Links & Books


The Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation seeks to support and share ideas and practices geared to strengthening education leadership, arts participation and out-of-school learning. The Wallace Foundation has a focus on issues relating to educational leadership and publishes many reports and articles concerned with improving school leadership and encouraging administrative reform. In addition, the Wallace Foundation has created an outreach toolkit for The Principal Story.

POV Discussion Guide (PDF)
POV creates discussion guides for all our films. Discussion guides offer background information about the film, a comprehensive list of organizations, websites and books recommended for further research and questions viewers can use to kick-start conversations about the themes and issues explored in The Principal Story, as well as other POV films. For a film club or community group, The Principal Story provides a great opportunity to explore the challenges facing American public school principals today. This guide is an invitation to dialogue. It is based on a belief in the power of human connection, designed for people who want to use The Principal Story to engage family, friends, classmates, colleagues and communities.

POV's Delve Deeper Reading and Media List (PDF)
A list of movies, books and other media related to The Principal Story.


National Campaign Outreach Partners

American Association of School Administrators (AASA)

The mission of the AASA is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. Founded in 1865, AASA is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA members advance the goals of public education and champion children's causes in their districts and nationwide. As school system leaders, AASA members set the pace for academic achievement. They help shape policy, oversee its implementation and represent school districts to the public at large.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
The CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, in the District of Columbia, at the Department of Defense Education Activity and in five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues. CCSSO seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses members' views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public.

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
The mission of the NAESP is to provide advocacy and support for elementary and middle level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children. The nearly 30,000 members of NAESP provide administrative and instructional leadership for public and private elementary and middle schools throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Through national and regional meetings, award-winning publications and joint efforts with its 50 state affiliates, NAESP is a strong advocate for both its members and for the 33 million American children enrolled in pre-K through 8th grade. NAESP is committed to providing research, professional development, support and learning networks that will help principals and learning communities achieve the desired results for every child.

National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
In existence since 1916, the NASSP is the preeminent organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The mission of NASSP is to promote excellence in middle and high school leadership. NASSP provides its 30,000 members with the professional research-based and peer-tested resources and practical tools and materials they need to serve as visionary school leaders. Through its award-winning publications, professional development opportunities, ready access to relevant research and persistence in advocating on behalf of school leaders, NASSP helps to advance middle level and high school education.

National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
The NASBE is a national organization that gives voice and adds value to the nation's state boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in educational policymaking, promote excellence in the education of all students, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity and assure continued citizen support for public education.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. NCSL is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies. Its leadership is composed of legislators and staff from across the country.

National Governors Association (NGA)
The bipartisan organization of the nation's governors, the NGA promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices and speaks with a unified voice on national policy. NGA provides a vehicle through which governors can shape critical federal policies on issues ranging from education to health care to homeland security. The association has a history of proposing bold programs with a goal of heightened national awareness, including initiatives on such subjects as redesigning the American high school; bringing about behavioral and lifestyle changes to help Americans lead longer, healthier lives; and maximizing innovation to meet the challenges of the global economy.

National Staff Development Council (NSDC)
The NSDC is the largest nonprofit education association focused solely on the issues of school improvement and professional development. The NSDC has more than 12,000 members, primarily within the United States, from all areas of education. They include teacher leaders, principals, staff developers, central office administrators, superintendents, regional and state-level technical assistance providers and professors.

Education Leadership Organizations

Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. The group's 175,000 members in 119 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas -- superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education and school board members. The ASCD hosts conferences, offers tools for professional development and publishes a blog, books and other materials related to educational leadership.

Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)
The IEL's mission is to improve education -- and the lives of children and their families -- through positive and visionary change. Among IEL's programs are initiatives focused on education policy fellowships, superintendent and school board training, strengthening school, family and community connections and improving systems and policies that serve children.

Public Education Leadership Project at Harvard University
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a graduate of this program at Harvard University, which seeks to combine the knowledge of business and education leaders. The program's website provides information about faculty involved in the project and includes a page with links to research and case studies.

University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
The UCEA is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. Member faculty and deans from different institutions and regions work to promote quality preparation and lifelong learning experiences for school and school system leaders. Information on UCEA's awards, publications and instructional materials can be found on their website.

Articles About School Administration

The New York Times: "Principals Younger and Freer, But Raise Doubts in the Schools"
When Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York City in 2002, he decided to shake up the New York City public school system by hiring younger principals from top schools. This reform is now being watched around the country to see how it plays out over the next few years. (May 25, 2009)

Time: "Rhee Tackles Classroom Challenge"
The new chancellor of public schools in Washington, D.C., Michelle Rhee, wants to make that district the highest-performing urban public school district in the country. (Nov. 26, 2008)

Newsweek: "The Principal Principle"
This article follows multiple principals in their efforts to improve their schools and lessen the education gap that exists among different regional public schools in the United States today. (2007)

National School Reform

U.S. Department of Education
The website for the U.S. Department of Education provides resources for students, parents, teachers and administrators, as well as current information on national school reform efforts and government efforts to help schools and children succeed.

