leader. You go to school to get some basic tools and then either learn through experience or learn through
mentoring how to be a great leader. It is a combination of a great education and support. GE is a great
company because they have a great training program. They hire great kids from great schools and submit
them to a great training program making them highly sought after. What are we doing to help get the
most information to students to let them know that these schools are doing a better job than these schools
based upon this statistical research? How do we identify who great mentors are and get private donations
or other means to fund significant development programs?”
Ms. Meyer said, “That is a great idea, and it is not being done. The goal is to take the steps to be
able to get to that point. School districts know who some of the best mentors are within their district.
There is not necessarily coordination between what is happening in the school district and at the school of
Mr. Taslitz said, “Or a reward system.”
Ms. Meyer said, “We call for rewards. It does not happen now. We call for rewards, assessment,
and much more transparency in a system right now where there is none. There is anecdotal evidence – we
know that one program is doing restructuring, evaluating what they are doing, having on-the-job training,
having initial university study, and then having on-the-job training with mentors on a weekly basis.
There are lots of different programs that are out there, but it is all anecdotal and part of what we need to
do is systematize it, make it transparent, reward and create incentive.”
Dr. Ashby said, “Over a period of years, the graduate assessment survey will help us with the
kind of data that you are asking for. One of the challenges is that, as of now , the institutions are funding
it and if one of the institutions says that they cannot afford it anymore, they will drop out. If six or seven
institutions drop out, pretty soon you do not have the trend data that you need to make a policy decision.
Supporting that may be one of the best things that you can do in order to have the data that you need for
the kind of recommendations you are discussing.”
Dr. Carroll said, “In your research was there an opportunity to look at salaries? Is there any
thought about the amount of money that educators make as it correlates with the other big business?
Would that be a factor?”
Ms. Meyer said, “We did not look at salaries specifically in this study. We have looked at it
before on teachers, and in many instances it is competitive. There is no question that principalship is
hard, and you have huge vagaries in the state of Illinois in how they are paid. I do not think that is what is
preventing us from having high-quality principals. I think the toughest part is the demands of the job.”
Dr. Randy Dunn, State Superintendent of Education, Illinois State Board of Education, said, “On
behalf of the State Board we are glad to have Joyce Karon joining you. You will appreciate her
colleagueship. We have been appreciative of the leadership that she has provided.
“I’m not going to read this letter to you. I am going to pick out some parts and make some
comments in response to the report you have just heard. To preface this, I was an honored member of the
Commission. I want to thank both Ms. Meyer and Dr. Ashby for the leadership they provided. This was
important work that needed to be done. I speak not only as State Superintendent of Education, but also as
a professor of education leadership, a former department chair, as Dr. Ashby had been, soon to be a
university president. I, too, have a take on a number of these issues. The comments that I really want to
share with you are in the bulleted section of the letter. (see attached)
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