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How Principals Can Improve Student Success237GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The word “landmark,” used as a modifier rather than a noun, is not one you’ll hear a lot at Wallace. &#160;In fact, we reserve it pretty much for one thing&#58; a slim report with a nondescript cover published in 2004. <br> <br> At the time, we had no idea that <a href="http&#58;//wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Pages/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.aspx"> <em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em></a> would go on to become the closest thing that Wallace has to a best-seller—more than 550,000 downloads to date, almost twice the number of our second-most downloaded report.</p><p>What makes <em>How Leadership</em> a landmark, however, is more than its popularity. Written by a team of education researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Minnesota, the report helped bring to light the importance of an overlooked factor in education—the role of the school principal. In short, it found that leadership is, in the phrase we’ve used innumerable times since the report’s publication, “second only to teaching among school influences on student success.” Moreover, the researchers wrote that there were “virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a powerful leader.”</p><p> Over the years, the report has served as the bedrock rationale for Wallace’s work in education. Since 2004, the foundation has invested in an array of initiatives aimed at providing excellent principals for public schools, especially those serving the least advantaged students. Wallace spending on those efforts amounted to roughly $290 million from 2006 to 2015.</p><p>In the wake of <em>How Leadership</em> are numerous other important Wallace-commissioned education studies, most recently a series documenting the implementation of our Principal Pipeline Initiative, in which six large school districts set out to introduce rigorous hiring, training, evaluation and other procedures to create a large corps of effective school leaders. The culminating report in that series, <a href="/knowledge-center/Pages/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship.aspx"> <em>Building a Stronger Principalship</em></a>, published in 2016, suggested that it is indeed possible for districts to do this work—to shape the kind of school leadership, that is, which <em>How Leadership</em> tells us is so important to the education of our nation’s children.</p>Wallace editorial team792017-09-21T04:00:00ZOur education leadership work offers a rationale and roadmap for supporting effective principals4/4/2018 4:40:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Principals Can Improve Student Success Our education leadership work offers a rationale and roadmap for supporting 469http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Principals Matter. So do their Supervisors. Just Ask the States.703GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>It’s not the most colorful job title in an era awash with “chief cheerleaders,” “digital prophets” and even “VPs of misc. stuff.” (Thank you Forbes magazine for <a href="https&#58;//www.forbes.com/sites/joshlinkner/2014/12/04/the-21-most-creative-job-titles/#7c5f9c0d2933">the moniker list</a>.) Still, give “principal supervisor” its due. You know immediately what the person holding this title does&#58; oversee school principals. </p><p>That would suggest the principal supervisor holds a pretty important job. After all, principals are <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">key to improving schools</a>.&#160; Ideally, then, supervisors would spend their time supporting their principals in ways that improve teaching and learning. </p><p>For years, however, this hasn’t been the case, as principal supervisors are too often saddled with job descriptions that expect at least as much attention to handling operations and ensuring compliance with regulations as helping principals make classrooms hum. It’s a function, in part, of the number of people supervisors typically oversee&#58; about 24 principals, when a job focused on principal support would, according to a management rule of thumb, be something like half that number.&#160;&#160; </p><p>We’ve posted <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">a report</a> that offers a small bit of evidence that this may be starting to change, or, at least, that state policymakers are beginning to give the supervisor role a rethink.&#160; The publication looks at the work of about two dozen states involved in an effort (run by the Council of Chief State School Officers and funded by The Wallace Foundation) to help boost school leadership. It details results of a survey of state officials who signed up for the effort, and while the findings are not representative of U.S. states as a whole, they offer insight into what a substantial number of states are thinking about and doing these days when it comes to school leadership. </p><p>The most common concern was boosting mentoring for principals, with 77 percent of respondents naming this a “current or emerging priority” for their states. But close behind, at 75 percent, came two other activities&#58; professional development programs for new principals <em>and</em>—this is what caught our eye—“improving principal supervisor practices in the support and development of principals.” Moreover, the respondents made clear that this represented a big departure for them; only 6 percent labelled it an area of “past progress or accomplishment.” </p><p>The report also makes clear that some states have taken steps to help supervisors in their work with principals.