In honor of National Principals Month, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Department of Education staff spent time this week shadowing principals in schools across the country to learn more about the rewards and challenges school leaders face every day, as well as principals’ roles in ensuring high-quality education. On Thursday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. ET, Secretary Duncan and Department staff will discuss what they learned from their time with a school principal about how federal policies play out in schools and classrooms – from teacher evaluation to new college-and-career-ready standards to a culture of success for all students. Secretary Duncan is spending a day with Principal Rachel Skerritt at Eastern Senior High School in Washington, D.C. The school was re-launched in 2011 under the federal turnaround model.
Principals make great teaching and learning possible, and strong leadership in a school is critically important in the transition to new standards and assessments to make sure all students are prepared for college, careers and life. In 2013, the Department was thrilled to launch the first Principal Ambassador Fellowship (PAF) program, modeled on the current Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, in order to better allow local leaders to contribute their knowledge and experience to the national dialogue about public education and, in turn, learn more about education policy at the federal level. Three principals were selected as the first Principal Ambassador Fellows to serve through summer 2015, including Skerritt.
The Obama Administration strongly believes that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, and education is crucial to the economic strength and security of our nation and communities. The Department of Education’s work is focused on ensuring all students receive an education that prepares them for success in life and their career, through programs including Race to the Top, ConnectED, School Improvement Grants, as well as ED's work to expand access to preschool and make college more affordable.