What is an Effective Model for Developing Rural School Leaders?
This chapter provides an overview of the partnership and the boundary-spanning efforts of key stakeholders that resulted in the development of the Leadership Learning Community. It focuses on the efforts to develop the capacities of the leadership coaches. The chapter describes the efforts to develop the leaders' capacities to lead continuous improvement efforts in their schools through the use of action research. The design research three-year research-practice partnership was comprised of three partners: Clemson University (CU); Washington State University (WSU); and a consortium of 12 predominantly rural and high-poverty school districts, called the Southern State Educational Consortium. Both CU and WSU are research-oriented universities with a long tradition of faculty in their educational leadership programs collaborating with school-based partners to support teaching, leading, and learning in rural and high-needs school districts. Superintendents' participation in the pilot, especially in selecting and matching mentors and principals, demonstrated their commitment to the initiative and helped sustain its focus for the two years.