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Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success”4198 <p>“My high school basketball coach used to say, ‘No one gets better once the season starts. If you really want to get better, you put in time and effort over the summer.’” Aaron Dworkin took that lesson to heart. In June, he was named chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), which helped put summer on the map as a time for young people to sharpen their academic skills and discover new interests. Dworkin, a veteran of the nonprofit youth development field, is stepping into his new role at an exciting time for NSLA. The organization recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and is preparing to move its headquarters to Washington, D.C., where it will seek to persuade policymakers that providing a high-quality summer learning experience to every child is, in Dworkin’s words, “something we can cross off America’s to-do list.”</p><p>We talked to Dworkin about the journey that got him where he is today, how the conversation about summer learning has changed over time, and the work NSLA is doing now.*</p><p><strong>How did you get interested in youth development? How has your background prepared you for this new position? </strong><br> <br> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="AaronDworkin.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Summer-From-the-Wild-West-to-a-Center-of-Success/AaronDworkin.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;231px;" />I’ve always been passionate about education and closing opportunity gaps. As a young person, I was in a range of schools and settings where I saw what some kids had and some didn’t. When you see that, it stays with you. I had a great appreciation for the opportunities I was given and a great commitment to making sure all young people have similar opportunities. I started a youth leadership program in New York City called Hoops and Leaders to recruit mostly men of color to be big brothers and mentors to teenage boys. That led me to study education and public policy formally at Harvard and Columbia, where I learned more about the broader nonprofit and education landscape. When I was a grad student, I was part of the team that helped start a sports-based youth development coalition called Up2Us Sports, which focuses on training youth sports coaches in youth development. I gained a national perspective to go with my local grassroots experience, and all that brought me to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charity After-School All-Stars, first as their inaugural national program director and then as president of their national network of 20 chapters. When I was at After-School All-Stars, we created and scaled lots of different summer learning programs. They were great for the for kids but doubled as terrific professional development for staff. Summer has always been one of these spaces where you can innovate and partner more to better serve kids and communities.</p><p><strong>How is NSLA helping organizations connect their priorities to summer learning?</strong></p><p>In the American education system, we make a commitment to kids from September to June. Then, you get to summer, and I’m not going to say it’s the wild west, but it’s a quarter of the school year, and some kids are going to camp and museums and traveling and learning around the world, while too many have little or nothing to do besides sitting on the couch or looking at their phone. There’s research to prove that over the summer months low-income students fall behind academically. They’re not as physically active, they gain weight and eat less healthily. They may not have access to meals. There are safety issues. And the effects of this are cumulative from summer to summer. </p><p>So we partner with lots of different organizations, from funders like The Wallace Foundation to school districts, libraries, housing authorities, parks and recreation centers, nonprofits and CBOs. We want to make sure they have whatever evidenced-based resources they need, whether it’s staff training, best practices for running a program, or research so they’re able to make the case locally that this matters. We work with people to draft legislation. We have a national conference every year with 500 to 700 education leaders. We also give national recognition to model programs with our Excellence in Summer Learning Awards, which are very rigorous. Hundreds of groups apply every year, and we only honor three to four programs as examples of what’s possible.</p><p><strong>NSLA has reached a 25-year milestone. How has the field of summer learning evolved in that time? </strong></p><p>For one thing, we’ve broadened the focus&#58; We’re not just closing academic achievement gaps but also opportunity gaps—opportunities such as field trips, mentoring, social-emotional learning, career exploration, internships, all of which we know matter to a child’s education and development, too. If you’re taking a standardized test and there’s a question that refers to a museum or place you’ve never heard of or visited, it’s very hard to answer that question without context even if you can read it. </p><p>We’ve also expanded our notion of what summer learning is for and for whom. Summer learning isn’t just 12 weeks, it’s the center for success for the whole school year. And it’s not just