This report, the second in a series, discusses initial implementation results of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, a multi-year effort to improve school leadership in six urban school districts. The initiative’s underlying premise is: If school districts and partners can provide talented aspiring principals with rigorous preparation, evaluation and support, they will be able to create a pipeline of leaders able to improve teaching quality and student achievement. With that in mind, the report describes changes in the six districts’ practices in recruitment, training and support of new principals. Programs to prepare novice principals, for example, included such steps as inviting applicants based on district nominations, using formal rating methods and simulating scenarios in which applicants performed key tasks. All six districts provided novice principals with formal coaching or mentoring support, such as weekly 90-minute, one-on-one sessions with trained, high-performing sitting principals. The report also offers early lessons for other districts considering changes to their own principal pipelines.

Points of Interest

  • For 86 percent of survey respondents, the path to becoming a school principal included working as an assistant principal for a median of five years.
    86% of #school principals surveyed worked as an assistant principal for a median of 5 years. #education
  • School district and principal preparation program leaders commonly included the following as topics they considered important for aspiring principals to learn about: school improvement design; teacher observation, feedback, and coaching; and fiscal management and budgeting.
    Key learning topics for aspiring #principals? #School improvement, teacher observation & budgeting, among others.