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New Hiring Approach Helps District Make the Right Match Between Principal and School3724<p> <em>​​​​​A principal pipeline is an approach to school leader development that can have major benefits for school districts, as indicated in <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> we published recently. Pipelines have four parts—rigorous job standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring, and aligned on-the-job support and evaluation. In an occasional series, we examine each of these components by talking to principals in six urban districts that, with Wallace support, tested the pipeline idea. In previous posts, we found out how <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/effective-school-leaders-learn-how-to-solve-problems.aspx">pre-service training</a> prepared a Georgia principal to improve the graduation rate at his high school, <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/on-the-job-support-helps-new-principals-build-skills-and-confidence.aspx">how on-the-job support</a> helped a new principal in North Carolina gain the skills he needed to succeed, and how job standards <a href="/news-and-media/blog/pages/leader-standards-let-principals-know-what-to-strive-for.aspx">shaped the leadership development​</a> of a principal in Denver.</em><em>&#160;Today, we examine how selective hiring led to a perfect match for a first-time principal and her new school in Prince George’s County, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.</em></p><p>A decade ago, hiring a principal in Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland typically meant screening hundreds of applications with little guarantee that the laborious process would turn up someone with the right skills and experience for the job. That’s because anyone with the state-required certification could apply, resulting in a deluge of résumés each time a vacancy was advertised. &#160;</p><p>But last spring district administrators didn’t have to comb through stacks of submissions to find Adelaide Blake. She was already on their radar. That’s thanks to the way Prince George’s County has changed its approach to principal hiring and placement in recent years so that the district draws job candidates almost exclusively from among a group of professionals who have already been screened to show they are qualified for the job. </p><p>Blake was one of those pros. She began her career in the district as a special education teacher in 2007, helping develop a program for children with autism at Seat Pleasant Elementary School in Seat Pleasant, Md. The program flourished under Blake’s leadership, and over time she made a transition into the school’s administration, first as chair of its special education department and later, in 2014, as its assistant principal. </p><p>In 2018, Blake was one of four assistant principals in the district selected for a yearlong residency program that pairs would-be principals with experienced leaders in schools. Blake learned the ropes from a veteran principal at Chapel Forge Early Education Center, a preschool in Bowie, Md., where 75 percent of the students have physical or learning disabilities. At first Blake shadowed her mentor, then gradually took charge of running the school. (Her mentor, meanwhile, interned in the central office to explore alternate career paths should she ever decide to step down as principal.) As her residency drew to a close, Blake received a call from district leaders about a principal opening at C. Elizabeth Rieg Regional, a K-12 school for students with special needs in Mitchellville, Md. Blake interviewed and got the job, which she describes as an excellent fit based on her experience and the school’s needs. “Working with so many people over the years—special educators, general educators, paraprofessionals, parents, special-ed service providers—prepared me to be the leader that I am today,” she says. </p><p>Blake got the call from district officials because she was “in the pool,” lingo used by the pipeline districts to describe a group of aspiring school leaders who are eligible for principal jobs. The districts found that instituting a hiring pool served two important purposes. First, it ensures that only high-quality candidates who’ve demonstrated readiness to be effective principals are considered for openings. Most applicants to Prince George’s talent pool have completed one of the district’s leadership programs for aspiring principals, but that alone does not secure entry. They still must pass a range of practical exercises aligned to the district’s leadership standards, such as writing a 90-day “entry plan” as the principal of a hypothetical school to show how they would prioritize needs and draw upon district resources. They’re also asked to watch videos of classroom instruction and explain the feedback they would give to the teacher. Because Blake was already an acting principal, her assessment wasn’t based on fictional scenarios but on the real work she was doing in her residency. Candidates who ace the practical demonstrations advance to step two, an interview with a panel of principal supervisors and coaches who determine eligibility. </p><p>Prince George’s talent pool has also streamlined the hiring process. Rather than posting a vacancy and waiting to see who applies, district managers proactively contact candidates in the pool who are a good match. Sometimes, the process sheds light on areas of expertise that are lacking. While the district usually interviews four candidates for each opening, it only considered Blake and one other person for the principalship at Rieg because they were the only ones with a background in special education. “It’s been an eye opener to see the gaps we have, in areas like language immersion, special education, charter school operations,” says Melissa Ellis, district supervisor of school leadership programs. “We have to address how we’re going to identify the talent to work in these specific types of schools.”