&#160; Kentucky’s optional evaluation system, for example, includes a framework for supervisors to work with each principal on an annual professional growth plan through site visits and formal reviews. In Connecticut, the state and its superintendent’s association provide an executive coaching program that includes a focus on support for principals in struggling schools. And Idaho trains superintendents and principal teams in how to carry out its principal evaluation system. </p><p>States have yet, however, to budge when it comes to the “principal supervisor” title.&#160; Don’t expect “top school leadership evangelist” on business cards anytime soon.&#160; </p><p align="center">****</p><p>Want to find out more about principal supervisors?&#160; Wallace is currently supporting a group of school districts that are recrafting the job, and we’ve <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-supervisors.aspx">published a number of reports</a> about the issue. </p> Wallace editorial team792017-12-06T05:00:00ZA survey suggests U.S. states want to boost the principal supervisor job.4/4/2018 4:04:06 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Principals Matter A survey suggests state interest in a previously overlooked position It’s not the most colorful job title 91http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Just the Facts, Please184GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Evidence-free argument. Data-empty debate. Fact-less discussion. Has the need for hard information vanished at a time when the term “fake news” has entered the national lexicon?</p><p>Not if you ask the people who have been part of Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/Pages/Principal-Pipelines.aspx">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a>, a venture, launched in 2011, to help six large school districts develop a sizeable corps of effective school leaders. The initiative is now drawing to a close, and the participants in it were among those who gathered in New York City recently at a meeting focused on what it might take to sustain successful aspects of Wallace-sponsored education leadership initiatives once the foundation’s funding for them ends. </p><p> The big message was that the continued gathering, examining and sharing of solid information about the work is a must, a basis for everything from making smart decisions to maintaining trust with partners. </p><p>Evidence can make the difference between a case that’s persuasive to those who hold the purse strings and one that falls flat. That was a lesson from Tricia McManus, one of three Pipeline district panelists in a session that opened the meeting. McManus, assistant superintendent of Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools, which encompasses the Tampa area, recalled the role evidence had played recently in helping to build a strong argument for preserving coaching for new principals in Hillsborough, which is facing budget constraints. Survey responses from new principals in the district indicated that these novice leaders deeply valued the coaching they’d received and considered it a key to having helped them adapt to their difficult jobs. Evidence like this, McManus said, aided in keeping the coaching effort afloat for the 2017-2018 school year. </p><p> Panelist Mikel Royal, director of school leader development and support for the Denver Public Schools, agreed that evidence pointing to what works can be powerful. “Data around impact—mak[e] sure that’s part of the narrative,” she said. “It helps to sustain and increase the priority of the work.” Data are also the fuel for enhancing efforts, helping to set off what Royal described as “an iterative process of reflecting, learning and improving the work.” </p><p>Glenn Pethel, assistant superintendent of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools, emphasized the importance of impartial data, collected by people with no stake in the findings. “They know the right questions to ask; they know the rocks to look under,” said Pethel, whose district, the largest in Georgia, is just outside of Atlanta. “All of us have a tendency to get so close to the work, it’s hard to see things that are obvious to others.” </p><p>Sharing this information in a spirit of candor is an essential to keeping partnerships well oiled, he said. “It’s a matter of credibility,” Pethel told the audience. “It gives more credence when you have external data or observations that you can bring to the table.” </p><p>And that’s a fact. </p>Wallace editorial team792017-11-29T05:00:00ZThree Education Leaders Discuss Role of Evidence in Helping Them to Sustain Their Work4/4/2018 4:20:16 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Just the Facts, Please Education Leaders Discuss the Role of Evidence in Helping Them to Sustain Their Work 240http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
‘Logic Models’ Prompt Hard Thinking About How to Achieve Results in Education9163GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>If you were planning a trip to a far-flung spot, you’d likely map the route, figuring out how to get from Starting Point A to Destination Point D and identifying what combination of planes, trains, and automobiles would take you through Points B and C. </p><p>Well, maybe for vacation travelers. But not always, it seems, for voyagers of a different sort&#58; organizations that embark on an effort to solve a thorny civic or social problem in the hope that this can lead to good outcomes for those affected. Too often, the would-be problem-solvers fail to clearly define the issue that concerns them—their departure Point A, you might say—and then plot out the path that will take them to intermediate progress—Points B and C—and, finally, a solution and the benefits it reaps, Point D. &#160;</p><p>That’s where a “logic model” comes in. No, the term refers neither to a brainiac runway star nor a paragon of rationality. Rather, a logic model is a kind-of map, says Wallace’s director of research and evaluation Ed Pauly, showing “why, logically, you’d expect to get the result you are aiming for.”