The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the Curry School of Education established a formal partnership in 2003 – the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE). This partnership was formed to strategically combine the most innovative thinking in business and education to provide education leaders with the knowledge, tools and resources necessary to meet today’s unique demands for managing and governing schools and school systems.
In 2004, the PLE launched the UVA-School Turnaround Specialist Program, which has since become known as the most established turnaround program in the country. Most recently, the PLE awarded “School Turnaround Specialist Credentials” to nine principals from Louisiana and North Dakota during a ceremony held at the Rotunda on January 20th. The principals earned this credential by completing all aspects of the two-year program and significantly raising student achievement in schools that had been chronically low-performing. An additional 200 participants, including turnaround specialist principals and district/school leadership teams from Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio, continued the two-year program by returning to Darden in January for a second module of executive education sessions.
The PLE also delivers the Wallace Project for Aligned Leadership which introduces business practices to state and district school leaders. As part of this initiative, School Superintendents and Administrative teams from Fairfax, Hampton, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Washington County will attend the Virginia Wallace Project Meetings on February 16 and 17.
The PLE is the only school turnaround program that uses a systemic approach to change by working with school, district, and state-level leadership teams in order to help them build the internal capacity necessary to support and sustain effective school turnarounds. The program is comprised of executive education modules supplemented by various means of support and resources. Through its work with over 100 schools in nine states, the UVA partnership has demonstrated that with highly capable school leaders and an aligned, supportive system, chronically under-performing schools can achieve quick, dramatic and sustainable increases in student achievement.
Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing leaders in the world of practical affairs.
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