</p><p>While the right experience is critical, so too are the soft skills that an incoming principal needs to build strong relationships with a school community. To assess that ability, the new superintendent of Prince George’s recently reinstated a community interview as part of the hiring process. Candidates meet with a panel of up to 10 to 12 community members, including teachers, support staff, parents and business partners, to discuss their vision for the school and how to best meet its needs. The top two candidates then sit down individually with the superintendent, who makes the final hiring decision. Blake was nervous about meeting the Rieg community, but says it sent a powerful message that hiring a principal is a collaborative effort. She has emphasized that spirit of collaboration in her work as principal. “I’ve made it very clear that I’m not making decisions alone,” she says. “We as a community are working together to define the mission and core values of our building.”&#160; &#160;<br></p><p> <em>​Photo of Adelaide Blake&#160;(above right)​ by&#160;Colby Ware</em></p>See How Prince George’s County, Md., Taps Its Talent Pool for More Efficient—and Effective—Principal Placement GP0|#43d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168;L0|#043d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168|principal;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipeline;GP0|#66082f89-5c10-436b-95ce-21bca072a830;L0|#066082f89-5c10-436b-95ce-21bca072a830|principal hiring;GP0|#1c167689-5e6e-4161-bab9-e0a90c603d32;L0|#01c167689-5e6e-4161-bab9-e0a90c603d32|school districtGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jennifer Gill83<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/principal-pipeline-series-4-blog-post-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-11-12T05:00:00ZSee How Prince George’s County, Md., Taps Its Talent Pool for More Efficient—and Effective—Principal Placement11/12/2019 6:08:27 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / New Hiring Approach Helps District Make the Right Match Between Principal and School See How Prince George’s County, Md 206https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts5426<p>​​​​​Growing up in a home with domestic violence, Byron Sanders remembers&#160;afterschool programs being&#160;a refuge for him.&#160;In football, track and theater,&#160; the president and CEO of Big Thought in Dallas said, he could be a “happy, effervescent kid.”</p><p>“Afterschool was also my pathway to opportunity,” he told the audience of 150 educators and youth development leaders at an October forum in Chicago hosted by The Wallace Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance. Still, his afterschool experience fell short of its potential, he said, because the social and emotional skills he needed weren’t intentionally taught. That’s still too often the case in afterschool programs, he observed. “How many kids do you know of today,” he asked, “who can access that power, which is what social and emotional learning truly is?”<br></p><p>Social and emotional skills—which can include working productively with a group, managing feelings and resolving conflicts—are increasingly recognized as a key to success in the modern workforce, along with academic learning. A recent <a href="https&#58;//www.nber.org/papers/w21473">study</a> by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that jobs requiring high levels of social interaction made up a growing share of the U.S. labor force, while the percentage of jobs not requiring social skills declined. </p><p>Accordingly, efforts to integrate social and emotional learning (SEL) with academic and out-of-school time have grown exponentially in the past decade. The day-long forum, designed as a pre-conference in advance of the inaugural SEL Exchange hosted by The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), which drew approximately 1,500 participants, aimed to build on that momentum. Youth development leaders, researchers and educators attending the pre-conference event discussed the latest SEL research and two of the field’s biggest challenges—developing the ability of adults to teach SEL skills and communicating the importance of those skills to the uninitiated.</p><p>“Sometimes it's hard to communicate successfully to people who are skeptics, non-believers or just not yet dialed into this channel,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. Here are highlights from a few of the panel discussions. </p><p><strong>The neuroscience of SEL</strong><br> Deborah Moroney, managing director at American Institutes for Research and a leading researcher on social and emotional learning, remarked on how far the field of social and emotional learning in out-of-school time has come. In the 1990s, researchers began to quantify the effect of afterschool programs on young people’s lives, including long-term outcomes such as finding employment and avoiding incarceration, she said. “We didn’t call it ‘social-emotional learning’ at the time, but the studies were there.”