I found a terrific description in the Times:
SOME things never change. For example, children still collect soda cans and box tops to buy classroom equipment. But much in K-12 public education is being turned on its head, especially in urban districts where fixing failing schools has become a national focus.
This means new education leadership jobs: running charter schools, directing turnarounds of troubled schools and founding nonprofits with creative answers to education challenges.
Such work demands educators who are more M.B.A./policy-wonk than Mr. Chips, which is why universities are unveiling degree programs that pull professors from schools of education, business and public policy. In September, the Harvard Graduate School of Education announced a tuition-free, three-year doctoral program in education leadership, the first new degree at the school in 74 years.
Other programs are drawing people looking for high-level job training or flexibility. That’s who’s filling Central Michigan University’s online charter school leadership program, which graduated its first class on Dec. 12. One student, Patrick Kissel, 44, a retired Army master sergeant, wants to change careers, and appreciates the opportunity to earn his master’s while working as chief of business operations at Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania.
He will not graduate until August 2011 but has already been contacted by a charter school group in Canada. That’s not unusual, says David E. Whale, the program director. “People are reaching out to me saying, ‘We want to talk to your graduates,’ ” he says, noting that starting salaries for charter school directors are $60,000 to $80,000 a year.
Sergeant Kissel, who chose charter schools “because they are mission-driven,” became interested in education while serving in Bosnia and Kosovo, where he was charged with rebuilding schools and, he saw, children’s lives: “It was sort of like a passion to give these young kids skills they could actually use.”Skills to Fix Failing Schools
By LAURA PAPPANO
Published: December 29, 2009