Ariz. - A $994,000 grant will fortify Northern Arizona University's
role as a leader in educating K-12 principals to work in American
grant, from the U.S. Department of Education, supports a four-year
project to increase the number of well-trained K-12 principals for
schools on American Indian reservations, said Joseph Martin, principal
investigator on the grant and an NAU associate professor of educational
objective of the "principal certificate" program is to
add 25 K-12 principals by 2012 to serve in schools on the Navajo
Nation, Hopi, San Carlos Apache and White Mountain reservations.
program is open to qualified American Indian teachers, who will
have their college tuition and associated fees paid. Classes will
be provided through NAU's Extended Campuses. Within six months of
qualifying, participants will go to work in schools with large populations
of American Indian students.
assume a myriad of responsibilities that are important in running
a school, but many of these duties are not essential to improving
student achievement," said Martin, who on Aug. 1 assumes his
new role as NAU special adviser on Native American issues. "Our
students will receive a broad base of knowledge and skills and achieve
clarity on what is essential as well as what is important."
added that about 75 percent of the administrators in regional reservations
schools do not understand the cultural traditions of the local communities,
do not speak the language, or remain on the job for extended periods.
than 40 percent of American Indian students fail to graduate from
high school, Martin said.
drop-out rate is high because there is a lack of strong and well-trained
principals to address American Indian student needs," he said.
"There are no documented instances of high need schools being
turned around without intervention by a powerful leader. Many other
factors may play a role in such turnarounds, but leadership is key."