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Making Principal Preparation a Team Sport15445GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>Educational leader, culture-setter, community liaison…The role of the principal has become more demanding in the twenty-first century, and principal preparation programs haven’t always been able to keep up. Part of the problem is that it’s rare for university-based programs to work closely with the school districts that hire their graduates. Starting in 2016, seven universities set out to change that as part of the Wallace-funded University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). After year one of the four-year effort, the universities succeeded in forging strong partnerships with districts and other key players—the first step in overhauling their programs and sending out better-prepared principals.</p><p>How they did it is the subject of a new report by the RAND Corporation titled <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx?_ga=2.209301970.1951641179.1542038823-1057583374.1513009179"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs&#58; Partners Collaborate for Change</em></a>. We spoke with Elaine Wang, one of the report’s authors, about the challenges and benefits of the collaborative approach.* &#160;</p><p><strong><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Wang-photo.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-Principal-Preparation-a-Team-Sport/Wang-photo.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;167px;" />What is the problem that the University Principal&#160;Preparation&#160;Initiative is seeking to help solve?</strong></p><p>School district leaders around the country express concern about the quality of candidates applying for principalships. They’re just not ready to step into this important role. This is due in part to shifting (and many would argue increasing) expectations for school leaders.&#160;The job of a principal includes establishing a positive school culture, providing instructional leadership, hiring and supporting teachers, managing a budget, ensuring compliance with federal, state and local requirements, developing community partnerships, and the list goes on.&#160;Some principal preparation programs have struggled to keep up with the changing expectations and diverse needs of the schools served by their graduates. </p><p><strong>Why was it important for the seven participating universities to establish strong working relationships with the school districts that hire their graduates?</strong></p><p>UPPI refocuses principal preparation programs so they think of districts, rather than aspiring principals, as their “customers.” District leaders—superintendents, assistant superintendents, talent office directors—understand the skills their principals need to have and the situations they will likely face. By drawing on this knowledge, preparation programs can identify areas for improvement, so they can prepare more effective principals. When the program and district establish a strong working relationship, together they can ensure, for example, that candidates have strong mentor principals or that course instructors have relevant, practical expertise. We’re also beginning to see in some UPPI districts that the collaboration between universities and districts on principal preparation can grow into other mutually beneficial areas, such as preparing teachers to step into leadership positions and providing support after program graduates enter leadership positions.</p><p><strong>How did the universities and school districts go about forming and cementing their partnerships?</strong><br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;<br> The universities looked first to engage districts with which they already had a relationship. In some cases, this was a formal relationship—for example to support a district-specific cohort within the larger principal preparation program.&#160;In other cases, there were informal relationships because the preparation programs hired district officials as adjunct faculty or districts frequently hired program graduates. Some universities and districts established connections where there were none before. <br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;<br> There were several early activities that helped them build and deepen their partnerships. First, they worked to articulate and agree on what candidates graduating from the program should know and be able to do. For some teams, this was a very intensive process. Having a common objective helped them understand and work with each other even when there was disagreement. Next, they reflected on and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the existing program. Finally, they each developed a logic model to help guide change. This process allowed all voices to be heard, rallied everyone around the same goals, and secured a commitment on everyone’s part to help to reach those goals.</p><p><strong>What is the biggest challenge the universities and their partners have faced in redesigning the programming, and how are they tackling it?</strong></p><p>Universities and their partners are grappling with how to craft a set of coherent experiences that prepare candidates for an inherently complex job in a wide range of school settings. It’s an ambitious undertaking. For example, the teams used a research-based tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing programs and identify areas for improvement. They also worked together to develop learning experiences outside of traditional classroom instruction, such as modules linked to field-based experiences and milestone assessments that span multiple courses.