for young people. It’s for adults, too. One thing I’ve really been inspired by is how much training and re-invigoration is happening among teachers and staff, so they’re fired up to go back to school. There are lots of reasons for that&#58; They have the ability to be more creative. The ratios are smaller, so they can get to know students. There are different settings and activities. It’s less bureaucratic and reminds them why they love and got into teaching in the first place. </p><p>We’re also seeing summer learning in the workforce-readiness space. There’s been an evolution to say that summer internships are a form of summer learning. And NSLA is going to do more to advocate for paid summer internships for low income youth because unpaid internships lead to jobs but are inherently off limits to many. </p><p>People are also thinking about the power of summer in critical life transition moments. For those worried about high school dropout rates, for instance, there’s a big emphasis on the summer between eighth and ninth grade as the critical time to intervene and get kids excited. If you wait until high school, it’s too late. Similarly, in the summer between high school and college, there’s a phenomenon called the summer melt when students have gotten into college [but no one prepares them for what they’re about to experience] or even calls them to tell them when orientation is, and they do not arrive on campus for their freshman year. That’s a horrible wasted opportunity which can be prevented. </p><p><strong>In the past, NSLA has focused on policy at the national level. Your new strategic plan puts more emphasis on the states. What can states do to promote summer learning?</strong></p><p>States can do a lot to create policies that articulate the importance of having these programs in place. They can say we’ll give money to these programs but they have to meet standards of quality, structure, ratio, curriculum, training, data collection and supervision. They also have convening power to bring together business leaders, the nonprofit community and elected officials to make it a priority to take care of all kids all year round. </p><p>We can work at the federal level, and we are. We have a bi-partisan bill with Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon called the Summer Meals and Learning Act that would keep schools and libraries open over the summer. But because the political process is arduous at the federal level, you can be more nimble at the state level. We’re seeing a lot of governors and mayors and legislatures saying this is something we can do. There are so many resources in our communities, and they’re sometimes underleveraged. At the state level, people know what they have and what they’re good at and what their needs are. That localized control and responsiveness is what people want to see. We’re helping state departments of education think about how summer can be a solution to a lot of different problems. </p><p><strong>What can organizations do to make the case for summer learning to parents?</strong></p><p>Again, a lot. We do want summer learning experiences to feel different from school. We love our summers because they give us a chance to explore things we haven’t had a chance to do. If you go to a new summer program, and all of sudden there’s an arts experience you’re turned on to that you’ve never had before, then you’re finding a new skill set and a passion. What families with resources know is that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. You can play basketball, but you can also add in an article or lessons on leadership, or tie it into math in a fun way. Families are trying to find—and programs are now creating—experiences that connect arts <em>and</em> literacy, math <em>and</em> baseball, sports <em>and</em> social emotional learning. </p><p>It’s important to recognize not all kids live in the stereotypical two-parent household. There are incarceration trends and opioid crisis effects. It takes a village. I meet people all the time who say my kid is going to live with his grandparents for the summer. How do we make sure grandparents know what resources there are to use? Thanks to the internet there are a lot more tools you can activate than there used to be. Even if you don’t have a museum across the street, there are a lot of online resources we can direct you to. </p><p><strong>Your annual conference is coming up in October. Can you give us a preview of the agenda?</strong></p><p>It’s going to be in Atlanta. We’re still confirming some high-profile guests and speakers. We have three themes&#58; One is programmatic, if you’re in direct service with kids. One is systematic if you’re coordinating all the programs in your city and state. The third is leadership if you’re the executive director or C.E.O. of an organization, working in fundraising, marketing and research. It all starts with our preconference tracks. There’s a group representing leaders of school districts who are trying to maximize the summer school experience. We have a group for librarians setting up citywide summer reading and learning experiences. For the first time, we’re bringing together summer pipeline programs, many affiliated with health institutions, that are working to get low-income or minority kids more interested in health careers. If you’re someone who’s trying to start and run a summer program for the first time, we have a professional development training called Summer Starts in September, so you can learn best practices and plan for continuous program improvement. We’re issuing a report in partnership with the United Way looking at the landscape of programs in Georgia, what’s working well, where there’s room for improvement. We’ll be putting a spotlight on our award winners. There’s something for everyone who cares about kids and leveraging summer to help them.