- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

MADISON, S.D. (AP) - A two-year review by a statewide workgroup has recommended redesign of education leadership programs that prepare principals to work in South Dakota K-12 schools.

The review led by former state Education Secretary Rick Melmer and retired educator Jim Parry recommends a shared program to be implemented by the state universities that offer instruction in educational leadership. The plan is to bring back details to the South Dakota Board of Regents for program approval by the end of this year.

Chief Academic Officer Sam Gingerich says existing principal preparation programs too often focus on theory and graduates do not get enough exposure to the day-to-day realities of instructional leadership.

The workgroup also recognized the challenges to develop and retain effective principals in rural South Dakota.

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