District Policy and Practice|02d6f4ae-88a2-4236-b1a9-1f37b2599002;Effective Principal Leadership|8cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba;State Policy|184b3b02-1dae-4ee1-9ac9-9704ebd0b823;School Leadership|330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708
According to this report from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), school districts and states are failing to provide principals with what they need to turn around America's failing middle and high schools. Existing policy has focused on the need for strong school leadership but overlooked the role districts play in either supporting or undermining schools and the responsibility of states to improve district effectiveness. Based on an analysis of practices in seven school districts in three states, researchers found that struggling schools are most likely to improve when districts have a clear vision of what a good school looks like, organize a set of research-based practices for achieving that vision, and then provide principals with sufficient autonomy and support to carry out those practices. The report identifies seven strategies successful districts use to support school improvement, including introducing professional development for school and district leaders on how to improve classroom instruction and making optimal use of resources. Under each broad strategy are specific examples of the supports or freedoms principals need, such as the authority to hire their own teachers. The report also identifies actions districts, states and schools can take to carry out each of the seven strategies.
Points of Interest
School districts that want to help struggling middle and high schools should consider seven research-supported strategies. Among them are investing heavily in principal, teacher and district staff training that focuses on instruction while assisting schools with effective use of data.
Struggling middle- and high schools are most likely to improve when, among other things, districts have a clear vision of what a good school looks like and then organize research-based practices for achieving that vision.