What makes an effective principal? A decade of Wallace Foundation-supported research and work in school districts and states suggests that five practices are key to helping principals improve teaching and learning in their schools:
- Shaping a vision of academic success for all students, one based on high standards;
- Creating a climate hospitable to education so safety, a cooperative spirit and other foundations of fruitful interaction prevail;
- Cultivating leadership in others so teachers and other adults assume their part in realizing the school vision;
- Improving instruction to enable teachers to teach at their best and students to learn at their utmost; and
- Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement.
This Wallace-sponsored feature article appeared in the February 2012 issue of JSD, the journal of Learning Forward, an association for those who work in professional development in education. There is much principals must do to help their students succeed. But these five practices can give principals “a fighting chance of making a real difference for students,” the article says.