</p><p>Several UPPI teams were confronted with turnover among the staff working on the initiative, as well as key supporters like university presidents, provosts, deans, and school district superintendents. Some teams prepared for this inevitable turnover by cross-training their staff, so that someone was always prepared to step in when a team member was unavailable. Some relied on strong documentation, to help onboard new team members and organization leaders. In all cases, the university-based project lead took time to brief new team members in order to smooth out the transition.</p><p><strong>What has surprised you in your research to date?</strong></p><p>One thing that has surprised us also surprised many of the universities and their partners&#58; how much they were able to learn from each other. Because they listened to district leaders, university leaders began to understand that principals—including their own graduates—needed more explicit guidance and practice in areas such as communication and cultural responsiveness. District leaders found that being authentically involved in shaping the principal program caused them to rethink their expectations for their school leaders. We heard repeatedly from district, university and state leaders that working closely with their partners has prompted them to fundamentally retool how principals are developed and supported. The UPPI programs are sharing their experiences, strategies—and in some cases revised syllabi and program materials—with programs across their state and beyond.</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> Wallace editorial team792018-11-20T05:00:00ZRAND’s Elaine Wang on how seven universities are learning to think of school districts as collaborators and “customers”11/20/2018 2:56:05 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making Principal Preparation a Team Sport RAND’s Elaine Wang on how seven universities are learning to think of school 208https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job Easier13730GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Schools were created for learning—from young kids mastering their ABCs to high-school students developing career skills and everything in between. A new <em>Education Week</em> series shows just how much principals are learning too.</p><p>In the recent special report <a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/ew/collections/principal-solutions/index.html?cmp=soc-edit-tw">“Principals Under Pressure,”</a> school leaders spoke candidly about the most challenging parts of the job—which <em>Education Week </em>argues is the most demanding and complex in the K-12 system&#58; “Six issues came up, over and over,” the series cites, “Safety, student mental health, dealing with toxic employees, handling the complex needs of special education students and their families, holding on to the best teachers, and time management and work-life balance.” </p><p>Over the years we’ve learned the extent to which <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.pdf">high-quality principals are vital to the effectiveness of schools</a>. But <em>Education Week’s </em>articles underscore just how challenging the principalship can be, and point to a need for better preparation and support to help principals face the real-world demands of the job. </p><p>According to a 2016 survey, many district and university leaders <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">agree</a> that most university-based preparation programs have not adequately prepared principals for today’s challenges. To test how these training grounds can change to better prepare future leaders, we launched the four-year University Principal Preparation Initiative in 2016. Seven universities are seeking to redesign their programs to reflect the research on what constitutes high-quality principal training. A key aspect of the redesign is immersing principal candidates in school life. The participating universities are boosting internships and field experience to offer genuine leadership experience, and they’re closely tying these real-world experiences to what’s taught in courses.</p><p>Importantly, the universities are doing this work through partnerships. Partnerships between principal training programs and school districts are rare, but they can help training programs respond to district needs and are <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">essential</a> to high-quality instruction. Each university training program in the initiative has partnered with at least three school districts that hire its graduates, a state education office and a mentor university training program. </p><p>At the outset of the initiative, the universities worked with their partners to agree upon expectations for their graduates. They examined their current programs to identify strengths and weaknesses, and then they mapped their goals and strategies. Curriculum changes vary by the university but include an emphasis on special education and instruction in building school culture—two issues closely related to the top challenges identified by <em>Education Week</em>. RAND Corporation recently released its first of three reports on the initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs</em></a>, which looks at the initiative’s implementation and suggests that this type of redesign process is doable. </p><p>University programs are just one piece of the pipeline to help principals lead effectively. Since 2011, our <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship-Vol-5-The-Principal-Pipeline-Initiative-in-Action.pdf">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a> has been testing whether district-managed principal pipelines can produce large corps of principals who can improve teaching, learning and student achievement in schools. We’ve been working with six large, urban school districts across the country to help them develop strong principal pipelines by improving principal training, hiring and on-the-job support and evaluation. Independent studies have found that building principal pipelines is feasible and affordable, and forthcoming reports will offer more about the impact on student achievement and school improvement.