Yesterday, the George W. Bush Institute, based at Southern Methodist University (SMU), “the innovation arm of The George W. Bush Center,” announced that its “first major initiative” would be a program to train principals and prepare them for service in public schools across the country. The Institute says its goal is to “train half of the nation’s public school principals in the next decade”:
The first major initiative of the new George W. Bush Institute will be to create a training program that will provide more qualified principals to the nation’s public schools, officials announced Wednesday.
The institute, which will be based at Southern Methodist University, is launching the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership with a pilot program that includes school districts in Fort Worth, Dallas, Plano, Denver, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The goal of the program is to train half of the nation’s public school principals in the next decade.
The Institute is aiming for certifying 50,000 public school principals by 2020. It’s ironic that the first major initiative of Bush’s institute is to train principals, given the criticism the former president received from them. Reacting to cuts in education funding in Bush’s last proposed budget, the National Association of Secondary School Principals president Gerald Tirozzi criticized the former president for deciding to “shortchange public schools and undermine their efforts to improve student achievement.” (HT: DailyKos diarist teacherken)
Matt Yglesias writes, “Seems like a good idea to me. And certainly a much better idea than a Bush Institute program in torture, invasions, and economy-wrecking. “