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CMS now accepting applications for highly competitive principal training

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CMS has forged a partnership with the organization "New Leaders for New Schools." The group specializes in training current and former educators to work in low-performing schools. Some candidates have backgrounds in the private sector, the military and other areas. "New Leaders" has partnerships with nine other districts including Chicago, New York and Washington DC. The goal is to have 100-percent of students on grade level, during a newly trained principal's first five years. CMS has spent the past year vying for the partnership. Associate Superintendent Ann Clark says it was a rigorous process. "I will tell you, I've been in the district 25 years. I've been a principal at the elementary, middle and high school level and I think this is a historic day for our district. It's the most exciting thing that I've worked on in my career in public education," says Clark. Officials estimate training will cost about $100,000 per candidate. The district is paying recruits the equivalent of assistant principal salaries during the training period. The program is being funded by national and local corporations and foundations. Superintendent Peter Gorman says it will help keep high-performing teachers in struggling schools. He says, "We offered bonuses, extended employment, training for staff to go to particular schools and those went unclaimed because they said I'm not comfortable with who is the leader there." The head of the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association says it looks like a good program. But Sara Moore says educators should have at least 10 years of recent classroom experience before becoming principals.

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