</p><p>Logic models are on the minds of people at Wallace these days because of a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/logic-models-evidence-based-school-leadership-interventions.aspx">RAND Corp. guide</a> we published recently to assist states and school districts planning for funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a major source of federal support for public education. The guide focuses on initiatives to expand the supply of effective principals, especially for high-needs schools. It describes how logic models can show the guardians of ESSA dollars that six types of school leadership “interventions” have a solid rationale, even though they are not yet backed by rigorous research. </p><p>Take, for example, one of the six interventions&#58; better&#160; practices for hiring school principals. The logic model begins with a problem—high-needs schools find it difficult to attract and retain high-quality principals—and ends with the hoped-for outcome of solving this problem&#58; “improved principal competencies→ improved schools→ improved student achievement,” as RAND puts it. In between are the activities thought to lead to the end, such as the introduction of new techniques for recruiting and hiring effective principals, as well as the short-term results they logically point to, such as the development of a larger pool of high-quality school leader candidates.</p><p>Helpful as they may be for persuading the feds to fund a worthy idea, logic models may have an even more important purpose&#58; testing the assumptions behind a large and expensive undertaking before it gets under way. The roots of this notion, Pauly says, go back to 1990s and the community of researchers tasked with evaluating the effects of large, complex human services programs.&#160; </p><p>As Pauly explains it, researchers were feeling frustration on two fronts—that programs they’d investigated as whole appeared to have had little impact <em>and</em> that the reasons for the lackluster showing were elusive. “It was a big puzzle,” Pauly says. “People were trying innovations, and they were puzzled by not being able to understand where they worked and where they didn’t.”</p><p>Into this fray, he says, entered Carol Hirschon Weiss, a Harvard expert in the evaluation of social programs. In an influential 1995 <a href="https&#58;//www.scribd.com/document/150652416/Nothing-as-Practical-as-a-Good-Theory-Exploring-Theory-Based-Evaluation-for-Comprehensive-Community-Initiatives-for-Children-and-Families">essay</a>, Weiss asserted that any social program is based on “theories of change,” implied or stated ideas about how an effort will work and why. Given that, she urged evaluators to shift from a strict focus on measuring a program’s outcomes to identifying the program operators’ basic ideas and their consequences as the program unfolded.&#160; </p><p>“The aim is to examine the extent to which program theories hold,” she wrote. “The evaluation should show which of the assumptions underlying the program break down, where they break down, and which of the several theories underlying the program are best supported by the evidence.”&#160; She also urged researchers to look at the series of “micro-steps” that compose program implementation and examine the assumptions behind these, too.</p><p>Weiss identified a number of reasons that evaluators might want to adopt this approach; among other things, confirming or disproving social program theories could foster better public policy, she said. But Weiss also made strikingly persuasive arguments about why partners in a complex social-change endeavor would want to think long and hard together before a program launch—including that reflection could unearth differences in views about a program’s purpose and rationale. That, in turn, could lead to the forging of a new consensus among program partners, to say nothing of refined practices and “greater focus and concentration of program energies,” she wrote.</p><p>There could be a lesson in this for the complex array of people involved in efforts to create a larger corps of effective principals—school district administrators, university preparation program leaders and principals themselves, to name just few. They may give themselves a better chance of achieving beneficial change if they first achieve a common understanding of what they seek to accomplish. &#160;&#160;&#160;</p><p>In other words, it helps when everyone on the journey is using the same map. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="ED_5991-160px.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Logic-Models-Prompt-Hard-Thinking-About-How-to-Achieve-Results-in-Education-/ED_5991-160px.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p><p>​</p><table width="100%" class="wf-Table-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr></tr></tbody></table> <p>Ed Pauly,&#160; director of <br>research and evaluation,<br> The Wallace Foundation&#160;</p><table width="100%" class="wf-Table-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="wf-Table-default" style="width&#58;100%;">​</td></tr></tbody></table><p>*The title of Weiss’s essay is <em>Nothing as Practical as a Good Theory&#58; Exploring Theory-Based Evaluation for Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families</em>.</p>Pamela Mendels462018-01-30T05:00:00Z‘Logic Models’ Prompt Hard Thinking About How to Achieve Results in Education4/4/2018 3:37:36 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / ‘Logic Models’ Prompt Hard Thinking About How to Achieve Results in Education Charting the Path to Social Change Before You 323http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
