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The Long and Winding Road to Better Principal Preparation4280GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<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>Wallace editorial team792019-08-20T04:00:00ZNew 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 30https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support3431GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Given the important role principals play in school success, how can districts promote their effectiveness, especially in improving teaching? A new article in ASCD’s <em>Educational Leadership</em> magazine details how district-led efforts to increase on-the-job supports like mentoring and coaching are helping principals become better leaders.</p><p>The article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">“Lean on Me,”</a> is part of an issue devoted to <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/toc.aspx">“The Power of Instructional Leadership”</a> in ASCD’s flagship publication, which reaches a global audience of educators dedicated to achieving excellence in learning, teaching and leading. <br> </p>On-the-job support for principals has <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/support-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">traditionally been a low priority</a>, but districts are increasingly viewing supports like mentorship as critical to promoting instructional leadership, the article notes. In 2011, six large districts committed themselves to improving on-the-job support for principals as part of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative , and in 2014, Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative &#160;to support district-led efforts to focus the supervisor role more heavily on improving instruction. “Lean on Me” takes a closer look at how these efforts are playing out in both the pipeline initiative and supervisor effort districts.<div><br></div><div>To read the full article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">click here</a>.</div><div><br></div><div><em>Above photo&#58; Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, one of the principals featured in the story. Photo by Claire Holt.</em><br><br></div>Wallace editorial team792019-03-13T04:00:00ZYour 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.3/12/2019 7:31:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support A new article in Educational Leadership looks at district-led 289https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Leading for Equity Can Look Like3330GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​My question hung in the air at a conference for rural school and district leaders&#58; How many of you have heard common misconceptions about equity-related issues for students, like chronic absenteeism and access to diverse teachers? Slowly a principal raised his hand and shared that he, as a school leader, until recently believed that at-risk families (those living below the poverty line and/or facing significant financial or emotional hardships) value school less and therefore do not believe in the importance of regular attendance. I found his honesty remarkable, and it spurred a conversation about the importance of shifting to what’s been identified as an “equity mindset”—where we value the life experiences of all students and their families by identifying and removing misconceptions and barriers so we can provide differentiated supports and services to those most at-risk. </p><p>Shifting to an equity mindset on attendance, to use this example, means that we assume all of our families equally value the importance of their children’s education. Rather than accept the status quo, we therefore focus on understanding what might get in the way of their children’s attendance, and try to remove those barriers. And when we succeed, we can dramatically accelerate the trajectory of a student’s pathway towards postsecondary opportunities. For example, when low income elementary students attend school regularly, they can see outsized literacy gains, eight percent more growth in kindergarten and seven percent more growth in first grade than their higher income peers (Ready, 2010). By the time they hit sixth grade, students attending more than 90 percent of the time have significantly greater chances of graduating on time (Balfanz, Herzog, &amp; Maclver, 2007). The key is helping to make sure students at risk attend – something that begins with an equity mindset. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">In the struggle to create great schools for all students, equity often rides at the back of the bus. The Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook provides a powerful framework to change that dynamic. It is an especially thoughtful and actionable tool to bring equity to center stage in classrooms and schools. <br><em>—Dr. Joseph F. Murphy, Associate Dean, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University </em></p><p>Evidence-based equity shifts of this sort are part of the <a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/reports/Tennessee-Leaders-for-Equity-Playbook.pdf" target="_blank"> <em>Tennessee Leaders for E​quity Playbook</em></a>, a publication developed by the Tennessee ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) team as part of its participation in a collaborative effort of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Urban League and The Wallace Foundation, funded by Wallace. The initiative brings together teams