<strong></strong></p><p>The catalyst that linked SEL with out-of-school time, Moroney believes, came in 2007 when Roger Weissberg and Joseph Durlak released a pivotal study of existing research, <em><a href="https&#58;//casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PDF-1-the-impact-of-after-school-programs-that-promote-personal-and-social-skills-executive-summary.pdf">The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills.</a></em> “They found that when young people participate in high quality programs defined as—you can say this with me,” she told the audience, “SAFE&#58; sequenced, active, focused and explicit—that they experienced social-emotional growth linked to academic outcomes.” </p><p>Some of the latest SEL research comes from neuroscience. Karen Pittman, president and CEO of Forum for Youth Investment, shared findings from a series of articles by the Science of Learning and Development Project. “What they said wasn’t new,” she noted, “but how they said it was important.”</p><p>Optimal conditions for learning exist, scientists found, in the context of strong relationships, a sense of safety and belonging, rich instruction, individualized supports, and intentional development of essential mindsets, skills and habits, she said. </p><p>The catch is, “we can’t just pick some of these things,” Pittman said. “At the point where we’re not doing all of these things at a threshold of doing good, we actually could be doing harm.”</p><p>For instance, she explained, “we can’t just say, ‘We have to do social-emotional skill-building, let’s bring in a curriculum,’ if we haven’t paid attention to relationships and belonging.”</p><p>But when learning experiences are optimal, she said, “you can actually undo the damage of adversity.&quot;<br></p><p><strong>‘Who you are changes kids’</strong><br> Successfully incorporating SEL skill-building into academics or youth programs depends on having staff competent in using those skills themselves, noted Ron Berger, chief academic officer at EL Education, which provides professional development to a national network of schools. “Who you are is what changes kids—what your staff models.”</p><p>To model strong SEL skills, staff need more than training, Berger said. “There is no way you can build in a couple of days a week of professional learning and assume that’s going to change them. You have to create cultures in schools that are engines for professional growth.”</p><p>That means creating norms for social interaction, such as for dealing with conflict or addressing racial or gender bias, he said. In one school he worked with, the principal inherited a toxic culture. To lay a foundation for new norms, Berger worked with the school on building relationships among adults. “We spent two days as a staff having conversations,” he said. “The whole staff had never been in a circle before. They had always faced the principal. They had never talked about their personal lives, their professional vision. It was hard.”</p><p>BellXcel, a national nonprofit offering afterschool and summer programs, takes a similarly holistic approach to developing SEL skills in adults and kids, said Brenda McLaughlin, chief strategy officer. In addition to professional development, its approach to culture-building includes agreements between staff and students on how to interact with each other and daily “community time” for students to reflect on social and emotional learning. The BellXcel curriculum has language in each lesson for building students’ “growth mindset,” or the belief that their abilities are not fixed but can grow with effort. Cultural norms are continually reinforced, McLaughlin said.</p><p>“Having structures in place over time will change the culture,” she explained. “If you’re not willing to write up your culture and bring it up in staff meetings, people are going to act how they’ve always acted.”<br> </p><p><strong>When ‘grit’ is a dirty word</strong><br> Parents are essential allies in developing children’s SEL skills. Yet the way that practitioners talk about those skills can be confusing to parents, said Bibb Hubbard, president of Learning Heroes, a national nonprofit that provides resources for PTAs, schools, and other organizations to help educate parents.</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//r50gh2ss1ic2mww8s3uvjvq1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/DLS-Report-2018-for-distribution-single-pages.pdf">large-scale national study</a> by Learning Heroes found that while K-8 parents agreed on the importance of some SEL competencies such as respect, confidence and problem-solving, they didn’t give much weight to others, including growth mindset, executive functioning and grit, because they didn’t understand them, said Hubbard. “Many folks in out-of-school settings use ‘grit.’ For parents, it sounds negative, dirty, like a struggle. And parents are not comfortable with their kids struggling. They think, ‘I’m not doing my job if they’re having to struggle.’”</p><p>When communicating about the importance of SEL, Hubbard explained, it’s important to carefully define unfamiliar terms and illustrate them with real-life examples.