NY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals9248GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>I n a recent <em>New York Times</em> piece, columnist David Brooks highlights a key to school improvement— “a special emphasis on principals.” </p><p>His piece carries the headline <a href="https&#58;//www.nytimes.com/2018/03/12/opinion/good-leaders-schools.html">Good Leaders Make Good Schools</a>, and, boy, did it ever resonate with us here at Wallace. School leadership is a field we’ve plowed for close to two decades, through numerous initiatives and related research. Some of that work found its way into Brooks’ column. He cites, among other sources, a major Wallace-commissioned research report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investigating-the-links-to-improved-student-learning.aspx"><em>Learning From Leadership</em></a>, whose authors write that “we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.” </p><p>Brooks puts a human face on research when he takes note of a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-school-principal-as-leader-guiding-schools-to-better-teaching-and-learning.aspx">Wallace account</a> (look for p. 12) of the efforts by Kentucky educator Dewey Hensley to turn around a low-performing Louisville elementary school in the mid-2000s. “In his first week,” Brooks writes of Hensley, “he drew a picture of a school on a poster board and asked the faculty members to annotate it together. ‘Let’s create a vision of a school that’s perfect. When we get there we’ll rest.’”&#160; </p><p>To be capable of improving schools, Brooks says, the job of principal has to change from a focus on administrative tasks such as budgeting and scheduling. Effective principals today, he says, are busy “greeting parents and students outside the front door in the morning” and then “constantly circulating through the building, offering feedback, setting standards, applying social glue.” </p><p>You can find out the details of this changing role and what it takes to bring it about by checking out the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership section</a> of our website. Search through our 100+ reports, videos, and other resources, including—newly!—<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx">a podcast series on principal pipelines</a>. </p><p>And here’s a note for the research-minded. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/investigating-the-links-to-improved-student-learning.aspx"><em>Learning From Leadership</em></a> is an extensive follow-up to the landmark Wallace-supported study, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx"><em>How Leadership Influences Student Learning</em></a><em>.</em> Published in 2004, this literature review found that leadership is second only to teaching among school-related influences on student success. It’s our most downloaded report. </p> <br>Wallace editorial team792018-03-13T04:00:00ZNY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals3/14/2018 2:54:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / NY Times’ David Brooks Gives a Nod to School Principals In new column, the syndicated columnist explores role of principals 915http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership11982GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Basing decisions on reliable, pertinent information is a smart idea for any human endeavor. Talent management is no exception. That’s the reason a number of Wallace-supported school districts in recent years have undertaken the difficult task of building “leader tracking systems” in the service of developing a large corps of effective principals.</p><p>A leader tracking system is a user-friendly database of important, career-related information about current and potential school leaders—principal candidates’ education, work experience and measured competencies, for starters. Often this information is scattered about different district offices and available only in incompatible formats.&#160; When compiled in one place and made easy to digest, by contrast, the data can be a powerful aid to decision-making about a range of matters necessary to shaping a strong principal cadre, including identifying teachers or other professionals with leadership potential; seeing that they get the right training; hiring them and placing them in the appropriate school; and supporting them on the job. </p><p><img alt="Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Districts-Use-Data-to-Help-Boost-School-Leadership/Data_Sources_LTS.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>In a panel discussion during a Wallace gathering in New York City this week, representatives of two districts that have built leader tracking systems talked about their experiences. Their assessment? The effort was worth it, despite the reality that constructing the systems required considerable time and labor. &#160;</p><p>Jeff Eakins, superintendent of the Hillsborough County (Tampa, Fla.) Public Schools, said the data system has proved invaluable to “the single most important decision I make…the hiring of principals.” That’s because the system can give him an accurate review of the qualifications of job finalists along with a full picture of a school that has an opening, he said. Similarly, in Prince Georges County, Md., (outside of Washington, D.C.), Kevin Maxwell, the chief executive officer of the public schools, said he is now able to compare a “baseball card” of candidate data with school information, thus getting the background he needs to conduct meaningful job interviews—something he does for all principal openings. With the information from the data system, he says, “I have a feel for what that match looks like.” </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="TrishandDoug.