from 10 participating states—each working on its own state’s priorities for and approaches to building the capacity of principals and other school leaders to support schools and students most in need of improvement—to help them develop their plans and to learn from each other’s work. Our playbook in Tennessee was developed by a statewide team of school, district, community, higher education and state leaders, with substantial feedback received from a comprehensive set of stakeholder groups. It features seven equity commitments, all selected for their strong research base that correlates with improved student outcomes, and corresponding actions for school, district, school board and community leaders&#58; </p><ul><li>Decrease chronic absenteeism</li><li>Reduce disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates</li><li>Increase early postsecondary opportunities</li><li>Provide equitable access to effective teachers</li><li>Recruit and retain a diverse teaching force</li><li>Embed cultural competence in school practices</li><li>Partner with community allies </li></ul><p>The use of the word <em>commitments</em> is intentional to signal the importance of taking deliberate and specific action to advance equity. Other sections of the playbook include an action plan framework to assist leaders in the selection, implementation and monitoring of the most relevant equity commitments for their community; an “equity shifts continuum” describing the common misconceptions that must be examined and discussed for each equity commitment before moving to an equity mindset; and a list of key terms defined, including “equity” and a “leader for equity.” </p><p>My interaction with the rural principals demonstrates the importance of viewing equity through two lenses&#58;<strong> improving outcomes for all students is not an exclusively urban problem </strong>and <strong>equity needs to be embedded into the DNA of school and district policies and practices</strong> if we want to successfully move our collective thinking about equity from an <em>initiative</em> to a necessary and enduring <em>systematic approach</em> for reaching every student. This shift requires us as leaders to grapple with the powerful notion that student outcomes will not improve until adult learning and behaviors change. </p><p>Since the release of the Playbook in the spring of 2018, I have been fortunate to see both rural and urban districts in Tennessee use it as a training and support tool to help shift adult learning and behaviors towards equity. For example, Bobby Cox, superintendent of rural Warren County, uses it as part of a comprehensive district approach for training all employees, from district leaders and principals to cafeteria workers and bus drivers on the importance of learning strategies—such as providing meditation and counseling for disciplinary infractions rather than relying exclusively on out-of-school suspensions. This approach helps increase the social and emotional well-being of students. And it’s paying big dividends so far with significant increases in student attendance; the chronic absenteeism rate is 3 percent this year compared with 14 percent last year, with decreases in out-of-school suspensions. </p><p>I am convinced the equity shifts and commitments we’ve articulated in the <em>Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</em> can play a role in accelerating the urgency and summoning the collective courage we need to make educational equity no longer a dream deferred in our state. We hope it can help provide a guide for others across the country, as well. &#160;<br></p><p>Paul Fleming is the Assistant Commissioner for the Teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education. See his full bio <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Paul-Fleming.aspx">here​</a>. ​​ <br> </p><p> <em>Lead photo&#58; Principal James Nebel of Sweetwater Middle School; Gwinnett County, Georgia</em></p>Paul Fleming942019-02-12T05:00:00ZStatewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and districts in Tennessee better support all students.4/19/2019 6:48:28 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Leading for Equity Can Look Like Statewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and 2841https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals16118GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The top concerns of elementary and middle school principals have shifted dramatically in the past 10 years, according to a new survey, with nearly three quarters of those polled saying they are worried about an increase in the number of students with emotional problems. The top issues that survey respondents noted in 2008—student assessment, instructional practices and providing a continuum of services to students at risk—didn’t rank among their top concerns in the new <a href="https&#58;//www.naesp.org/pre-k-8-school-leader-2018-10-year-study">study</a> by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. </p><p>The association has surveyed pre-K-8 school principals every 10 years since 1928. The study gauges the characteristics, concerns and conditions of elementary and middle school principals, and it tracks how these change over time. The 2018 survey, which was not nationally representative, received responses from almost 900 elementary and middle school principals.</p><p>This year’s survey marked the first time that students’ mental and emotional issues topped principals’ concerns. Those surveyed selected an “increase in the number of students with emotional problems” (74 percent), “student mental health issues” (66 percent) and “students not performing to their level of potential” (62 percent) as issues of “extreme or high” concern in their schools.