</p><p><em>*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.</em></p>National Summer Learning Association CEO Aaron Dworkin on making summer a time of opportunity for kids, adults and communitiesGP0|#88b77bae-56d6-47d9-922f-54af703d57b5;L0|#088b77bae-56d6-47d9-922f-54af703d57b5|learning;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#91bf67c6-3cc1-4097-9074-16701a50b2ac;L0|#091bf67c6-3cc1-4097-9074-16701a50b2ac|enrichment;GP0|#093a2e91-3046-4ae3-bfcd-92b58b845614;L0|#0093a2e91-3046-4ae3-bfcd-92b58b845614|summer programsGP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/summer-learnimng-wild-west-to-success-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-09-17T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/17/2019 1:54:50 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Summer—From the “Wild West” to a “Center of Success National Summer Learning Association CEO Aaron Dworkin on making summer 228https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Panel Highlights Role of States in Developing Effective Principals3646<p>After hearing results from a recent study on the successful strategic development of school leaders, Lance Clow, an Idaho state representative serving on the state’s education committee, said the research confirms what his wife, a public school teacher, often told him—bring in a good principal and everything improves. “Just like a rising tide raises all boats, a good principal raises everybody up, the students and teachers,” he said. </p><p>Clow was one of the state legislators and staff members attending an early morning panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Nashville, Tenn., to hear results from a recent Wallace-funded initiative on building principal pipelines. Principal pipelines, which a team of researchers from RAND and Policy Studies Associates studied in six large school districts over eight years, are a strategic approach to preparing and supporting school leaders to develop a consistent and adequate supply of effective principals. </p><p>Ty Wilde, a senior research officer at Wallace, along with NCSL’s Ashley Idrees and Paul Fleming, former assistant commissioner for the Teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education, detailed the good news of the study—principal pipelines were found to have a positive impact on both principal retention and academic achievement—and provided a deep-dive into how states can implement principal pipelines in their home districts. </p><p>The NCSL, which provides resources and research about key issues like school leadership to legislators, thought it was important to share the Wallace-supported research with its members, who are always looking for connections to expertise and evidence-based solutions. “The research is timely and applicable,” said Idrees, a<em>policy specialist in NCSL's education program</em>. “Every state throughout the nation hopes to provide invaluable school leaders to guide and support teachers and students.” </p><p>The results of the principal pipeline study were so positive that they surprised Wilde, who managed the project at Wallace. She joked with the breakfast group gathered at the Nashville Music City Center that for the first time in almost 20 years of conducting or managing research, she stopped to call her mother. She was that bowled over by the findings—both the results and their magnitude.&#160; </p><p>Researchers found that schools in pipeline districts outperformed comparison schools in other districts in both <u><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">reading and math</a></u>. Surprisingly, academic benefits were largest for the lowest performing schools, which often pose the biggest challenges to improvement. Principal turnover was reduced, and the cost of implementation remained low when compared with other district-wide improvement efforts, like teacher professional development. Among studies of district interventions, few had shown such strong results. </p><p>“Principal pipelines are feasible, affordable and effective,” Wilde told the group. “We hope you consider ways to support principal pipelines in your state.”&#160; </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">The pieces of the pipeline </h3><p> School leadership is a concern for many states, and 36 states passed some kind of legislation to improve school leadership in 2018. But the six districts that the study focused on—Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; Denver; Gwinnett County, Ga. (Atlanta area); Hillsborough County, Fla. (Tampa area); New York City; and Prince George’s County, Md. (Washington, D.C., metro area)—all addressed reforming principal leadership using principal pipelines. The pipeline refers to four, mutually reinforcing components the districts put into place&#58; rigorous standards that spell out what their principals need to know and do; high-quality pre-service training for aspiring principals; selective hiring and placement; and well-aligned on-the-job support and evaluation of principals, especially newcomers to the job.