The field of educational leadership in the United States faces serious challenges in the 21st century, including the shortage of principals and superintendents, the growing demands of leadership positions, the struggle for adequate resources, the increasing trend to seek leaders from outside of education, and the content and effectiveness of school leadership preparation and professional development. Although each of these challenges could be viewed as a separate issue that warrants sustained and serious attention, it is also important to point out their interdependencies. The challenges facing educational leadership are complex and interconnected. This article explores the challenges facing educational leadership from the position of university educational leadership preparation. The authors look inward and outward, seeking to understand the complex factors and interconnections that support and detract from quality leadership preparation. Moreover, the authors explore contexts in terms of the factors that produce them and their interdependencies with other issues and contexts.



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