Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs

Principals are second only to classroom teachers when it comes to impact on student learning. Despite clear research showing the impact that principals can have, more rigorous research and information to guide schools and districts on how to prepare, recruit, support, and retain the most effective school leaders is needed.

The George W. Bush Institute collaborated with AIR on a two-year study that looks at effective ways to evaluate principal preparation and describe policies to get, support, and keep great principals. The resulting work, Developing Leaders: The Importance—and the Challenges—of Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs (a policy paper), and Following the Leaders: An Analysis of Graduate Effectiveness from Five Principal Preparation Programs (a research analysis), highlights the link between principal preparation programs and student outcomes in five large districts across the United States.