</p><p>Higher Achievement, a national nonprofit with a year-round academic enrichment program for middle school students, partnered with Learning Heroes to pilot an approach to discussing SEL with parents. Lynsey Wood Jeffries, Higher Achievement CEO, explained that those conversations need to be carefully framed. “Families feel, ‘It’s my responsibility that my child become a good human being,’ so training on social-emotion learning for families can come across awkwardly.”</p><p>To overcome that obstacle, Higher Achievement talks about SEL in the context of a goal the nonprofit shares with parents&#58; preparing students to enter college preparatory high schools, Jeffries explained. “To get into a good high school takes a whole host of social-emotional skills. It takes self-efficacy, to feel, ‘I can get into the school and I’m going to take steps to do it.’ It takes executive function, getting all the materials in on time . . .”</p><p>While OST practitioners need to take care in how they communicate about SEL with families, Hubbard said, the good news is that “parents are eager and interested to learn more. So there’s great opportunity there.”</p><p><em>The Wallace Foundation will release a full report on the </em>SEL + OST = Perfect Together<em> forum early in 2020.</em></p> ​<br>A forum raises considerations for those looking to integrate social and emotional learning into out-of-school settings. GP0|#b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc;L0|#0b30ec468-8df4-44a4-8b93-5bb0225193fc|SEL;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#a494c0bb-aee6-4c93-9e3a-c4141e38023f;L0|#0a494c0bb-aee6-4c93-9e3a-c4141e38023f|afterschool;GP0|#727f837e-da88-41cd-8e2b-519b38340410;L0|#0727f837e-da88-41cd-8e2b-519b38340410|summer learning;GP0|#ca6a81fc-9585-440d-9e1c-e454542f2054;L0|#0ca6a81fc-9585-440d-9e1c-e454542f2054|out-of-school;GP0|#2ac3981b-ce54-4cde-8d55-99605f180498;L0|#02ac3981b-ce54-4cde-8d55-99605f180498|forum;GP0|#f35b93d7-377e-4c22-a904-e791994243a3;L0|#0f35b93d7-377e-4c22-a904-e791994243a3|eventsGP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Elizabeth Duffrin97<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/SEL-OST-CASEL-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-11-06T05:00:00ZYour 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.11/6/2019 3:08:41 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Staff Expertise, Careful Communications to Parents Fuel Successful SEL Efforts A forum raises considerations for those 590https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Leader Standards Let Principals Know What to Strive For4321<p> <em>​​A principal pipeline is an approach to school leader development that can have major benefits for school districts, as indicated in <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> we published recently. Pipelines have four parts—rigorous job standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring, and aligned on-the-job support and evaluation. In an occasional series, we examine each of these components by talking to principals in six urban districts that, with Wallace support, tested the pipeline idea. In previous posts, we found out how <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/effective-school-leaders-learn-how-to-solve-problems.aspx">pre-service training</a> prepared a Georgia principal to improve the graduation rate at his high school, and <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/on-the-job-support-helps-new-principals-build-skills-and-confidence.aspx">how on-the-job support</a> helped a new principal in North Carolina gain the skills he needed to succeed. Today, we explore how job standards shaped the leadership development of a principal in Denver.&#160;</em></p><p>When Pam Kirk became an assistant principal in 2008, she had a meeting with her new boss at Force Elementary School in southwest Denver. Her principal asked which leadership skills Kirk wanted to work on that year. Kirk wasn’t sure how to answer. As a former third grade teacher, she had never held any leadership positions, let alone given thought to what her leader strengths and weaknesses were. “I came straight out of a classroom to being an AP,” she says. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to work on. You tell me.’”</p><p>Fast-forward more than a decade and conversations about goals and professional growth sound very different in Denver Public Schools. In 2012, the district unveiled its School Leadership Framework, a set of job standards that outlines expectations for principals in six leadership realms and identifies indicators that demonstrate competency in each. Today, the framework informs all aspects of the district’s talent management strategy for school leaders, from training to recruitment, from performance evaluation to succession planning. “It anchors everything we do,” says Mikel Royal, director of school leader preparation and development for Denver Public Schools.