) and



others (Jacobson, 1990). Forsyth and Murphy (1999) argued for a professional approach to training grounded in practice, distinct from programs oriented primarily to teaching theory with little actual opportunities to apply learning. Within education, in the evolution from normal schools to education schools, the academic model won out (Labaree, 2004). Despite efforts by reformers such as the Holmes Group (1986), schools of education have not created a sufcient supply of professional development schools that might serve as the analogue of teaching hospitals, nor have they restructured themselves internally to facilitate this focus on practice. Leadership programs also reect this academic model. The professions contributions to building a stronger technical knowledge base have been organized primarily around social science disciplinary knowledge (Forsyth & Murphy, 1999) rather than practice knowledge linked to an evidentiary base on program outcomes. Although the Danforth Foundation supported program redesign at 22 universities in the early 1990s, focusing on incorporating greater practice knowledge in LPPs (McCarthy, 1999b), that effort did not lead to widespread adoption elsewhere. There were powerful institutional pressures to emphasize an academic rather than professional approach. The discipline of education has held a particularly tenuous place in research universities, where teacher and leader preparation were never a core mission. Education competes with more established academic disciplines and professions. The reward structure has favored specialization and research rather than clinical preparation of practitioners. Given the failure of LPPs to demonstrate signicant commitment to reforming themselves, a chorus of critical studies and reports have been issued in recent years (e.g., Bottoms & ONeill, 2001; Broad Foundation and Fordham Institute, 2003; Hess, 2003; Levine, 2005). Inability to Police Itself Although many reform proposals have emanated from within the profession since the 1980s, most have had difculty being implemented. An inuential report, Leaders for Americas Schools (National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration, 1987), generated much discussion about how to reform LPPs. The Danforth Foundation supported program redesign efforts in a number of universities, and under the leadership of Professor David Clark at the University of Virginia, supported the creation of the National Policy Board on Educational Administration (NPBEA). NPBEA represented the collective voice of ten organizations and brought together the professoriate and practice communities. In 1989 it issued a report, Improving the Preparation of School Administrators: The Reform Agenda, which recommended a common curriculum, national accreditation, and national certication. Some of its recommendations generated controversy. Proposals to reduce the number of LPPs and make them more selective were not well received by many programs and faculty. The professoriate showed no ability to police itself.5 Other reform efforts emanated primarily outside the academy but within the profession. Practitioner groups such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals became frustrated at a mismatch between
5 NPBEA had more success in the development of national licensure and program standards, working with CCSSO and NCATE, as was discussed earlier in the article. Higher education representatives also were participants in those efforts.



preparation programs and job requirements. Consequently, they created the National Commission on the Principalship. A number of reviews have found little evidence of true innovation in programs, apart from changing labels of courses. Even areas in which there is broad agreement for improvement have demonstrated only incremental progress. Clinical experiences have undergone only modest expansion of clinical experiences. LPPs have been reluctant to deny admission to teachers who enroll in their programs primarily for salary advancement and who have little intention to become principals. (These studies are summarized in McCarthy & Forsyth, 2009.) Some programs continue to be staffed primarily by part-time adjunct faculty with practitioner backgrounds but little scholarly training; in this respect they are only marginally different from programs that existed in the 1940s. Some of these problems may be rooted in institutional pressures on LPPs from provosts to keep enrollments high because this increases tuition revenue. At the same time, hiring part-time faculty and avoiding expensive clinical supervision keeps program costs low.

Lack of Research on Effective Programs Until recently, little research has been conducted on effectiveness of reforms to traditional programs (Orr & Pounder, 2008). As late as 1989, a volume on reform of school administration (Hannaway & Crowson, 1989) focused entirely on reforming practice rather than addressing reform of LPPs, as though there were no connection between the quality of training and the resultant quality of practice. Perhaps such research lacks prestige and is not easily published. The research void also reects little consensus on what the knowledge base should be and what competencies practitioners should demonstrate. More recently, the policy community has demanded evidence that teacher and leader programs demonstrate a positive impact on P-12 student learning. Some alternative programs such as New Leaders for New Schools are developing these data. So far very little research has come from the education leadership eld to address this demand for accountability.6 Given these four problemsa disputed knowledge base, disagreement on whether to structure LPPs as academic or professional programs, inability to police itself, and the weak interest in building an evidentiary research base on effective programs and practicethe professoriate has been unable to position itself as a leading voice favoring reform.

CONCLUSION This article has reviewed the long-standing efforts to create high quality LPPs. These reform initiatives reach back to Progressives early in the last century. Support for the institutional framework inspired by Progressives has eroded in recent decades. This framework supported
6 It is also the case that research conducted by economists and policy researchers has focused mainly on whether traditional teacher preparation programs and routes to licensure make any difference in student achievement outcomes (Kane, Rockoff, & Staiger, 2006). New Leaders for New Schools contracted with the Rand Corporation to evaluate the effectiveness of its graduates on improving student achievement.



preparation programs offered by colleges and universities, regulated by the states. However, policy expectations have shifted away from an institutional environment built around compliance to a technical environment focused on productivity. Most states have moved in two directions at once, although in varying degreesintensication of regulation with a shift in focus toward candidate outcomes, and authorizing deregulation and alternative providers. This second state response has been expanding. Despite the purported focus on productivity in the current policy debates on rebuilding effective LPPs, neither traditional programs nor new providers are building their training programs on a strong research base concerning the characteristics of effective training and practice. The path forward requires the development of a much stronger technical knowledge base on these matters. Only with this evidentiary base will there be the basis for creating and sustaining effective programs focused on performance, building effective government regulation, and assuring strong self-regulation by the profession. This research needs to be targeted on critical needs in the eld. Goodlad (1984) argued several decades ago that P-12 education and teacher preparation should be transformed simultaneously. The same principle holds for leadership preparation. An example is preparation of principals to raise student achievement in low-performing schools. LPPs should align their programs more closely with the needs of school systems and build a research base that informs effective leadership preparation grounded in problems of practice. Recently, more attention has been paid by the profession to documenting the positive effects of innovative LPPs on principal practices and school improvement (e.g., Orr, 2008). UCEA convened an Evaluation Research Task Force to identify characteristics of successful programs that have an impact on practice. This group works collaboratively with other partners such as the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group Leading and Teaching in Educational Leadership, the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, and the New York Leadership Academy. These research initiatives offer hope that there will emerge a stronger technical environment in this institutional arena, led by researchers and LPP reformers. The goal should be to build a market of providers that is informed by, and competes around objective measures of quality grounded in research. The educational leadership professorate can reverse its declining position within this mixed market of providers. To accomplish this though, it must rst develop a visionary research strategy. Second, it must demonstrate a commitment to self-regulation and the elimination of weak programs. Finally, it must improve the alignment of its programs with the needs of states and school districts, as well as the expectations of accreditors. These several strategies, if pursued in concert, show promise of restoring the stature of higher education programs. Ironically, it is leadership that now is required.

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