</p><p>We’ve also been working to improve the support principals receive while on the job through our Principal Supervisor Initiative. As part of this work, six districts are shifting the principal supervisor role from a focus on operation and compliance to a focus on developing principals to be effective instructional leaders. Thus far, the districts have reported that <a name="_Hlk529184236">principals were able to develop more productive relationships with their supervisors and a </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx">study of their efforts</a> demonstrates the feasibility of making substantial changes to the principal supervisor role.</p><p>Clearly, principals have a tough job—and the role is changing rapidly to meet increasing the demands on school leaders. Better preparation and support can help school principals navigate the challenges they face every day and ensure that they are continuously honing their own skills too. &#160;</p> Wallace editorial team792018-11-13T05:00:00ZEducation Week series on principals underscores the need for training that reflects the real-world demands of the job11/13/2018 2:59:23 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job Easier A new Education Week series shows just how 134https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Congressional Briefing Addresses the Vital (and expanding) Role of School Leaders10295GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#8cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba;L0|#08cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba|Effective Principal Leadership;GPP|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;GP0|#0cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a;L0|#00cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a|ESSA;GP0|#184b3b02-1dae-4ee1-9ac9-9704ebd0b823;L0|#0184b3b02-1dae-4ee1-9ac9-9704ebd0b823|State and Federal Policy<p>​​​​​Encompassing, evolving, critical—that’s how principals described their roles during a recent congressional briefing to highlight <a href="https&#58;//www.principalsmonth.org/event/national-principals-month-capitol-hill-briefing/">National Principals Month</a>. National education leaders and congressional staff had convened on Capitol Hill to discuss federal support for principals, focusing on funding opportunities for school leadership in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). </p><p>“We know a lot from evidence and experience about the vital role of principals and other school leaders in terms of getting the opportunity, the systems, the outcomes we need,” said Tiara Booker-Dwyer, executive director of leadership development and school improvement for the Maryland State Department of Education. Next to classroom instruction, principals are the second most important factor that impacts student learning, she added, alluding to a landmark Wallace-funded <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">examination of school leadership</a>.</p><p>In describing the importance of principals’ work, panelists detailed an overwhelming list of job duties&#58; managing operations and finance, engaging parents, implementing policies, evaluating instruction, overseeing student behavior, encouraging students’ social and emotional health, supporting their staff and fostering a positive school climate. This prompted moderator Scott Palmer, managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel, to suggest, “Maybe if Congress could find a way to stop time, that would be really helpful.”</p><p>While Congress doesn’t have the power to stop time, panelists were unequivocal in urging Congress to support principals in another way&#58; funding support for&#160;school leadership. Palmer pointed to increasing attention paid to school leadership at the federal level, including through <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/School-Leadership-Interventions-ESSA-Evidence-Review.pdf">ESSA</a>, which expands the opportunities for states and districts to use federal funding for school leadership improvement. Title II, Part A of ESSA allocates about $2.3 billion per year to improve the quality of principals, teachers and other school leaders. States may reserve up to an additional 3 percent of the amount set aside for district subgrants for school leader support. </p><p>“It’s important that you understand the critical role of principals and other school leaders and that funding for Title II—full funding, more funding—is essential to the work we do each and every day,” said Christine Handy, president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and principal of Gaithersburg High School in Maryland. </p><p>Panelists identified principal supervisors as an important driver of improved leadership. Laura Mastrogiovanni, principal of M.S. 137 in Queens, said her leadership skills “came through my support, through having a mentor, a coach, a consultant. I’ve had all three at one point in my 13 years [as a principal].” </p><p>Eric Cardwell, president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and principal of Besser Elementary School in Alpena, Mich., noted that 56 percent of NAESP’s members have zero to five years of experience. “What that’s telling me is that people get in, they might get overwhelmed, and they get out—either back into teaching or into another job,” he said. “What we need to do a better job with is that mentorship, that collaboration, that time for those folks to ask the questions that they have and not just turn the keys over.”