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.
Policy Briefs │Policy Center
Explore the Policy Center's briefs on a range of topics.
21 Oct 2016
Social and emotional skills undergird student success—and mold better citizens. Results from the Collaborating Districts Initiative suggest that even modest investments can pay off for individuals, schools, and society. In this policy brief, Kimberly Kendziora and Nick Yoder share the results of the evaluation and offer policy six recommendations for states and districts implementing SEL initiatives.
30 Jun 2016
Recent media attention has raised significant concerns about our public school system’s capability to staff all classrooms; yet remarkably little research details the nature of teacher shortages. This brief provides a roadmap for policy leaders to hold better informed dialogues on the nature of teacher shortages, and target interventions to rectify teacher shortages where they exist.
9 Mar 2016
School improvement policy for the past few decades has been characterized by mandated lists of activities designed to stimulate a dramatic turnaround in student achievement. In the long run, this policy approach did not engender the necessary school-level changes. This brief demonstrates why new policies must aim to get the right people in our schools and to create district and state systems that retain those people and build their knowledge and skills.
10 Aug 2015
Deeper learning combines a deeper understanding of core academic content, the ability to apply that understanding to new situations, and a range of competencies related to human interaction and self-management. A recent study by AIR found that students in high schools that were part of networks associated with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Community of Practice performed better than similar students in comparison schools on a range of measures.
29 May 2015
Research shows that the most powerful, in-school influence on learning is the quality of instruction that teachers bring to their students. In the next decade, more than 1.5 million new teachers will be hired for our schools; unfortunately, teacher preparation programs may not be up to the task of delivering the teacher workforce we need. This brief describes elements of an effective start-to-finish look at teacher preparation.
11 Mar 2015
Washington is taking a close look at Title II, Part A (Title IIA) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as Congress debates reauthorization. A new Title IIA would make certain that state, district, and school leaders have the capacity required to manage professional development activities and resources more effectively to achieve Title II’s vital student achievement goals. This brief lays out what Title IIA is and what it could be and points to some district and school leaders who are figuring it out for the rest of us.
12 Oct 2014
How much graduates earn when they enter the labor market has become a hot-button issue as student debt mounts and fewer new graduates get jobs with the wages needed to pay off their loans. As this status report and these independent research findings show, the need now is for more long-term earnings data; fuller disclosure; and simpler, more accessible data presentation, so students and parents can make better decisions.