</p><p>In addition, pipeline districts invested in system supports, such as a maintaining a “leader-tracking” database of updated information on both current and possible future school leaders and reshaping the principal supervisor role to bolster on-the-ground support of principals. </p><p>Within this framework, flexibility is key, Wilde said, and each study district adapted the pipeline components to their own needs. </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">On the ground in Tennessee</h3><p> When it comes to training and hiring school leaders, the state of Tennessee—though not one of the six districts in the pipeline initiative—was all in on developing a program based on the four principal pipeline criteria. In 2017, the state awarded $1 million in <u><a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/education/news/2017/8/1/tdoe-awards-over-1-million-to-support-school-leader-development.html">Principal Pipeline Partnership</a></u> grants under ESSA’s Title II, Part A, funds, designed to help schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality. The provision allows states to set aside 3 percent of Title II funding for state-level activities supporting principals and other school leaders. Tennessee used the money to help create comprehensive leader training programs, becoming one of the first states to do so. The grants, given to partnerships between districts and universities, businesses or nonprofits, were distributed by the newly formed Tennessee Transformational Leadership Alliance (TTLA). TTLA managed the competitive application and awarding process, giving priority to partnerships that had a four-year plan for either a new or improved model for principal improvement. </p><p>Fleming, the former assistant commissioner who led the state’s leadership development initiative, said that when building Tennessee’s pipeline, the state chose to lean in on four areas specifically&#58; aligning principal preparation programs to the state’s leadership principal standards with a focus on equity; building high-quality residency experiences into the programs; providing bridge support for participants after they complete a program but before they are hired as a principal; and ensuring appropriate induction for new leaders.</p><p>The TTLA helped scale the pipeline across the state through nine regional preparation programs, helping districts maintain a focus on aligning training with the state leadership standards throughout training. Tennessee also developed a statewide evaluation model for school leaders to ensure that, once they began their jobs, principals were meeting standards and using their training in such areas as providing culturally responsive and equitable practices for their students and families. </p><p>Additionally, Tennessee created a principal residency, a semester-long mentorship program in which aspiring leaders work with an on-the-job principal, not only shadowing and learning from a leader, but also getting to participate hands-on in day-to-day work. And for assistant principals, the state offers the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, which brings together a cohort of 25 aspiring leaders and focuses on training for leadership. </p><p>Fleming stressed that in order to be effective, the leader pipeline shouldn’t be considered just another program or an add-on to what states are already doing. Creating a pipeline to train and support great leaders is a cohesive approach that should influence the entire way of thinking about developing future school leaders, from establishing principal standards to finding a great fit between principal and school. <br> <br> <img alt="Tennesseegroup.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Panel-Highlights-Role-of-States-in-Developing-Effective-Principals/Tennesseegroup.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> Tennessee's Governor's Academy of School Leadership cohort, a partnership between the Governor's office, Vanderbilt University, the Department of Education and local districts. </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3"> The path ahead </h3> Even with the positive study results, Wilde and Fleming both said that building and maintaining the pipelines are not without their challenges. One of the biggest challenges, Fleming said, is the changing nature of the principal’s job itself. “Principals were once responsible for books, boilers and buses, then it moved to an instructional leadership mindset,” Fleming said. “Now the shift that’s occurred, to reach every student and every teacher, is you have to be a shared instructional leader.” That alone, he said, is a great reason for more and better training. <p>&#160;</p><p>There’s also an urgent need for a more diverse body of leaders. In Tennessee, for example, 40 percent of school children are students of color, while only 20 percent of leaders are. The state found, positively, that prospective leaders trained through the TTLA pipeline were more diverse than the state average. When adopting a principal pipeline, “The state can be very deliberate to build that into the application,” Fleming said. “How are you addressing the identification, selection and retention of diverse candidates—race, gender, culture—into the