College of Education receives two Principal Pipeline Partnership grants from state

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Lipscomb University’s College of Education has received two Principal Pipeline Partnership grants from the Tennessee Department of Education to support leadership models that develop or improve innovative and high-impact school leader programs, Candice McQueen, Tennessee education commissioner announced today.

McQueen announced that the state is awarding more than $1 million in grants for nine principal pipeline models that have been approved for funding and that will train a total of 160 aspiring school leaders using federal Title II, part A funds. Lipscomb’s College of Education, one of the top-ranked programs in the state and nation for teacher preparation, was awarded two of the nine grants as the primary partner, and is a supporting partner on a third model.

Tennessee is the first state in the country to lead a comprehensive approach to developing transformational school leaders, with multiple programs aligning to evidence-based, promising practices and a unique statewide focus on strengthening the leadership pipeline. The department’s goal is to ensure that transformational principal leadership pipelines are launched and supported in every region so that the new leader openings each year in Tennessee – usually around 260-270 – have strong candidates ready to be hired. 

“Great leaders build great schools. Principals are a critical lever in improving student achievement and supporting teachers’ development – and they set the tone that leads to success,” McQueen said. “These grants allow us to provide support for high-impact pipeline programs, developing strong school leaders who will guide our educators and students to better outcomes. We will now have strong pipelines in every region that can supply more than two-thirds of the state’s principal openings each year.”

Boyd_mugDeborah Boyd, dean of Lipscomb’s College of Education, believes that supporting leadership development is an important component of a school system that not only meets the educational needs of its students, but also the professional needs of its faculty.

“There is little doubt that a strong leadership development program benefits everyone involved in the educational process,” said Boyd. “Being able to use the resources that we have in the College of Education to make an impact on schools across the state, which as a result impacts the lives of countless students by giving them the best possible instruction through teachers who are well prepared, is a great honor and a way to give back to the community.”

In one of its two grants, Lipscomb is the primary partner for its proposed continuous improvement pipeline model in partnership with Lauderdale County, Dyersburg City and Haywood County schools. Boyd said the goals of this program are to partner with these rural districts to develop high-quality candidates by equipping them with tools and prerequisite requirements to be leaders in these partner districts; to provide learning opportunities in real-world situations; and to train fellows and mentors in strategies for coaching and rich feedback for educators.

Lipscomb was also awarded a state grant for its proposed continuous improvement pipeline model in partnership with Lincoln, Marshall, Maury and Bedford county school systems. The goal of this program is to develop strong leadership in the districts to help these districts recruit and retain quality teachers. Lipscomb’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation will partner with the College of Education to use proven strategies, including leadership standards, assessments, coaching, mentoring and cohort-based learning.

Lipscomb University is also a supporting partner for a development pipeline model with primary partner Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Research has shown that leadership is second only to teacher quality as the largest in-school factor impacting student achievement. In recent years, the state has actively been working to equip and empower more school leaders to be successful. For example, in 2015, Gov. Bill Haslam launched the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, led by the department and Vanderbilt University, to prepare a cohort of up to 25 transformational school leaders to serve in Tennessee. These school leaders are assistant principals who are selected for the program as joint applicants with a mentor.

In summer 2016, following feedback from a group of national and state partners, the department launched the Tennessee Transformational Leadership Alliance (TTLA) to serve as a leader pipeline incubator and help districts develop a deeper pool of high-quality leaders. The TTLA conducted the application process and awarded funding for the Principal Pipeline Partnership grants on a competitive basis. In order to be selected for the grants, partnerships were required to articulate a four-year plan for either a new model or an existing model to improve. Eligible programs required a partnership between local school districts and another entity including: higher education institutions, foundations, businesses, and/or non-profit organizations. The nine pipeline programs being awarded grants will identify and develop more effective leaders to improve outcomes for all Tennessee students. 

REPORT CARD_AThe four-year plan submitted with each application required three program elements: principal residency training content, bridge support for candidates between program completion and placement, and an induction program for these newly placed leaders. Additionally, partnership models must align with the department’s strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds, the eight components of effective programs as identified by the state’s Transformational Leadership Advisory Council, and ESSA’s Title II, part A requirements.

Other continuous improvement pipeline models that have been awarded grants include: Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee, primary partner, Knox and Blount County Schools, supporting partner; Public Education Foundation, primary partner, Hamilton County Schools, Benwood Foundation and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, supporting partner; and Wilson County Public Schools, primary partner, and McREL and the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee, supporting partner.

Development pipeline models that have been awarded grants include: Metro Nashville Public Schools, primary partner, and Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University, supporting partners; Paris Special School District, primary partner, and Obion County Schools and Weststar Foundation, supporting partners; Shelby County Public Schools, primary partner, and University of Memphis, supporting partner; and Warren County Public Schools, primary partner, and Belmont University, Tennessee School Boards Association, Gibson SSD, Hickman, Maury, Putnam and Washington County Schools.

About the Lipscomb University College of Education
Lipscomb’s College of Education is a leader in teacher preparation. In May the Lipscomb University College of Education’s secondary education teacher preparation program was once again ranked one of the top in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality in its newly released ratings for 717 undergraduate programs that prepare high school teachers. The nationwide study names Lipscomb University as one of only 16 programs in the nation designated a “Top Tier” institution and one of only six programs in the country ranked in the 99th percentile. Lipscomb was the only university in Tennessee to receive the “Top Tier” designation. 

In 2016, for the sixth year in a row, the College of Education was recognized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as one of the most effective teacher preparation programs in the state, listed among only five programs in the state. Lipscomb was also recognized as one of the two largest teacher preparation programs among all private universities in the state. 

read to be ready camp_1This summer, for the second time, the Tennessee State Department of Education turned to Lipscomb’s College of Education to take a leading role and train more than 2,000 teachers statewide in its literacy campaign, Read to be Ready. Lipscomb faculty were hired in 2016 to train more than 140 educators selected to conduct 20 summer literacy camps at their schools, as part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Read to be Ready initiative that was funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The summer camps involved more than 600 students last year at 20 sites across the state. After the success last year, the State Department of Human Services provided a $30 million grant to host up to 350 literacy camps this year impacting up to 10,000 students, and once again education professors Ally Hauptman, Michelle Hasty, and Julie Simone were hired to share their expertise on how to motivate young students to read using research-based best practices for about 2,500 camp coordinators statewide.

In addition, Lipscomb University recently received a two-year Diversity in Teaching grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to help increase diversity in Nashville's public schools. With funding provided by the grant, Lipscomb's College of Education will partner with MNPS to recruit eight educational assistants working in Nashville's public school system to enroll in Lipscomb, complete a teaching licensure program and transition to fully licensed teaching positions. In addition, the grant will allow Lipscomb to also train four in-service MNPS minority teachers in mentor coaching, who will in turn mentor the eight educational assistants who complete licensure through Lipscomb as well as to mentor future minority teacher candidates.

The Lipscomb University College of Education’s secondary teacher preparation program shared the No. 1 ranking in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality in its 2014 Teacher Prep Review. The college’s graduate program in the elementary grades was named No. 14 in the nation. In 2015, the College of Education was ranked the No. 15 best value in the nation by the National Council on Teacher Quality. In addition, the college was ranked among NCTQ's 35 "Top Colleges for Content Preparation" in the nation. The College of Education was named the 2016 Model of Excellence in Partnerships by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education.

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