cation department, Dr. Rosalba Del Vecchio, Director of St. John’s Non-Public School Leaders program, presented her research on education this August at the International Conference on Educational Leadership in Beijing, China.
The compilation of two years of surveys, data, and interviews from the Non-Public School Leaders program and New York City Department of Education, Del Vecchio’s research points out the (crisis in education) due to attrition-the fact that older principals are leaving and that there are not enough young and qualified people to replace them.
Del Vecchio, who was invited to present and represent the U.S. Steering Committee, presented “Preparing the Next Generation of School Principals: Case Study of a University-Department of Education Partnership.”
“Educators there were interested in learning how we prepare people to become principals,” Del Vecchio said.
Her case study focused on questions such as: “Is there a shortage of qualified school leaders?” and “What steps are being taken to ensure that U.S. schools have competent leaders now and in the future?”
The conference took place over three days, with translators and materials handed out in English and Chinese.
Del Vecchio described the experience as unique and noted there are “similar, but different issues” in education in the United States and in China.
One difference she pointed out was the appointment of the principals.
“In China, they appoint principals and then train them later for the position,” she said.
One of the presentations that Del Vecchio found inspiring was entitled “Reconstructing the Career Story,” which examined Mr. Wang, who is a teacher in China.
This presentation focused on how Mr. Wang became successful in the education field. Del Vecchio, who said she believes teachers are kindling sparks in those they teach, noted that Mr. Wang “wanted to be a genuine teacher, a practitioner, not a boaster.”
The graduate program Non-Public School Leaders program (NPSL), which Del Vecchio is in charge of, helps prepare administrators and teachers for leadership positions such as principals in New York City non-public schools.
The NPSL program began in 2005 and currently has 300 students enrolled. It is a partnership with New York City’s Department of Education. The program’s funding was secured by the Chair of the Department of Administration and Instructional Learning in St. John’s, Dr. Gene Geisert, and the funding pays for two classes each semester for each student in the program.
Those enrolled in the program take part in the School Building Leader Masters program, in which they take classes such as Legal Aspects and Administration of Schools.
In addition, students must also fulfill an internship where they spend time with principals.
While working closely with the principals, students are supposed to learn how to answer questions like “How do you run a building?” and “How do you evaluate your teachers?”