This report documents ways in which six districts are working to improve school leadership districtwide. It is the third in a series of reports evaluating The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. This six-year effort is testing whether the districts’ efforts to set standards for principals and then improve how they are trained, hired, evaluated and supported on the job can lead to more effective principals and improved student achievement.
Among the observations by the researchers as they examine the initiative into its third year is that standards have “proved to be a more powerful policy instrument than many expected,” having been “put to work in job descriptions, in the curricula of preparation programs, and, crucially, in assessments and support systems for aspiring and novice principals.” The report also finds the districts are putting systems in place to ensure current assistant principals receive the attention they need to become effective principals in the future. In addition, “leader tracking systems,” databases initially established to help evaluate the effects of the initiative on student achievement, are emerging as important tools for principal hiring and may bear additional benefits.