This set of reports about cultivating school leadership synthesizes studies, conceptual work and examples from work on the ground. The first report offers an overview of leadership and leadership support in relation to the overarching goal of improving learning. The other six explore specific issues in more detail, namely:
- Data-driven leadership,
- Allocation of resources,
- Defining leader roles and responsibilities,
- Leader assessments,
- Improving school district governance, and
- Transformation of high schools.
Intended to clarify each leadership issue, while assembling what is known from empirical studies, the series seeks to lay the groundwork for further study and practical experimentation by leaders and reformers in states, districts and schools.
The overview explains how strategies for strengthening education leadership covered in more detail in the individual reports need to work together as an interconnected system. To illustrate, the report considers the case of one struggling algebra student in a low-performing school and describes specific strategies that—if pursued by the school, district and state in concert—would improve his learning. It also explains why focusing on some strategies while overlooking others can result in failed reforms.
Based on the experiences of districts that were successful in raising standardized test scores, the overview suggests six starting points for improving teaching and instructional leadership. These include publicly communicating a clear plan for improving student learning and redistributing responsibilities at a school or central office to put more focus on classroom instruction.