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
This research center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's office of elementary and secondary education provides publications and research about school improvement and helps schools organize, implement and maintain reform. The center's website features an online database of abstracts and links to recent publications concerned with school improvement.

The Boston Globe: "Administration Launches School Reform Contest"
This article discusses the Obama administration's plan to encourage struggling schools to perform better through innovative ways of teaching, using stimulus money as a catalyst. (July 25, 2009)

The New York Times: "U.S. Effort to Reshape Schools Faces Challenges"
President Obama's education secretary and the former head of Chicago public schools, Arne Duncan, has a record of turning around failing schools. Now he wants to implement his style of reform on a national level, but he faces some opposition from teachers and administrators. (June 1, 2009)

U.S. News and World Report:" What Arne Duncan Thinks of No Child Left Behind"
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks about the strengths and weaknesses of the current state of school reform. (Feb. 5, 2009)

Time: "Will Arne Duncan Shake Up America's Schools?"
In a comprehensive overview, Kathleen Kingsbury details what Arne Duncan's appointment as secretary of education will do for the state of public schools in the United States. The article also covers Duncan's background and his successes in the Chicago public school system. (Dec. 16, 2008)

Parent Advocacy in Education

Alliance for Excellent Education
This Washington, D.C.-based education advocacy group brings together parents, administrators, policymakers and other community members to encourage the implementation of policies and reforms that would have positive effects for the most at-risk secondary school students in the country. The organization's website features a page with suggestions for taking action that provides links and information on ways that individuals can advocate for school reform through the organization and on their own.

Project Appleseed
This campaign serves as a resource and advocate for parent and family involvement in public schools and communities across the United States. Project Appleseed encourages parent volunteering in schools and provides a checklist for parents that they can use to determine how well a school engages parents.

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
This organization advocates for parent involvement in education, schools and the communities the schools serve. The website for the group provides current news about the state of schools and school reform, as well as a list of resources that parents, educators and organizations can access to find information geared to specific audiences.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
The PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the United States. It works to highlight the country's obligations to children and to provide parents and families with a voice to speak on behalf of every child while providing the best tools for parents to help their children be successful students. The PTA website provides links for finding a PTA in a specific area and information about running a PTA. It also offers suggestions for taking action that advances parent voices for safe, healthy and technologically advanced schools and that seeks equal opportunity for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education: Parent Engagement as a School Reform Strategy
This publication from 1998 provides an overview of school reform through administration, parent engagement and training. The publication focuses mainly on low-income urban schools and stresses that school improvement requires community involvement.

After-School Programs
This website serves as a resource for people trying to start and support after-school programs in their communities. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, the website provides resources for activity ideas and tips on running a program, as well as suggestions for obtaining funding and volunteers.

After School Programs Fact Sheet
This fact sheet, put out by the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, provides an overview of the effect that after-school programs have on children's learning and safety. It advocates the implementation of after-school programs, as they work to improve academic achievement and curb juvenile crime.

Afterschool Alliance
This organization works to make sure that all children have access to quality after-school programs, as they have been shown to help children succeed in school. The website for the group features a section where parents can find after-school programs in their communities, as well as offering ways that people can get involved with the push for more affordable after-school programs.

After-School Program Toolkit
Published by the organization Communities In Schools, this website works as a resource for parents, teachers and other school community members trying to organize and start after-school programs to help enrich their children's education and success. In addition to providing examples of programs, the website also features a list of research and resources concerning after-school programs and their sustainability.

Also on PBS and NPR


Where We Stand: America's Schools in the 21st Century
Where We Stand: America's Schools in the 21st Century presents a frank evaluation of our educational system's strengths and weaknesses. Hosted by Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the documentary visits schools throughout Ohio, an important swing state that represents a range of school districts in socioeconomic and geographic terms. The program features schools in urban Cincinnati, suburban Columbus and rural Belpre.

The Online NewsHour: Education
The Online Newshour offers this archive of all the stories the series has reported on related to education.

The Online NewsHour: Schools to Compete for Funding in Obama Reform Plan
In this interview transcript, Arne Duncan describes the blueprint for his school improvement plan and explains many of the tactics he wants to employ. (July 24, 2009)

The Online NewsHour: Principal Works to Improve Failing Inner-city School
In this interview, Parker Land, a principal who worked to improve a struggling school in Richmond, Va., details his techniques as a turnaround specialist and explains how he was able to make necessary improvements. (Oct. 11, 2006)


All Things Considered: "Failing Michigan School Hopes in Young Principal"
At a struggling school in Benton Harbor, Mich., all eyes are on a young, new principal who has brought discipline and excitement about learning to the school. Michigan is one of several states with schools that have failed to meet its No Child Left Behind goals for at least five consecutive years. (Nov. 24, 2007)

Morning Edition: NYC School Reform
Beth Fertig reports on New York City's major public school reforms. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has shaken up the old system with moves that include implementing a new core curriculum and changing the management structure. (Sept. 9, 2003)