program?” </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Lessons for other states </h3><p> The presentation and research gave some officials from states that don’t currently have a principal pipeline something to think about. Sydnee Dickson, superintendent of public instruction in Utah, said that local schools and districts in her state are engaged with leadership strategies that start with their own teachers. But she’s interested in creating a more integrated system. “What I liked about the research is that it shows how investing can get a sustainable return—instead of just one and done, ‘hey, we did this initiative,’ versus this very integrated, systemic approach to leadership.” </p><p>The integrated, systematic approach to school leadership is one of the keys to the pipeline’s success. Fleming said that he hoped that other states would follow Tennessee’s lead and “build into the DNA of the district principal leadership that is consistent as a foundational element of success.” And even though pipelines face the inevitable challenges, the researchers and Fleming agree that, after seeing the pipelines in action on the road to school improvement, the challenges are well worth it.</p> At the National Conference of State Legislatures, a look at how states can use recent principal pipeline research to help develop school leadersGP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipeline;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#43d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168;L0|#043d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168|principal;GP0|#b6a2c2d6-90d1-4a7a-838b-3b5170004c88;L0|#0b6a2c2d6-90d1-4a7a-838b-3b5170004c88|training;GP0|#07325ab5-32ed-4662-aeda-ba28f1e0b88b;L0|#007325ab5-32ed-4662-aeda-ba28f1e0b88b|development;GP0|#e2e17eb4-e773-4e10-978d-d7ff62dc1b56;L0|#0e2e17eb4-e773-4e10-978d-d7ff62dc1b56|pre-service preparation;GP0|#061b3ed1-b2fd-4948-ac9b-c4fde6290166;L0|#0061b3ed1-b2fd-4948-ac9b-c4fde6290166|ESSA;GP0|#6461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636;L0|#06461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636|state policy;GP0|#0749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887;L0|#00749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887|district policyGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Holly Korbey101<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/nashville-panel-post-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-09-10T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/10/2019 1:45:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Panel Highlights Role of States in Developing Effective Principals At the National Conference of State Legislatures, a look 298https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline Podcast3618<p>Last January, we launched the first series of <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast, featuring in-depth conversations with leaders who have been implementing principal pipelines—a systematic approach to leadership development and support—in their states and districts. Following the release of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">new research showing the effectiveness</a> of these efforts, we created Series Two to explore how pipelines benefit districts, schools and students.</p><p>The first two episodes focus on two major findings from the new research&#58; that pipeline districts saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipelines-episode-7-a-district-strategy-to-improve-student-achievement.aspx">notable, statistically significant benefits for student achievement</a>, and that these districts also saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-8-building-principal-pipelines-improves-principal-retention.aspx">improved principal retention</a>. Leaders discuss how pipelines created stability, networks of support and clear standards that led to these improvements. </p><p>“It confirms what many of us as practitioners already know,” Linda Chen, chief academic officer for New York City public schools says in Episode 7. “A great principal really impacts the outcomes of students.” </p><p>Researchers join the podcast for <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-9-measuring-the-effectiveness-of-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 9</a> to share how they were able to reliably measure outcomes across 1,100 schools and how they linked student achievement improvements to the pipeline. </p><p>The final two episodes look ahead at the long-term sustainability of pipelines. In <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-10-how-districts-sustained-their-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 10</a>, district leaders explain how they were able to maintain all four pipeline components two years after funding from The Wallace Foundation ended. And <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-11-how-districts-states-and-universities-can-play-a-role.aspx">Episode 11</a> examines the role that districts, states and universities play in building and supporting principal pipelines, including how to tap funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act. </p><p>“When we think about universities and districts, and then the state role, I think it's all working in tandem to make sure that we're creating the best opportunities for principals,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You can stream <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast on <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=1b4876a898&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">our site</a>, where you’ll also find more information about each show, or download them from <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=0305e5a96d&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">iTunes</a>, <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=51cbfa9760&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">Google Play</a> or <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=bdb0aa2fec&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">Stitcher</a>.