Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Master Principal

The Arkansas Leadership Academy Master Principal Institute was authorized by Act 44 of the Second Extraordinary Session of the 2003 Arkansas General Assembly. It is designed to develop leadership skills of principals through three phases of professional development.

Phase I

Phase I of the Master Principal Institute is open to all school principals with at least one year of experience and who have support and permission from their superintendents to participate.  Principals from across the state meet during the year in four multi-day sessions for intense study while applying the learning from those sessions in their schools throughout the year.

Phase II

Admission to the second phase of the program requires submission of a portfolio documenting the application of the lessons learned from the first phase and the results of that work to improve student and adult learning in the school.

Phase III

To be admitted to the third phase, principals must complete a rigorous application process that includes evidence of their impact on education at the district, state, and regional levels. These portfolios are evaluated by stakeholders in education from Arkansas as well as from out of state. Scorers received training through the Arkansas Leadership Academy.

After successful completion of all three phases, principals may choose to participate in a rigorous assessment by a team of trained examiners with at least one member from each team being from another state. The rigorous assessment process examines evidence from three primary sources:

  • Student Performance: An analysis of student academic achievement data
  • Principal Performance: An analysis of a portfolio created by the principal
  • School Performance: A site visit to gather evidence

Successful completion of these steps qualifies an individual for Master School Principal status.


The Arkansas Leadership Academy is a collaborative partnership that includes nine state professional organizations:

Additional partner organizations include:  2 businesses & industries, 15 higher education institutions, 15 educational cooperatives, 4 government agencies, 3 ex-officios and 2 superintendent representatives.



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