In a speech to the 2009 class of National Distinguished Principals (NDPs) on Oct. 23, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called principals the CEOs of the education world and recognized the important role they play in the education system. “We have no good schools in this country where there’s not a good principal,” he said.
The Education Secretary described in great detail the policy initiatives he wants to pursue over the next three years, painting a picture of an administration dedicated to giving principals and other education leaders the tools they need to dramatically improve the country’s school system. “We have to do everything we can to support you, to nurture the next generation of principals, and to figure out how we share your expertise and passion,” Duncan said.
He also referred to the Department of Education as part of the problem and said internal reform was needed. “We’re trying to move from being a big compliance driven bureaucracy to an engine of innovation.” But Duncan’s address chiefly paid tribute to the 63 NDPs from across the country and abroad who came to Washington for two days to receive recognition for their work and learn about the practices and policies being implemented by their peers.