</p> New episodes focus on successes, lessons learned and what’s nextGP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipeline;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#5c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4;L0|#05c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4|principal training;GP0|#4f1da6c6-7e7a-4377-a2ff-ee40af8043fc;L0|#04f1da6c6-7e7a-4377-a2ff-ee40af8043fc|school leadershipGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/principal-pipeline-series-2-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-09-03T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/6/2019 2:44:19 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline Podcast New episodes focus on successes, lessons learned and what’s next 243https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
The Long and Winding Road to Better Principal Preparation4280<p>From 2001 to 2010, following more than a decade of Wallace-supported research and experience learning what makes for effective school leaders, we helped support a handful of districts and states seeking to improve pre-service training and support for new principals. As part of that effort we worked with the Center for the Study of Education Policy (CESP) at Illinois State University to help create a new model for statewide principal preparation. </p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="professional-picture-copy2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/the-long-and-winding-road-to-better-principal-preparation/professional-picture-copy2.jpg" style="margin&#58;0px;width&#58;206px;" />Now a group of policy analysts from CESP <a href="https&#58;//www.routledge.com/Reforming-Principal-Preparation-at-the-State-Level-Perspectives-on-Policy/Hunt-Hood-Haller-Kincaid/p/book/9781138299221">has published a book</a> that chronicles the multiyear effort, showing how an unlikely alliance of Illinois school districts, universities, state education agencies, teachers unions, early childhood experts, business leaders and professional associations were knitted together to strengthen principal preparation through reform of state policy. The hope was to use the state’s oversight of university and other programs to ensure that principal preparation in Illinois reflected the research-based hallmarks of high-quality school leader training&#58; mutually beneficial school-university partnerships; selective admissions to preservice programs; course content aligned with national principal standards; and performance-based assessments tied to job-embedded internships.<br><br> We caught up with Erika Hunt, one of the book’s editors (along with Alicia Haller, Lisa Hood&#160;and Maureen Kincaid), to learn more about the book and the work that inspired it.&#160; </p><p> <strong>You were the narrator of what we at Wallace refer to as <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/series-shows-how-illinois-successfully-revamped-requirements-for-principal-preparation.aspx">“The Illinois Story,”</a> our four-part video series on the state’s bold changes in policy and practice. Can you give a brief overview of the story?</strong></p><p>The Illinois story is an example of a collaborative partnership that brought all stakeholders to the table to envision what principal training would look like if the student was at the center…if we tried to design programs around what schools need in order to strengthen teaching and learning for all of our students. We aligned this work to evidence-based research showing what kind of practices could produce these results. The work produced transformational policy changes in Illinois that have made a difference in our university preparation programs and are now making a difference in Illinois public schools.&#160; </p><p> <strong>That collaborative partnership is at the heart of your book as well. Why was it important to include so many different people and perspectives on the work? </strong></p><p>The work was all done in partnership. Our role was more of a facilitator bringing people to the table. We knew what the research said. We could point to a few effective preparation programs and district partnerships in the state, but we really didn’t have the answers. We had to bring all the different stakeholders and different voices to the table to try to figure out what would be the best strategy to do this work in Illinois. The policy development of this work took five years and involved so many people who all needed to be represented. The results have paid off because this is now in the water supply in Illinois. This is just the way we do things. We’re starting to see turnover of faculty in universities, but the new faculty don’t know