&#160;</p><p>Leader standards may strike observers as the most mundane of the four pipeline components, but the six pipeline districts found them of singular importance, according to <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship-vol-5-the-principal-pipeline-initiative-in-action.aspx">research about the implementation</a> of the pipeline effort. This is in part because of how the standards guided the development of the other pipeline components and helped the pipeline as a whole cohere. The new standards replaced what the researchers described as “a loose patchwork of language about school leadership that did not communicate what the district really wanted principals to know and do.” Then, the new standards were often themselves revised, as districts observed the standards in use and saw gaps in them or lack of clarity about important matters, or lists that needed trimming to a few absolute essentials. “Living documents in use” is how the researchers characterized the standards. Moreover, developing standards proved to be by far the least expensive of the pipeline components, according to an initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/what-it-takes-to-operate-and-maintain-principal-pipelines-costs-and-other-resources.aspx">cost study</a>. They carried a per-pupil price tag of about 41 cents a year—“remarkably inexpensive” for something so significant, the researchers said.&#160; </p><p>Kirk’s entry into the principal pipeline coincided with the launch of Denver’s standards’ framework. In 2012, she was among the district’s first educators to participate in Learn To Lead, a yearlong residency program in which aspiring principals work alongside veteran leaders in schools. The program is rooted in the framework, with residents identifying two to three indicators as growth goals for the year. The framework was so new that Kirk had to explain it to her mentor principal.&#160;</p><p>After her residency, Kirk applied to the hiring pool for principals, a process also closely aligned to the framework. To gauge her readiness as an instructional leader (standard two), for example, Kirk was asked to watch a video of classroom instruction and describe the feedback she would give to the teacher. To assess her skills as a community builder (standard six), district leaders had her role-play a scenario in which upset parents confronted her.&#160;</p><p>The framework influenced Kirk’s professional growth after she became principal of Asbury Elementary School in south Denver. At a workshop in 2015, she and other school leaders unpacked each standard and reviewed the types of evidence that their supervisors would use to evaluate their performance on a four-point scale&#58; not meeting, approaching, effective and distinguished. That year, principals also set professional goals tied to the framework. Kirk chose to concentrate on creating a more supportive workplace for her staff. “I’m not a warm and fuzzy principal—it’s not a strength of mine,” she says. “The framework makes me focus on it and ensures that I’m bringing those values to my building.”</p><p>In 2017, Denver revised the framework with input from principals to define expectations for all members of a school’s instructional leadership team—principal, assistant principal, deans and teacher leaders. Previously, everyone had been evaluated against the principal standards. In the area of instructional expertise, for example, teacher leaders are expected to develop a team of teachers who deliver “joyful, rigorous instruction,” while the principal is tasked with building and empowering the instructional leadership team to ensure engaging instruction for all students. By showing the competency progression, the framework has become a powerful tool for leaders at all levels to “self-assess their progress and have conversations with their supervisor about their growth,” says Royal.&#160;&#160;<br></p><p>Earlier this year, Kirk used the framework for the first time to evaluate Asbury Elementary’s dean of culture. She was surprised by all the evidence she needed to collect to make an informed assessment. Still, the effort led to a more meaningful conversation with her dean. Rather than a perfunctory review of his evaluation scores, she says, “we focused on the data behind the decision and his next steps moving forward.”&#160;Kirk recently took a step forward in her career too. In September, she became the new principal of Southmoor Elementary School in Denver.<br></p><p><em>​Photo of Pam Kirk by Sam Adams/Adams Visual Communications</em></p>A Denver principal reflects on how district standards influenced her growth and practice GP0|#3ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7;L0|#03ab38f86-968a-4357-8214-f3b9195f9ef7|education;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#43d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168;L0|#043d4f362-cf83-42c8-bb22-1263916f3168|principal;GP0|#3c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe;L0|#03c236eec-afa6-4172-9b42-36a57befc9fe|principal pipeline;GP0|#4e841a93-fb7d-4557-8643-fd17a7967d6f;L0|#04e841a93-fb7d-4557-8643-fd17a7967d6f|DenverGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jennifer Gill83<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/principal-pipeline-series-3-blog-post-lg-feature2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-10-29T04:00:00ZA Denver principal reflects on how district standards influenced her growth and practice11/12/2019 7:08:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Leader Standards Let Principals Know What to Strive For A Denver principal reflects on how district standards influenced 607https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Keeping Current on the State of Knowledge About Principals and APs4600<p>​​​The amount of research on education leadership is staggering. Plug “school leadership” into Google Scholar, a search engine that indexes scholarly literature, for example, and you’ll find more than 90,000 books, studies and reports published on the topic since 2000. Fortunately, a group of prominent education researchers is sifting through the mountain of literature for the benefit of the rest of us.