gives $3 million to Darden/Curry program
Gift boosts Virginia School Turnaround Specialist
Courtesy of the Office of the Governor of Virginia
| Gov. Mark Warner discusses the Virginia School Turnaround
Specialist Program for principals at a press conference
in Portsmouth on Sept. 23. At the event,
Linda Zecher (center), vice president of the U.S. Public
Sector Group at Microsoft, announced her company’s
investment of $3 million in support of the VSTSP.
Tierney Fairchild (right) is executive director of the Darden/Curry
Wash., and PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Gov. Mark R. Warner
and Microsoft Corp. announced Sept. 23 in Portsmouth the formation
of a relationship to support
and expand the Virginia School Turnaround Specialist Program (VSTSP) for principals.
As part of Warner’s Education for a Lifetime initiative, the turnaround
specialists program teaches school administrators proven business management
skills, places them in charge of persistently low-performing schools and works
with local divisions to give these new principals expanded power to help turn
their schools around.
Last spring, Warner awarded a $1.4 million contract to
Partnership for Leaders in Education to implement VSTSP. On Sept.
23, Microsoft announced it will invest up to $3 million in the VSTSP during the
years through its Partners in Learning initiative, for collaborative projects
addressing student achievement.
Microsoft and the Darden/Curry Partnership will increase
district support for the turn around specialists, provide
a digital forum
to share and access multimedia case studies, create a sustainable
funding mechanism to ensure long-term success of the program
and develop a national model for the turn around specialist
education leaders need the support of a community effort to
overcome adversity in many of our troubled schools,” Warner
sees the value of this business world model to provide our
principals with new and
innovative resources. We hope to create a model and road
map that can be replicated within our commonwealth and
Announced in April 2004, VSTSP is designed to raise student
achievement by focusing on the characteristics of high-performing
personal leadership qualifications and the development
of school turn around plans. To date, 10 principals have
to participate in the program and have undergone nine
days of training, delivered collectively by the Darden
A minimum of 10 more candidates will be selected for
Warner has brought to life a vision for improving student achievement
grounded in business practices but sensitive to the
situations educators face,” said Linda Zecher, vice president
of the U.S. Public Sector Group at Microsoft. “Microsoft’s
U.S. Partners in Learning was created to supplement such visions
and create a reality that serves as a role model for all states.”
The 10 specialists trained this summer will receive
on-site coaching during the 2004–2005 school year, and with the expansion
of the program, will now receive additional training from U.
Va. in the spring. A performance-based school turn around credential
will be earned upon successful completion of the full program.
strategic relationship between Virginia, Microsoft, and U.
Va. is anchored in institutions with a track record of success,” said
Tierney Fairchild, executive director of the Darden/Curry partnership.
commitment increases the opportunity for meaningful and sustainable
change in support of children in our lowest performing schools.”