any different. </p><p> <strong>In his introduction to the book, former education secretary Arne Duncan mentions the challenges and missed opportunities that were part of the ultimate path to success. Can you give an example of a challenge? </strong></p><p>When we first came to the table, policy change was a last resort. The first thing we wanted to do was try to incentivize universities to redesign their programs. A couple did, but when one university would raise its requirements, the principal candidates would just go down the street to the next university. The consumers of the program were choosing where to go based on convenience or ease. It was hard for us to get all universities to put in more rigorous requirements. </p><p>Our next approach was to go to the districts and say, “Can you push on universities to make these changes? Can you be a bigger voice?” Many of them were reluctant to do that. They would tell us behind closed doors that universities weren’t doing enough, but nobody wanted to vocalize that. </p><p>The last resort was the legislative approach, and it worked because everybody had to do it. I think some universities valued that it came through a policy change, because otherwise they might not have gotten the buy-in they needed. We did get pushback from some of the bigger universities that depended on enrollments for revenue. </p><p> <strong>How did you handle the pushback?</strong></p><p>We were able to show evidence. We created a website with minutes and documents from every meeting. We were able to show legislators all of the people who were giving voice to this and point to the research showing this wasn’t just anecdotal information or a trend. This change could make a positive impact on our schools.</p><p>Another challenge was in the first year of implementation. Universities did see their enrollments drop—and they needed to drop, because we committed to preparing only candidates who wanted to be principals and assistant principals. There were fears of shortages. Fears about what the candidates would look like when they came out. Then once the first candidates of these programs graduated and districts saw the difference, we started to get a lot more supporters. </p><p><img alt="New-book-CSEP-image2-640x425-2.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/New-book-CSEP-image2-640x425-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;583px;" />&#160;</p><p> <strong>How do you think other practitioners and policymakers can make use of the lessons that you’ve all learned to help inform their own practices and policies?</strong></p><p>There are a lot of examples now of states doing this work. I don’t think others will need to take as much time and attention as we did because there is more of a common acceptance and understanding that leadership matters. The key, though, is to bring all of the stakeholders to the table. We were very instrumental in Illinois because it wasn’t done by one agency. We had the State Board of Education, the Board of Higher Education. We had the Governor’s Office. When you have agencies align to support an effort from the highest level, that says it’s a priority for the state. </p><p> <strong>Are there any of the essays that you would point to specifically if a state was not as evolved in its thinking yet?</strong></p><p>Probably the first two, because they show how we experienced so many challenges in the beginning. The first two chapters are all about grit. We did not give up every time we hit a roadblock but instead we would pause, regroup and then look for other opportunities or doors that would open. </p><p>That’s why we never felt like we could write the book ourselves, because the story had to be told by everybody who was at the table. The book doesn’t even catch everybody, but we wanted to make sure that people understood that any policy that brings different perspectives into it is just so much richer. It can bring you to a place that you didn’t initially anticipate. That’s also the way we should be thinking about supporting our schools now. </p><p> <em>*This interview has been condensed and edited.</em></p><p> <a href="https&#58;//education.illinoisstate.edu/csep/aboutus/faculty_staff/elhunt_bio.php">Erika Hunt is a senior policy analyst and researcher in the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. </a> <br> <br></p>New book shows how a coalition worked to strengthen Illinois policy about pre-service principal training GP0|#43d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168;L0|#043d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168|principal;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#6461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636;L0|#06461b6ad-6a49-4a2a-af3d-221d7c1e6636|state policy;GP0|#0749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887;L0|#00749b622-d2bc-4ff6-bf7d-ee28a6072887|district policy;GP0|#5c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4;L0|#05c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4|principal training;GP0|#f01fbac9-f64d-4287-9b0d-40336135aef2;L0|#0f01fbac9-f64d-4287-9b0d-40336135aef2|books;GP0|#a9950a11-4be7-42fe-98b5-f5f538c8eb5f;L0|#0a9950a11-4be7-42fe-98b5-f5f538c8eb5f|academic researchGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-erica-hunt-q-a-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-08-20T04:00:00ZNew book shows how a coalition worked to strengthen