</p><p>“While these findings are significant because they quantify the concerns of principals nationwide, they are somewhat foreseeable given the uptick in predictors like an increase in poverty and a need for mental health supports,” said Earl Franks, the association’s executive director. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">&#160;42% of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38% reported a moderate increase. </p><p>When asked what concerned them about their students, principals cited poverty, behavior management, lack of effective adult supervision at home, safety and security, bullying over social media, homelessness and absenteeism, among other issues. </p><p>Addressing the socioemotional needs of students ranked as one of the top five matters the principals reported spending time on. Asked about areas in which their level of involvement has changed in recent years, 42 percent of the survey respondents reported a large increase in involvement with “student mental health issues” and 38 percent reported a moderate increase. “Student socioemotional well-being” ranked fourth on the list of matters with which the principals said they are increasingly involved. &#160;</p><p>Franks described principals’ roles as supporting teachers’ efforts in the classroom, cultivating leadership and “shaping a vision” for school cultures that make student well-being, including social and emotional health, a priority.</p><p>“Addressing the social and emotional needs of students isn’t necessarily a new responsibility for principals,” Franks explained, but the increasing interest in incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools “has provided a language and a construct to help principals think about how they can marshal and leverage resources and support for teachers and students.”</p><p>To do this, principals need more support in the form of training and guidance, Franks said. Franks suggested that their professional development needs to shift to address the growing need for social and emotional learning. “This type of learning should not feel like an add-on,” he said.&#160; </p><p>Wallace recognizes the importance of SEL and has invested in research that provides credible and useful knowledge on the topic. This includes an edition of the journal <a href="/how-we-work/our-work/pages/social-emotional-learning.aspx"><em>The Future of Children</em></a>&#160;on SEL and <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx"><em>Navigating SEL from the Inside Out&#58; Looking Inside &amp; Across 25 Leading SEL Programs&#58; A Practical Resource for Schools and OST Providers.</em></a></p><p>You can learn more about our ongoing <a href="/knowledge-center/social-and-emotional-learning/pages/default.aspx">social and emotional learning initiative</a> on our website. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-08-07T04:00:00ZNew study shows principals’ increasing attention to social and emotional development and other student issues8/7/2018 1:59:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals The top concerns of elementary and middle 3219https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making the Most of the Principal Supervisor Role16107GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> I<em>n many urban school districts, principal supervisors have a daunting task. Overseeing an average of 24 principals, they are also accountable for numerous administrative and other responsibilities, from monitoring supplies to ensuring government forms get completed on time. This makes concentrating on school leaders and their needs close to impossible. Wallace’s Principal Supervisor Initiative is seeking to see if that picture can be changed. It is funding a four-year effort in six districts that are working to reshape the supervisor job so it can focus on supporting principals to be as effective as they can be, especially in guiding schools to high-quality instruction. </em></p><p> <em><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Ellen_Goldring.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-the-Most-of-the-Principal-Supervisor-Role/Ellen_Goldring.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;208px;" />Recently, Wallace published </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx">A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors</a>, <em>the first report in a study looking at the effort, and it showed some promising findings, concluding that over the first three years of the initiative the six districts were able to make substantial progress in giving the supervisor job a makeover. </em></p><p> <em>We caught up with the researcher leading the study, </em> <a href="https&#58;//peabody.vanderbilt.edu/bio/ellen-goldring"> <em>Ellen Goldring</em></a><em>, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor and Chair in the department of leadership, policy and organizations at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, to see if she could tell us more. </em></p><p> <strong>What was the problem that districts in this initiative were seeking to address? </strong> <br> School districts continually strive to support and develop their principals and improve their effectiveness. Most often, this occurs through professional development.&#160;But, most urban districts have a central office structure that includes principal supervisors.