</p><p>After the panelists answered questions from teachers, principals and congressional staff, Palmer asked panelists what point they thought was most important to end on. Cardwell said, “I would encourage you to go into schools and ask principals what Title II means to them. It is everything.”</p><p>You can watch a<a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6CKK3IKqJk"> video</a> of the full Capitol Hill briefing hosted by NAESP, NASSP and the American Federation of School Administrators, check the full calendar of events for <a href="https&#58;//www.principalsmonth.org/event/national-principals-month-capitol-hill-briefing/">National Principals Month</a>, follow the conversation on Twitter with #ThankAPrincipal and learn more at the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">School Leadership</a> section of our Knowledge Center.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-10-15T04:00:00ZNational education leaders and congressional staff convened on Capitol Hill earlier in October to discuss federal support for principals.10/25/2018 8:47:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Congressional Briefing Addresses the Vital (and expanding) Role of School Leaders A National Principals Month event hosted 1464https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Principals Spend More Time with Teachers and Students10321GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Late last week, the<em> Atlanta Journal Constitution</em>&#160;published a piece highlighting&#160;a recent effort&#160;at&#160;Atlanta Public Schools to hire 17 &quot;school business managers.&quot; These managers would handle the business side of school operations,&#160;things like transportation, food service, budgeting, etc., which would then free principals from overseeing these tasks.&#160;Principals&#160;would also receive coaching and training to help them spend more time with teachers and students.&#160;</p><p><br> The program is an outgrowth of Wallace's <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/making-time-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">earlier SAM work</a>&#160;and underscores the&#160;core findings of so&#160;much of our school leadership work&#58;&#160;&#160;<br> </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><br> Principals who have time to guide teachers and strengthen instruction can dramatically influence a school. How well principals lead is a top factor in whether teachers stay or leave, and the principal’s role is second only to teachers in terms of the impact on student learning, said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership for the Wallace Foundation. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout"><br> &quot;Principals are really, really crucial for school improvement and student achievement, but that means not being a superhero. A lot of people have this image in their head of the principal being a superhero. That’s what Hollywood portrays, and that, in fact, is a sure route to burnout,&quot; said Spiro. &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p><br> You can read the full article <a href="https&#58;//www.ajc.com/news/local-education/aps-school-business-managers-let-principals-focus-education/eqMGG4aqdKHSGtV05qrBGK/" target="_blank">here</a>&#160;and, as always, learn more at the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">School Leadership</a> section of our Knowledge Center.&#160;</p> Wallace editorial team792018-10-01T04:00:00ZNew Atlanta program provides funds to hire managers and add professional development for principals.10/1/2018 7:39:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Principals Spend More Time with Teachers and Students New Atlanta program provides funds to hire managers and add 590https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Three Questions About Education Leadership Research10329GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​R<em>ecently, </em>Education Week<em> columnist Rick Hess handed over the reins of his blog for a </em><a href="http&#58;//blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2018/08/three_questions_about_education_leadership_research.html" target="_blank"><em>post </em></a><em>on current research in education leadership. We were happy to see the piece refer to&#160;our University Principal&#160;Preparation Initiative, among other sources,&#160;and received permission&#160;to republish the post. The authors are Anna Egalite, assistant professor of leadership and policy at North Carolina State University, and Tim Drake, who's also at NC State. The two are collaborating on a project (supported through the Wallace initiative)&#160;to redesign NC State's principal training program and share lessons learned with others.</em> <br></p><p>A commonly cited <a href="https&#58;//hechingerreport.org/why-school-leadership-matters/" target="_blank">statistic</a> in education leadership circles is that 25 percent of a school's impact on student achievement can be explained by the principal, which is encouraging for those of us who work in principal preparation, and intuitive to the many educators who've experienced the power of an effective leader. It lacks nuance, however, and has gotten us thinking about the state of education-leadership research—what do we know​ with confidence, what do we have good intuitions (but insufficient evidence) about, and what are we completely in the dark on? With this in mind, we've brainstormed three big questions about school leaders. The research in this area is incomplete, but a recent development makes us hopeful that better data are on the horizon.