Illinois policy about pre-service principal training8/20/2019 3:37:08 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / The Long and Winding Road to Better Principal Preparation New book shows how a coalition worked to strengthen Illinois 414https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What We’re Learning About the Impact of Principal Turnover – And How to Reduce It4169<p>​ <a href="https&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/stoken/default+domain/VNM6J3J8BIXRSXD9CEM3/full">The Impact of Principal Turnover</a> used statewide data from Missouri and Tennessee to measure the effects of principal transitions — including both promotions and demotions — on school performance and found that turnover lowered school achievement. Specifically, schools that changed principals saw lower achievement in math and reading and higher rates of teacher turnover. However, the effects varied by transition&#58; Schools with principals who exited saw larger negative effects, while schools with principals who were demoted saw no negative effects and in some cases, even positive effects. This variance is likely representative of the circumstances in the school leading up to the transition, the study notes; meaning, exits may have resulted from a declining school climate, while demotions may reflect district efforts to replace ineffective principals with higher-performing leaders. </p><p>The study’s authors, Brendan Bartanen from Texas A&amp;M University, Jason A. Grissom from Vanderbilt University, and Laura K. Rogers from the University of Utah, posit that, “While districts should seek to limit principal turnover in general…in some cases, the benefits of replacing a low-performing principal outweigh these costs.” Grissom is one of several researchers <a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/wallace-foundation-commissions-reports-to-synthesize-state-of-knowledge-key-aspects-school-leadership-.aspx">commissioned by The Wallace Foundation</a> to update a landmark analysis of the link between school leadership and student achievement. &#160;</p><p>These latest findings underscore the need for a holistic approach to both cultivating and retaining effective school leadership, a strategy that The Wallace Foundation has been exploring for nearly two decades. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">A recent study from the RAND Corporation</a> points to a way forward&#58; districtwide efforts to better prepare, support and evaluate school leaders—also known as principal pipelines—can lead to improved student achievement and principal retention, to the tune of eight fewer losses per every 100 principals in a district.</p><p>Jaime Whitfield-Coffen, a principal from Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, one of six districts to implement a principal pipeline, shares her perspective on the approach in a recent episode of <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-8-building-principal-pipelines-improves-principal-retention.aspx">The Principal Pipeline podcast</a></em>. “It’s good to just have someone to lean on,” Whitfield-Coffen explains. “I think that that’s one of the reasons why I have stayed in Prince George’s County, is just because I know that there’s a network of people who are there supporting me along this walk, along this journey of being a principal.” </p><p>Click here to read The Impact of Principal Turnover in full&#58; <a href="https&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/stoken/default+domain/VNM6J3J8BIXRSXD9CEM3/full">https&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/stoken/default+domain/VNM6J3J8BIXRSXD9CEM3/full</a> </p><p>And, learn more about the link between pipelines and improved principal retention here&#58; <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">https&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx</a></p>Principal turnover isn’t only costly and disruptive for school districts—it may also have a negative effect on student achievement, according to a new study. GP0|#9bd3b07b-0109-42ab-81a9-dbffde0c42be;L0|#09bd3b07b-0109-42ab-81a9-dbffde0c42be|education leadership;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#7986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80;L0|#07986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80|principal preparation;GP0|#2888e3b8-64af-4eee-938c-bd8dfa9109ea;L0|#02888e3b8-64af-4eee-938c-bd8dfa9109ea|principal mentoring;GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GP0|#5c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4;L0|#05c8741a8-5f81-440f-b89e-72db998344f4|principal training;GP0|#f8cf8c00-2ba7-46a2-91b1-b899dd95662d;L0|#0f8cf8c00-2ba7-46a2-91b1-b899dd95662d|principal supportGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Wallace editorial team79<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-Principal-Retention-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-08-13T04:00:00ZPrincipal turnover isn’t only costly and disruptive for school districts—it may also have a negative effect on student achievement, according to a new study.8/15/2019 2:15:52 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What We’re Learning About the Impact of Principal Turnover – And How to Reduce It Principal turnover isn’t only costly and 318https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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