News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax
newsinfo@miamioh.edu

Miami Education Dept. Working with Dayton

10/17/1997

OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami University's department of educational

leadership is living up to its name.

The department, recognized as one of the strongest in the country, is

helping develop future principals for the Dayton Public Schools, as many

long-time administrators prepare to retire.

In fact, the Dayton School Board anticipates that one-third of its

administrative staff and 40 percent of its principals will retire within the

next five years. The problem, however, doesn't end there. Many

superintendents and principals believe the quality of applicants has declined

over the years and they are concerned about the caliber of those who will

follow.

That's where Miami comes in. About 10 years ago, the faculty in Miami's

department of educational leadership took a hard look at themselves and their

national colleagues. The result didn't thrill them.

They saw educational administration programs that produced bureaucrats

rather than leaders. Programs primarily focused on management techniques that

barely addressed the moral or ethical dimensions of schooling. Miami's

professors decided it was time for a change. "Reform was an internal decision,"

says Nelda Cambron-McCabe, former chair of the department. "We simply felt we

could design a stronger program."

"There has been a quiet, non-radical revolution in the department," says

Patrick B. Forsyth, executive director of the national University Council for

Educational Administration. "It was early, but it continues. Miami does stand

out."

The fundamental principles behind the reform were to

develop a program for educators that looked at leadership as an

intellectual, moral and craft practice, with the intent of taking the applied

aspect of school administration to a higher level.

Faced with a critical shortage of administrators, the Dayton schools are

joining with Miami to develop a team approach to prepare future leaders. The

Dayton/Miami Leadership program started this fall and will train 17 new

principals for the district. These participants were chosen from more than 100

applicants.

The preparation program takes three years of part-time study. The students

will continue teaching in the Dayton schools while they are involved. Classes

are held in Dayton and on Miami's Middletown campus.

Gary Payne, Miami's coordinator of the program, believes the collaborative

approach to the preparation of school administrators makes good sense for

schools and universities. "Both institutions can make significant

contributions to the preparation of these new leaders," he said.

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