Board Approves Partners for Principal Leadership Program 

Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC) to Partner with Loyola University Chicago, New Leaders, Teach For America/Harvard, and University of Illinois/Chicago


April 25, 2012


The Chicago Board of Education today approved partners for the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC) -- a training and support program for CPS principals designed to ensure that every school serving Chicago students has a leader who can drive student achievement and graduate every student college and career ready. The four approved partners for the CLC initiative are Loyola University Chicago, New Leaders, Teach For America/Harvard, and University of Illinois at Chicago. Beginning in July, these organizations will work with CPS to train candidates for principal positions for the 2013-14 school year.


“Principals are critical to the overall success of a school,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “A great principal will support great teachers and great teachers create a thriving school culture where children flourish. We are thrilled to begin this formal partnership to provide school leaders with the tools they need to succeed. The CLC will pave the way for all principals to increase their leadership capacity, ensuring that every CPS student receives a world-class education and graduates career and college ready.”


Through an RFP process, Loyola University Chicago, New Leaders, Teach For America/Harvard, and University of Illinois at Chicago were selected to help lead the CLC effort due to their successful track records in developing principal leaders, their rigorous systems to recruit and select high potential candidates, and their programs’ alignment to the new CPS competencies for principals.


The CLC aspiring principal internship program will officially begin in July. The four organizations in the CLC each will recruit aspiring principals and conduct an internship program that takes place during the 2012-13 school year. At varying levels, internships will include classes or professional development, as well as hands-on “practical application” which can come in the form of projects or scenarios within their schools. The coursework and experiences will be aligned with new leadership standards including:


  • Creating powerful learning systems
  • Championing teacher excellence
  • Establishing a college and career ready culture
  • Empowering families and communities
  • Relentlessly pursuing self-disciplined thinking and action


These standards work to help principals build a culture of learning within their schools that will drive student achievement.


A little more than half of the internships will focus on the development of current assistant principals because nearly half of CPS’s new principals come from the assistant principal ranks. Nearly 75 percent of CPS principals come from within the CPS system, and the mission of the CLC is to provide them not only with real-world training, but also mentoring and development to help them be successful.


All aspiring principals will have a school - and/or a network - based role that will help them develop proficiency in the principal competencies through the guidance and support of the program partner, mentor principal and coach. By gaining real-world experience, candidates also will learn how to create a positive school culture by effectively engaging with key stakeholders. Through interacting with many different stakeholders – Local School Councils (LSCs), parent groups, community organizations, teachers, staff, students and families – they will be better prepared to work with these groups as a new principal.


The partners programs are designed to meet a variety of training needs and goals for various education leaders for specific subsets of individuals:


  • Loyola University Chicago (LUC)

The LUC program targets current practicing CPS assistant principals.

  • New Leaders (NL) Aspiring Principal Program (APP)

The NL APP targets a variety of individuals aspiring to be principals, including teachers, assistant principals and those who have worked as coaches, other school-based staff, or in Central Office positions.

  • Teach For America (TFA)

TFA targets TFA alumni with at least four years of teaching experience and significant adult leadership experience.

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

The UIC program recruits (primarily) outstanding teacher leaders and (secondarily) assistant principals.


Following the internship, and dependent upon passing eligibility requirements, aspiring principals will then be qualified for a principalship in the 2013-14 school year. To obtain a full-time principal position, candidates will go through the CPS standard application and LSC selection process.


As the program moves forward and to ensure that the CLC develops effectively, CPS regularly will monitor partner programs to ensure they are following the goals of the program, conduct an annual review of each program and participant outcomes, and monitor the student achievement results of program graduates who have earned principal positions. Approximately 100 aspiring principals will participate in a program associated with the CLC for the 2012-13 school year.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


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