&#160;</p><p>This summer, we announced the commissioning of reports from three research teams that will examine the state of knowledge in critical areas of education leadership. Two of these research syntheses will offer a fresh analysis of topics explored in previous Wallace reports. The first will focus on the impact of leadership on student achievement, providing an update to the landmark <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">How Leadership Influences Student Learning</a></em>, published in 2004 and still one of our most popular publications. The second will examine the characteristics of effective principal preparation programs, revisiting a topic that was first covered in <em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/preparing-school-leaders.aspx">Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World&#58; Lessons from Exemplary Leadership Development Programs</a></em>, published in 2007. The third report will explore the role of the assistant principal, a new area of inquiry that has emerged from our school leadership work over the past 15 years.</p><p>“Having reliable, high-quality reports that identify and analyze key findings across different research sources in a systematic way is very useful both for the field and for us at the foundation,” says Elizabeth Ty Wilde, senior research officer at Wallace. As important, she adds, the teams will also pinpoint areas where research is lacking and that could benefit from future study. </p><p>A number of developments justify taking a fresh look at how school leaders influence student learning, notes Jason Grissom, associate professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University and leader of the team investigating the topic. For one, the research base has exploded since our 2004 report by Kenneth Leithwood, Karen Seashore Louis and other scholars, who reviewed the research literature of the time and found that leadership is second only to instruction among school-related factors contributing to student achievement. The rigor of the research has improved as well. Thanks to the advent of state-level longitudinal data systems, scholars can now track the impact of school leadership on student outcomes over time, an analysis that wasn’t as feasible back in 2000. The job of a school principal has changed too, with a greater focus on instructional improvement, which has opened new avenues of research in recent years.&#160;</p><p>“This project is an opportunity to take stock and look across all the studies to determine the consistent findings regarding the connection between school leadership and student outcomes, and which attributes of leaders are most important to that connection,” says Grissom, who is collaborating with Constance Lindsay of the University of North Carolina and Anna Egalite of North Carolina State University on the synthesis.</p><p>The team examining principal preparation programs is taking a multi-faceted approach to its work. In addition to reviewing the research on pre-service training, the team will study the evolution of state policies on principal preparation and survey principals nationwide about how well their training prepared them for the job. The analysis “will give us a sense of how big of a mountain we have yet to climb” to prepare effective school leaders, says Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and co-principal investigator of research team. Darling-Hammond, who co-authored the 2007 report on principal training, is joined by Tina Trujillo of the University of California, Berkeley, and two colleagues at the Learning Policy Institute, an independent research organization dedicated to improving education policy and practice, co-PI (principal investigator) Marjorie Wechsler and Stephanie Levin.&#160;&#160;</p><p>Spending time as an assistant principal is a common route to the principalship, but how can the experience best prepare aspiring leaders? That’s one of the central questions guiding the analysis by Vanderbilt education professors Ellen Goldring and Mollie Rubin, along with Mariesa Herrmann of Mathematica Policy Research. The team will analyze state and national data as well as existing research to explore the characteristics of assistant principals, their preparation and the support they get on the job, among other topics. They’ll also investigate issues of equity, such as whether assistant principals have equal opportunities to become principals. The team doesn’t expect to find all the answers. “Because the literature on assistant principals is less robust, in terms of rigor and replication, this particular synthesis will help the field begin to think about future areas of research,” says Goldring.</p><p>While each team is working independently, all of the researchers are sharing ideas and advice as they dive deeper into the project. Darling-Hammond and her team, for example, called Grissom to pick his brain about his research on principal preparation programs. Grissom for his part has wandered down the hall to talk with his Vanderbilt colleague Rubin about ways to extract data from qualitative research. “So often, researchers operate in a vacuum,” says Rubin. “It’s been very helpful to talk out loud about the decisions we’re making.” </p><p> Wilde hopes the collaboration continues after the three reports come out next summer. “I jokingly told everyone at our first meeting, ‘At the end of this project, I hope that you can email anyone in this room and they’ll email you back—soon.’”