WPU Dean Says Schools Need to Train Leaders

William Paterson University has received a $3.2 million grant for a program called Leaders as Learners, which is meant to help train the next generation of school administrators. WPU Dean of the College of Education Candace Burns told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that schools need to develop cultures where teachers want to stay.

The grant is intended to help the university work more systematically and deliberately with the Paterson school district to support experienced school leaders and educate and train new school leaders, Burns said.

The grant has a piece that provides Master’s degrees to 40 promising teachers who have the potential to be good administrators, Burns said. She said the teachers are selected as people would be selected for any program — GRE scores, interviews and references.

“I think part of why William Paterson University won the grant is because we have deliberately partnered with the schools in Paterson for many years around teacher preparation. We have had a long-time relationship where we have had professors in the schools who work with the schools on their professional development needs,” Burns said.

Burns said that some of the leaders require extended education and collaboration to use their skills around the demands and requirements in the schools.

She said that schools have to develop cultures where teachers and leaders want to stay and that is a complex task.

“There needs to be time and space for collaboration and planning and joint ventures. I think there needs to be a sense of community in schools. That sense of community is going to motivate the teachers, students, parents and leaders to have a better school,” Burns said.