&#160;Typically, supervisors focus on administration and bureaucratic compliance. The initiative has a straightforward question&#58; Can districts transform the role of principal supervisors from compliance officers to coaches and developers of principals?&#160;What does it take to make this change? And, does this change&#160;help develop effective principals?&#160;This report addresses the first two questions. <strong> </strong></p><p> <strong>Do we&#160;have a sense—understanding it's early—about the benefits and challenges of the changes the districts were tackling?</strong><br> We have learned a great deal about the&#160;changes districts have made to support the new role, and what the new role entails. </p><p>The daily work of supervisors has changed. The clear benefits include supervisors spending time in schools and working with networks of principals on instructional leadership.&#160;Supervisors engage&#160;in walkthroughs, coaching and providing more ongoing feedback to principals;&#160;they have a deep sense of the context of each principal’s school and develop closer relationships. Supervisors are able to evaluate principals based on their ongoing, firsthand knowledge and understanding of each principal.&#160;Principals report productive relations with their supervisors. </p><p>The change in the role occurred as a result of revising job descriptions and reducing the span of control—the number of principals each&#160;supervisor works with—to about 12, on average.&#160; For the first time supervisors received dedicated, unique training to develop the skills needed to be effective in their roles. This training often involved shared visits to schools where supervisors observed each other&#160;coaching and providing feedback to principals. Supervisors worked together to develop a shared set of practices and common approaches. </p><p>To support this new role, other central office roles and responsibilities needed to shift, and some departments were reorganized.&#160;Work previously handled by supervisors needed to be reallocated; as a result communication patterns had to change. Investing other central office departments in the change is a challenge and an ongoing process.&#160; </p><p>Other challenges include continuing to clarify the new role and to balance expectations; deepening and further developing&#160;consistent and effective practices for supervisors;&#160;and differentiating supports for principals.&#160;There are resource implications as well. </p><p> <strong>What are districts learning about making decisions on what supervisors to assign to what schools?</strong><br> First,&#160;they learned that this is a really important decision.&#160;Most districts consider a combination of school level, geography and feeder patterns.&#160;Others take into account performance levels, principal experience and school themes. The decision helps the districts think strategically about principal networks and learning communities as tools for support, sharing and development.&#160;The decision also helps districts think through matching supervisors’ skills, experiences and expertise to schools strategically. Districts learned that they also need to think about not only the average span of control, but balancing the span of control for each supervisor with the unique needs of each school. </p><p> <strong>How are the districts understanding the concept of &quot;instructional leadership&quot;—and what role do principal supervisors play in supporting it?</strong><br> Districts understand instructional leadership entails a deep understanding of the conception or framework of high-quality and rigorous instruction used in the district,&#160;and then what principals do to&#160;support and propel teachers in their instructional quality.&#160;Instructional leadership also entails developing the school culture and community for academic and social learning. &#160;&#160;</p><p>The link between the district’s instructional quality framework and instructional leadership is central. Some districts are further along in articulating this link than others.&#160;Principal supervisors work with principals on instructional leadership by coaching them&#160;through analyzing data, providing feedback to teachers, observing classrooms together, and creating principal learning communities, to name a few of their core activities. </p><p> <strong>What should districts contemplating revising this role think about?</strong><br> They should know that changing the role of the principal supervisor is a district-wide effort with multiple components, and requires communication and coordination throughout the district; it is not “simply” a role redesign.&#160; In fact, all the districts realized early on that making changes to the work of the central office would be necessary to facilitate the change to the supervisor role. &#160;</p><p>As in every large-scale change effort, the leadership of the district should be clear about how this change contributes to the overall strategic goals of the district.&#160; Buy-in from core constituencies is key, especially because there are resource implications in terms of reducing the span of control, and the whole district will be involved.</p><p>Lastly, I would say that simply reducing the span of control will not lead to role change. Paramount are a clear vision and expectations for the role, a delineation of instructional leadership expectations for principals and a strategy for supervisor training and support. </p><p> <strong>What surprised you in your research to date?