</p><p> <strong>1. Do principals impact student performance?</strong></p><p>Quantifying a school leader's impact is analytically challenging. How should principal effects be separated from teacher effects, for instance? Some teachers are high-performing, regardless of who leads their school, but effective principals hire the right people into the right grade levels and offer them the right supports to propel them to success.</p><p>Another issue relates to timing&#58; Is the impact of great principals observed right away, or does it take several years for principals to grapple with the legacy they've inherited—the teaching faculty, the school facilities, the curriculum and textbooks, historical budget priorities, and so on. Furthermore, what's the right comparison group to determine a principal's unique impact? It seems crucial to account for differences in school and neighborhood environments—such as by comparing different principals who led the same school at different time points—but if there hasn't been principal turnover in a long time, and there aren't similar schools against which to make a comparison, this approach hits a wall.</p><p>Grissom, Kalogrides, and Loeb carefully document the trade-offs inherent in the many approaches to calculating a principal's impact, <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0162373714523831?journalCode=epaa" target="_blank">concluding</a> that the window of potential effect sizes ranges from .03 to .18 standard deviations. That work mirrors the conclusions of Branch, Hanushek, and Rivkin, who <a href="https&#58;//www.educationnext.org/school-leaders-matter/" target="_blank">estimate</a> that principal impacts range from .05 to .21 standard deviations (in other words, four to 16 percentile points in student achievement).</p><p>Our best estimates of principal impacts, therefore, are either really small or really large, depending on the model chosen. The takeaway? Yes, principals matter—but we still have a long way to go to before we can confidently quantify just how much.</p><p> <strong>2. What skills are needed to ensure success as a modern school leader?</strong></p><p>The fundamentals haven't changed, as a quick read of Dale Carnegie's classic<a href="https&#58;//www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034" target="_blank"> text</a> will reveal—smile; don't criticize, condemn, or complain; show appreciation. Specific applications to the field of education administration are obvious&#58; Be a good manager, be organized, and follow the policies you set. These are concrete skills that can be taught in a preparation program and their value has been quantified. See, for instance, <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0002831211402663?journalCode=aera" target="_blank">Grissom and Loeb</a>, who point to the importance of practical managerial skills; <a href="http&#58;//www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=12742" target="_blank">Hess and Kelly</a>, who write about the principal's role in supporting curriculum and instruction; and <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0013189X13510020?journalCode=edra" target="_blank">Grissom, Loeb, and Master</a>, who demonstrate the value of teacher coaching.&#160;</p><p>But there are also intangible skills that cannot be easily taught—being visionary and motivating, showing compassion, being a force for good, keeping children at the center of the work, and being cognizant of whether civil rights are being advanced or inhibited by the culture you build. This latter list highlights the skills that principal candidates need to bring to the table before their preparation program even begins, and it's this latter list that matters the most in our current context.</p><p> <strong>3. What are the characteristics of high-quality principal preparation programs?</strong></p><p>Principal preparation programs have two primary responsibilities&#58; Identify and admit the most promising candidates, then provide them with concrete skills that will equip them to be successful upon graduation. <a href="https&#58;//www.amazon.com/Preparing-Principals-Changing-World-Leadership/dp/0470407689" target="_blank">Studying</a> exemplary programs offers a roadmap for how to do this well, but data limitations restrict how closely we can actually monitor their success in meeting these responsibilities.</p><p>We can show that there is sufficient <a href="http&#58;//journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013161X18785865?journalCode=eaqa" target="_blank">systematic variation</a> between programs in terms of test-score growth, for instance, that allows us to sort them into high, medium, and low performance categories. But we know too little about differences in the actual training received across programs. Administrative datasets rarely allow us to link principals to the specific program from which they graduated. Most programs can't even self-evaluate because they don't have data systems to track their graduates.</p><p>So what are we doing about all this?</p><p>With support from the Wallace Foundation's <a href="/news-and-media/press-releases/pages/wallace-announces-seven-universities-to-participate-in-47-million-dollar-initiative.aspx" target="_blank">$47 million initiative</a> to improve the quality of principal preparation, NC State has been engaged in redesigning our program to train principals who are ready to meet the demands of a constantly changing job. We joined forces with local school leaders to identify the skills and attributes of effective school leaders. We then developed our program selection criteria, curricula, assessments, and internship to align with this framework. We're now partnering with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and SAS to develop a leadership-development dashboard that tracks the career pathway and performance of our graduates, with a vision of scaling the system state-wide to include all North Carolina-based principal preparation programs and school districts.