The Broad Foundation recently donated $100 million to the Yale University School of Management to fund a new tuition-free master’s degree program for emerging education leaders that will see The Broad Center become part of the school, according to a press release.
The program aims to strengthen public education leadership by developing research, teaching and policy initiatives that improve the effectiveness and leadership skills of administrators.
The funds will also be used to develop a data collection on public education leadership.
Through its two predecessor programs, The Broad Center has trained more than 850 educators who are working in more than 150 urban districts, public charter school networks and state education agencies. More than 150 of the participants were superintendents or chief executives of local or state systems, and 70 of those are currently in their leadership roles.
This donation — which is the largest the Yale School of Management has ever received — ensures The Broad Center’s mission will continue when the Los Angeles-based programs move to Yale, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Center has earned both praise and criticism for its attempts to nudge the practice of education management in a more private business-like direction. Diane Ravitch, a critic of the program, said in the LA Times article Broad graduates tend to employ top-down management strategies.
There are several other education leader programs designed to improve the effectiveness of administrators, including the Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. Administrators who took part in this initiative lead schools with higher reading and math test scores compared to other schools that did not participate, according to a RAND Corp. study. The evaluation also found higher retention rates among those who participated, with 5.8% more likely to remain in their schools after two years and 7.8% for three years.
Prince George County Public Schools in Maryland was among six districts that participated in the Wallace Foundation’s principal training program. Since 2011, more than 350 administrators participated in the programs, including David Brown, principal at Hillcrest Heights Elementary. During his first year as principal, he is using a customer-service method to carefully roll out new initiatives, understanding not all teachers are ready for major changes.