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Districts-Use-Data-to-Help-Boost-School-Leadership/TrishandDoug.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />For their part, two people who were instrumental in the development of their districts’ leader tracking systems—Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent in Hillsborough, and Douglas Anthony, associate superintendent in Prince George’s County—offered tips for others considering whether to take the plunge. From McManus&#58; Expect construction to take time. Hillsborough’s system took “several years” to be fully functional, she said. From Anthony&#58; Find a “translator,” someone who can bridge the world of IT and the world of the classroom, so educators and technology developers fully understand one another. From both&#58; Once the system is completed, know that the job isn’t done. Information needs to be regularly updated and kept accurate.</p><p>Want to find out more? A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx">report</a> from researchers at Policy Studies Associates examines the uses of &#160;leader tracking systems in six Wallace-supported school districts and provides guidance based on the districts’ system-building experiences. A Wallace <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/chock-full-of-data-how-school-districts-are-building-leader-tracking-systems-to-support-principal-pipelines.aspx">Story From the Field</a> shows how leader tracking systems helped districts end such difficulties as job-candidate searches through “a gajillion résumés.” Also, listen to Tricia McManus and Douglas Anthony discuss their districts’ work to build a strong pipeline of principals in Wallace’s podcast series<em>, </em><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx"><em>Practitioners Share Lessons From the Field</em></a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-04-26T04:00:00ZDistricts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership4/25/2018 7:05:29 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership Building “Leader Tracking Systems:” A Heavy Lift That’s Worth It 454http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Advice on State Policy and Ed Leadership9096GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>Poet Robert Burns instructs us that even the best laid plans can go awry. Political scientist Paul Manna tells us one reason that’s so. The people writing the plans, he says, too often fail to think through what they are asking of the people doing the work. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="manna_pix3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Advice-on-State-Policy-and-Ed-Leadership/manna_pix3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Manna, the <a href="http&#58;//pmanna.people.wm.edu/">Hyman Professor of Government&#160;at William &amp; Mary</a> and author of a Wallace-commissioned <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/developing-excellent-school-principals.aspx">report examining levers states can pull to bolster principal effectiveness</a>, explored this disconnect recently. The occasion was a meeting of Wallace grantees working to expand the circle of highly effective school principals.</p><p>The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was a central topic of interest in Manna’s two keynote speeches. Passed in late 2015 as the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESSA is a leading source of federal dollars for public school education that departs from the past in at least two important ways—giving more authority to states on how to use their federal dollars and, of particular significance to the meeting attendees, offering new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership. </p><p>Clearly, states are exploring how to use ESSA funding to enable principals to function as effectively as possible, whether through upgraded pre-service training or other means.&#160; <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">One recent survey of representatives from 25 states</a> taking part in a school leadership effort offered by the Council of Chief State School Officers found, for example, that fully 91 percent consider incorporation of principal-focused work into ESSA school improvement plans a priority. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Capture--mannalist.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Advice-on-State-Policy-and-Ed-Leadership/Capture--mannalist.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />But how best to do this incorporation? Manna advised his audience to avoid devising plans that overlook something basic—the “implied critical tasks” that need to get accomplished if the plans are to unfold as intended. Do​​able plans, he suggested, emerge from an understanding of what they require of the do​ers—state education agency officials, school district managers, principals—“when they wake up and go to work.” </p><p>Too often, planners falter on this point. &#160;“People who make policy don’t always think about—or know about—how the work will be done on the ground,” Manna said in a conversation after his addresses. “So there’s a typical kind of top-down view, which is why so many things don’t get carried out well.”</p><p>Planners would also do well to understand whether their hoped-for policies will heap additional helpings of work on principals’ already heavily laden plates. In his report, Manna cites survey findings suggesting that principals believe they are being called on to do more than ever, “exercising more and more power over matters such as evaluating teachers and setting school performance standards…[while] remain[ing] equally responsible for traditional activities, such as setting school discipline policies and managing budgets and school spending.”