</strong><br> I was surprised by the depth of understanding and excitement about the need to change the principal supervisor role. </p><p>I think this is a very powerful example of district reform that rallied around a specific focus&#58; changing the principal supervisor’s role.&#160;It is a very hopeful story—one that suggests when change initiatives have clarity, alignment and focus, districts make important changes. </p><p>I was surprised about the extent to which the role before the initiative really was a catch-all for everything and anything schools needed, and it was very idiosyncratic within the same district.&#160;We saw how important it is to develop shared understanding and specific skills of supervision, such as implementing specific coaching models, or using protocols for walkthroughs. Developing a collaborative, professional culture amongst supervisors helped them in turn work with principals in professional learning communities. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-07-16T04:00:00ZCo-Author of Study Discusses ‘Very Hopeful Story’ of How Districts Are Changing7/16/2018 3:27:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making the Most of the Principal Supervisor Role Co-Author of Study Discusses ‘Very Hopeful Story’ of How Districts Are 1677https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School Leadership10325GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p><strong>“</strong><strong>Data are sexy. </strong>You might not think so, but I do.” &#160;</p><p>So begins a “My View” <a href="http&#58;//my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2018/Jun18/colPelzer.aspx" target="_blank">column in the current issue of <em>School Administrator</em> magazine</a> by Nicholas Pelzer, data cheerleader and senior program officer in Wallace’s education leadership unit. What’s the source of Pelzer’s enthusiasm for all things data? He extols the power of information “to aid school districts with one of their most daunting tasks&#58; ensuring an effective principal leads every school.” </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Nick_Pix-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Data-Systems-Foster-Effective-School-Leadership/Nick_Pix-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;317px;" />Pelzer works with a number of Wallace-supported districts that have developed data systems to, in his words, “strategically manage the flow of talent into the principalship.” He goes on to describe how these systems have assisted with tasks as various as projecting principal vacancies and analyzing school performance trends. They have proved especially valuable in assisting with hiring principals and making suitable matches between them and the schools they oversee, Pelzer says. He also discusses what it takes to set up the systems. &#160;</p><p>If you want to find out more about data systems to foster effective school leadership, check out this report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx"><em>Leader Tracking Systems&#58; Turning Data Into Information for School Leadership</em></a>, and this Wallace Story From the Field, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/chock-full-of-data-how-school-districts-are-building-leader-tracking-systems-to-support-principal-pipelines.aspx"><em>Chock Full of Data&#58; How School Districts Are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Principal Pipelines</em></a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-07-02T04:00:00ZWallace’s Nicholas Pelzer Describes the Value of Data for Cultivating Talent7/2/2018 2:15:42 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How Data Systems Can Help Foster Effective School Leadership Wallace’s Nicholas Pelzer Describes the Value of Data for 496https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
States Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs School10227GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 opened up new possibilities for federal support of state and local efforts to make the most of the principalship. That’s because the law, a major source of funding for public school education, stressed the importance of school leadership in ways that its predecessors had not. </p><p>This emphasis may be beginning to yield results. Earlier this year, New Leaders, a school leadership research and development organization, reported that each of the 50 states “has committed to directing some portion of its federal funding” to leadership—from teacher leaders to principals and superintendents. The organization’s <a href="http&#58;//newleaders.org/press/new-leaders-releases-policy-brief-state-essa-plans/" target="_blank">policy brief </a>&#160;also found that 41 states had acknowledged leadership in their plans to improve high-need schools.</p><p>Here at Wallace, we are also seeing much activity.</p><p>Two years ago, the foundation helped organize and began funding a joint effort by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools and the National Urban League to bring together a group of states eager to use ESSA to fund evidence-based approaches to strengthening school leadership. The ESSA Leadership Learning Community, as it is named, involves teams from 10 states in on-going discussions both locally and nationally—developing strategies and implementation plans for using education leadership to help drive school improvement, especially for turning around the highest-needs schools. The teams all have representatives from the state, large districts and communities and typically include state education agency officials, school district leaders and leaders from local Urban League affiliates.