<br></p> <br>Scholars Dig Into Latest Research on Three Crucial Topics in School Leadership GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#33679ba1-54bf-42d7-b365-451b27fe706f;L0|#033679ba1-54bf-42d7-b365-451b27fe706f|assistant principal;GP0|#7986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80;L0|#07986ee98-34d0-4fde-adc1-c9037cafca80|principal preparation;GP0|#cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00;L0|#0cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00|research;GP0|#37e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2;L0|#037e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2|education researchGP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61Jennifer Gill83<img alt="" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/3-ed-leadership-knowledge-syntheses-blog-post-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-10-22T04:00:00ZScholars Dig Into Latest Research on Three Crucial Topics in School Leadership10/22/2019 1:59:13 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Keeping Current on the State of Knowledge About Principals and APs Scholars Dig Into Latest Research on Three Crucial 654https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Insights on How Principals Can Affect Teachers, Students and Schools4322 <p>There’s no doubt that principals are important, but it can be difficult to measure just how their actions affect schools, teachers and students. A new report seeks to&#160;shed&#160;light on that. <br></p><p>The <a href="https&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.3102/0034654319866133">report</a> synthesizes 51 studies and suggests&#160;evidence of the relationship between principals’ behavior and student achievement, teacher well-being, teacher instructional practices and school organizational health. </p><p>“We argue that our findings highlight the critical importance of expanding the knowledge base about strategies principals can take to improve learning in schools, and the value of investing in school leadership capacity,” write the study’s authors, the University of Oregon’s David D. Liebowitz and Lorna Porter.</p><p>Liebowitz and Porter conducted the meta-analysis by examining the empirical literature on five aspects of principals’ jobs—instructional management, internal relations, organizational management, administration and external relations—and the potential effects&#160;on student outcomes, (such as grades and behavior), teacher outcomes (well-being, retention rates and instructional practices) and school outcomes (school organizational health and principal retention). </p><p>While the field has emphasized principals’ roles as instructional leaders, Liebowitz and Porter write that they “find evidence that principal behaviors other than instructional management may be equally important mechanisms to improve student outcomes.”</p><p>The findings suggest that investing in principals may improve learning. A recent study from the RAND Corporation found that in districts with a <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">principal pipeline</a>—a districtwide effort to better prepare, support and evaluate school leaders—schools with new “pipeline” principals outperformed comparison schools in reading and in math.<br></p><p>Wallace continues to work to expand the evidence base on school leadership and recently <a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/wallace-foundation-commissions-reports-to-synthesize-state-of-knowledge-key-aspects-school-leadership-.aspx">commissioned a research synthesis</a> on how leadership affects student learning. The report will build on a 2004 <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">landmark study</a> finding that school leadership is second only to teaching among school-related influences on student success.</p><p>Learn more about school leadership in Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">Knowledge Center</a>.<br></p>New report seeks to clarify role of school leaders and highlight the value of investing in leadership capacity GP0|#3fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607;L0|#03fabc3e0-eead-49a5-9e92-99d8217d8607|principals;GTSet|#e1be52fb-ad26-4379-9818-fd44f616dcf2;GP0|#dba88d6d-4db4-4fa6-bb26-aa3acd0b3efa;L0|#0dba88d6d-4db4-4fa6-bb26-aa3acd0b3efa|school improvement;GP0|#947ca5a5-4e3e-4f35-a6cb-46c302abd4f2;L0|#0947ca5a5-4e3e-4f35-a6cb-46c302abd4f2|leadership;GP0|#cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00;L0|#0cad33471-a186-455a-836f-0d0657808f00|research;GP0|#37e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2;L0|#037e72e97-63c0-4a59-a307-c9cd87ec9ef2|education 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/School-Leadership-Report-lg-feature.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />2019-10-16T04:00:00ZYour 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.10/16/2019 3:39:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Insights on How Principals Can Affect Teachers, Students and Schools New report seeks to clarify role of school leaders and 542https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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