</p><p>Manna suggests a possible solution to this. Look at the last chapter of his report, which counsels state policymakers to “catalogue principals’ tasks, in theory and in practice” and to compare what principals actually do with what policies aspire to have them do. The exercise is likely to be an eye-opener for those charged with shaping state policy and might just aid them in using ESSA to its fullest advantage in bolstering principals.</p><p>“People are saying this is a moment where we can rethink what we’ve learned over the last decade or more, where we can rethink roles and responsibilities,” Manna told the audience. “And states themselves are supposed to be leading this charge.” </p> <a href="https&#58;//youtu.be/N8n1MhuFwyo">A video with excerpts from Manna’s talks</a> to the December 2017 gathering of participants in Wallace’s University Principal Preparation Initiative is available at our Knowledge Center. Wallace editorial team792018-01-11T05:00:00ZGood ESSA Plans Recognize What’s Needed to Get the Education Job Done3/20/2018 3:31:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Advice on State Policy and Ed Leadership For Good ESSA Planning, Understand What Tasks Get the Job Done, Says Political 121http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online Airtime32GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>With increasing recognition that principals matter when it comes to school improvement, district officials are pondering the proper district role in everything from pre-service principal training to on-the-job principal support. These topics, and more, got <a href="http&#58;//www.blogtalkradio.com/edutalk2/2018/03/07/creating-and-supporting-the-principal-pipeline">online radio airtime</a>&#160;recently&#160;in a chat with representatives of Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipelines.aspx">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a>, which is aiding efforts in six large districts to shape a large corps of effective school leaders. The setting was Education Talk Radio&#58; Pre K-20, whose host, Larry Jacobs, had a freewheeling conversation with Tricia McManus, assistant superintendent of Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Schools; Glenn Pethel, assistant superintendent of Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools; and, towards the end of the 40-minute segment, Jody Spiro, Wallace’s director of education leadership. &#160;</p><p>Here are a few nuggets&#58; </p><ul><li>McManus came up with a nice, concise definition of a principal pipeline, describing it as “an effective way to recruit, hire, select, develop, prepare, evaluate the very best leaders for our schools, especially our high-needs schools.”<br><br> </li><li>Pethel noted that in Gwinnett County mentoring new principals is serious business. &#160;He described the mentoring, often provided by retired principals, as “one of the most important things that we do in order to not only retain our new leaders but to continue to grow them, develop them, support them so that ultimately they become as effective as they possibly can.”<br><br></li><li>Both McManus and Pethel offered glimpses into their districts’ collaboration with select universities, partnerships that aim to ensure that aspiring leaders receive preservice training that meets district needs. “We work with those universities that are of a like mind—in other words, those universities who have worked very hard to improve the quality of their training programs, their formal leader prep programs,” Pethel said. In Hillsborough’s early work with its partner universities, the district made a point of spelling out its expectations for district principals, according to McManus. “Those competencies were a key driver in many of the changes the university partners have made,” she said, changes in everything from course content to practicums.<br><br></li><li>What’s the first step in setting up a strong principal pipeline? For Spiro, it all begins with an acknowledgement of just how important principals are. She urged districts “to recognize and appreciate and elevate the role of the principal, understanding how critical that role is to improving student achievement.” </li></ul><p>For even more from Pethel and McManus, listen to <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx">The Principal Pipeline</a> podcast, episodes 2 and 4. </p> <br>Wallace editorial team792018-03-19T04:00:00ZChatting About Training, Mentoring and Recognizing the Importance of Principals4/24/2018 2:37:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online Airtime Chatting About Training, Mentoring and Recognizing the Importance of Principals 211http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Updated Tool Seeks to Help Principal Training Programs Gauge Effectiveness377GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>At a time when many school districts are eager to expand their corps of effective principals, many principal preparation programs are considering how to improve the training that shapes future school leaders. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">One survey</a> of university-based training programs found, for example, that well over half of respondents planned to make moderate to significant changes in their offerings in the near future.</p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="CherylKing_headshot.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Updated-Tool-Helps-Principal-Training-Programs-Gauge-Effectiveness/CherylKing_headshot.