Principals influence student learning by leading efforts to improve school climate; recruiting, retaining, and supporting effective teachers; and driving organizational change. Too often, however, states and districts focus on teachers rather than principals when planning for professional supports. This brief offers an easy to digest overview of current school leadership research, and highlights helpful state policy examples.
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19 Oct 2016
The role of today’s principal is changing, as is the principal workforce. Understanding how to better prepare new leaders for the role of principal is an urgent policy concern. The George W. Bush Institute and AIR have partnered to evaluate the impact of five principal preparation programs in the United States on student outcomes, and this policy paper presents their recommendations.
19 Oct 2016
Principals play a critical role in establishing a school’s climate and culture and in selecting and developing teachers, among other roles. Taken together, the findings in this report suggest that focusing on how to reduce variation in the performance of graduates through training, selection, or other means or how to systematize or better tailor supports may be the keys to success in preparing effective school leaders.
Despite clear research showing the impact that principals can have, more rigorous research and information to guide schools and districts is needed. The George W. Bush Institute partnered with AIR to develop a practitioner's guide that provides districts and policymakers guidance on policies for attracting, supporting, and retaining effective principals—and describes the extent of the evidence supporting these policies. The framework also highlights districts that are implementing examples of these promising talent management strategies.
16 Mar 2016
Too many new principals say they are underprepared for critical leadership tasks which—combined with high job demands, poor support, and increased accountability—raises principal stress to a boiling point. In this blog post, Matthew Clifford describes 18 “high leverage” state-level policies that hold promise for increasing innovation and improving principal preparation.