&#160;Every team also engages additional members as appropriate for its local context.</p><p>Each of the states—Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin—is seeking to use leadership in a way that makes sense for its own needs and circumstances. But all 10 are focusing on evidenced-based approaches to using leadership as vehicle for improving outcomes for disadvantaged students<strong>.&#160; </strong></p><p>Each state team meets regularly to advance its goals. The 10 teams also gather as a whole several times a year for national meetings where they exchange ideas and learn from invited experts.</p><p>One&#160;example of the initial work&#160;is the <a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/reports/Tennessee-Leaders-for-Equity-Playbook.pdf" target="_blank">Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</a>, published in April. The report’s crux is this&#58; Highly trained school leaders play key roles in achieving equity and need to be supported by district leadership, school boards and community allies.</p><p>Earlier, a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/state-efforts-to-strengthen-school-leadership.aspx">survey of representatives from 25 states</a>&#160;taking part in a school leadership effort offered by the Council of Chief State School Officers found that 71 percent were making leadership a priority, while only 21 percent said they had made past progress on it; fully 91 percent consider incorporation of principal-focused work into ESSA school improvement plans a priority.</p><p>Wallace has a number of resources about ESSA and school leadership, including a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx?_ga=2.88652187.1851745045.1530024383-1057583374.1513009179">RAND Corp. study identifying leadership activities</a> that meet the law’s evidence requirements and a 2017 <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principals-and-other-school-leaders-the-evidence-base-for-their-critical-role-in-essa-june-26-2017.aspx">slide deck on the evidence base for school leadership</a> presented to the U.S. Department of Education. Also, the Council of Chief State School Officers has <a href="http&#58;//www.ccsso.org/resource-library/elevating-school-leadership-essa-plans-guide-states" target="_blank">an online guide for states</a> in using ESSA to promote school leadership. </p> Wallace editorial team792018-06-28T04:00:00ZStates Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs Schools6/29/2018 12:59:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / States Pursue Federal Support for School Leadership to Help Turn Around High-Needs School The passage of the Every Student 402https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How to Build Strong Principal Pipelines16099GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>“The right culture is paramount for improvement,” says Doug Anthony, associate superintendent of Prince George’s County (Md.) Public Schools, explaining the evolution of the district’s ongoing school-leadership development efforts. </p><p>Anthony joined his colleague Damaries Blondonville, the district’s senior project manager, and Wallace’s Jody Spiro, director of education leadership, to discuss their work building a principal pipeline and field questions in recent webinar hosted by ASCD, an organization that supports educators in learning, teaching and leading. Topics discussed included&#58; </p><ul><li>Building effective university partnerships,<br> <br> </li><li>Refining leadership standards, and<br> <br> </li><li>Created ongoing professional development.<br><br></li></ul><p>&#160;You can listen to the full recorded webinar <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinars/building-a-stronger-principalship-webinar.aspx" target="_blank">here</a> on ASCD’s website. </p><p>For an in-depth breakdown of the components necessary to build effective principal pipelines, don’t miss our six-episode series, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipeline.aspx">The Principal Pipeline Podcast</a>. The <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/shoring-up-two-critical-roles-assistant-principals-and-principal-supervisors.aspx">final episode</a> brings a sharper lens to Prince George’s County’s work on two other critical roles&#58; assistant principals and principal supervisors. </p> Wallace editorial team792018-06-20T04:00:00ZWebinar highlights steps districts take to develop effective school leaders6/22/2018 5:55:23 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How to Build Strong Principal Pipelines Webinar highlights steps districts take to develop effective school leaders 366https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Districts Use Data to Help Boost School Leadership10327GP0|#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/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/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 team792018-04-26T04:00:00ZYour 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.5/30/2018 5:56:09 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 469https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online Airtime16109GP0|#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 Principals5/17/2018 5:40:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Principal Pipeline Gets Some Online Airtime Chatting About Training, Mentoring and Recognizing the Importance of Principals 191https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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