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;199px;" />Enter <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx"><em>Quality Measures</em></a>, a self-study tool meant to allow programs to compare their courses of study and procedures with research-based indicators of program quality, so they can embark on upgrades that make sense. </p><p>Specifically, Quality Measures assesses programs in six domains&#58; candidate admissions, course content, pedagogy, clinical practice, performance assessment, and graduate performance outcomes. With an accurate picture of their work in these areas, programs can start planning the right improvements. </p><p>The tool was first rolled out in 2009, and its 10th edition was recently published. It reflects new research and such developments as the 2015 release of the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/professional-standards-for-educational-leaders-2015.aspx"><em>Professional Standards for Educational Leaders</em></a>, a set of model standards for principals. Given all this, now seemed a good moment to engage with the Education Development Center’s Cheryl King, who has led the development and refinement of Quality Measures over the years. Below are edited excerpts of our email Q&amp;A.&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>Why is quality assessment important for principal prep programs?</strong></p><p>In our work with programs, we find that the practice of routine program self-assessment is viewed positively by most participating programs. It provides a non-threatening way for programs to connect with the literature on best training practices and to consider how their programs compare. </p><p>Additionally, users tell us that having a set of standards-based metrics—which clearly define empirically-based practices that produce effective school leaders—provides them with timely and actionable data. This can be translated into change strategies. </p><p>That was the case when faculty members from four programs discovered a common weakness in their admissions procedures. Using Quality Measures&#160;together, they saw that all four programs lagged when it came to using tools designed to assist in predicting the likelihood of an applicant being the “right” candidate for admission to the preparation program. They then began to identify and exchange tools that currently exist, later determining what might be useful in helping them to better assess candidate readiness for principal training. </p><p>It has been our experience that assessment cultures based on solving persistent and common problems of practice are far more effective than cultures clouded by fears of penalties as a result of external evaluation. </p><p><strong>What are the one or two most common areas of improvement for programs pinpointed by Quality Measures? &#160;</strong></p><p>Domains are typically identified as needing improvement based on a program’s inability to provide strong supporting evidence. Domain 6, graduate performance outcomes, has been consistently identified by programs using Quality Measures as an area in need of improvement. Commonly cited reasons identified by programs include lack of access to school district data about their graduates’ post-program completion. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="QM_graphic.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Updated-Tool-Helps-Principal-Training-Programs-Gauge-Effectiveness/QM_graphic.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;477px;" />Take the four programs I mentioned. On a scale of 1 to 4, with “1” the lowest and “4” the highest, their average score was 1.5 in their ability to get information on things like their graduates’ rate of retention when placed in low-performing schools or their graduates’ results in job performance evaluations. On the other hand, the programs were fairly successful (an average rating of “3”) in getting needed data about how their graduates fared when it came to obtaining state certification.</p><p>Another domain commonly identified across programs as needing improvement is Domain 5, performance assessment. The revised indicators in the updated tool call for more rigorous measures of candidate performance to replace traditional capstone projects and portfolios. We are finding that the more explicit criteria in the 10th edition are challenging programs to think in exciting new ways about candidate performance assessment.&#160; </p><p><strong>Where are programs typically the strongest?</strong></p><p>Programs typically rate Domains 2 (course content), 3 (instructional methods), and 4 (clinical practice) as meeting all or most criteria. Programs share compelling supporting evidence with peers in support of these higher ratings. They offer several explanations, including the recognition that these are the domains that typically receive the majority of their time and resources.</p><p>The inclusion of culturally responsive pedagogy as a new indicator in the 10th edition is among a number of additions to these three domains, based on the newly published Professional Standards for Educational Leaders. New indicators and criteria present new demands on programs that have exciting improvement implications for preparation programs.</p><p><strong>In updating the tool, what did you find surprising?</strong></p><p>One thing that greatly struck us was the increased attention being paid to the impact of candidate admission practices on the development of effective principals. Similarly, recent empirical findings about pre-admission assessment of candidate dispositions, aspirations and aptitudes as predictors of successful principals were compelling. We immediately revised Domain 1—candidate admissions—to incorporate them.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-04-05T04:00:00ZSelf-Assessment Leads Programs to Surprising Discoveries4/5/2018 3:55:43 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Updated Tool Seeks to Help Principal Training Programs Gauge Effectiveness At a time when many school districts are eager 42http://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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