</p><p>The data don't exist yet to answer the most pressing questions about the relationship between principal preparation and leadership effectiveness. It's our hope that's about to change.</p><p>—<em>Anna Egalite and Tim Drake</em></p>Wallace editorial team792018-09-11T04:00:00ZWhat we know confidently from evidence, what we have good intuitions about and what we still need to learn about education leadership.9/11/2018 6:11:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Three Questions About Education Leadership Research What we know confidently from evidence, what we have good intuitions 714https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Principals Need Coaches Too10269GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#8cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba;L0|#08cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba|Effective Principal Leadership;GPP|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;GP0|#d4c2da24-0861-47f9-85bd-ee1c37263157;L0|#0d4c2da24-0861-47f9-85bd-ee1c37263157|Principal Supervisors;GP0|#f86ec85e-a137-43e2-8c12-5ce0b67efe8e;L0|#0f86ec85e-a137-43e2-8c12-5ce0b67efe8e|Principal Training<p>Is it feasible for districts to reconceive the role of those who supervise principals so less time is spent on compliance and more time on coaching to help principals strengthen teaching and learning in their schools? Is there an inherent conflict between supervising and evaluating principals and being a trusted coach?</p><p>A <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/A-New-Role-Emerges-for-Principal-Supervisors.pdf">new Vanderbilt University–Mathematica Policy study</a> offers answers to these questions by examining how six districts participating in <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-supervisors.aspx">The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Supervisor Initiative</a> have reshaped the role.</p><p>The study concludes that in those urban districts — Baltimore; Broward County, Florida; Cleveland; Des Moines; Long Beach, California; and Minneapolis — it was feasible for principal supervisors to focus on developing principals. This important and complex work was done in less than three years and has resulted, to date, in principals feeling better supported. In addition, the role change has led to the districts’ central offices becoming more responsive to schools’ needs.</p><p>Principals felt better supported and saw no tension between the supervisor’s role as both evaluator and coach. The principal supervisor is a continuous presence in the school — a member of the community, not a visitor. Learning is continuous.</p><p>This role is relatively new on the scene — in fact, five years ago, there was no common term for it. Sometimes called principal managers or even instructional leadership directors, the people in these positions oversaw large numbers of principals and traditionally handled regulatory compliance, administration, and day-to-day operations.</p><p><img alt="74-Million-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/74-Million-Blog-lg-feature.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />&#160;</p><p>They rarely visited a school more than once every few months and therefore did not work directly with principals. A 2013 <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Rethinking-Leadership-The-Changing-Role-of-Principal-Supervisors.pdf">Council of the Great City Schools survey</a> of principal supervisors in 41 of the nation’s largest districts also identified other problems, including insufficient training, oversight of too many principals, mismatches in assignments to schools, and a lack of agreement about job titles.</p><p>Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative in 2014 to see whether and how districts could reshape the job. An important step was the development of the first-ever voluntary <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/model-principal-supervisor-professional-standards-2015.aspx">national model standards for supervisors</a> in 2015, a process led by the Council of Chief State School Officers. These standards emphasize developing principals as professionals who “collaborate with and motivate others, to transform school environments in ways that ensure all students will graduate college- and career-ready,” rather than focusing on compliance with regulations. In the new study, the participating districts pointed to the importance of having standards for the job as a foundation for the position’s redesign.</p><p>That study suggests that “substantial, meaningful change is possible” across five areas. “After three years, we saw substantial change in all districts,” says Ellen Goldring, the study’s lead author. “They came up with efficient and effective ways to position supervisors so they could fill the coaching and supporting gap.” Specifically, the districts&#58;</p><ul><li>Revised principal supervisors’ job descriptions, relying on the national model standards that emphasize instructional leadership.</li><li>Reduced the number of principals whom supervisors oversee by almost 30 percent, from an average of 17 to 12.</li><li>Trained supervisors to support principals.</li><li>Created systems to identify and train new supervisors.</li><li>&#160;Restructured the central office to support and maintain the changed supervisor role.</li></ul><p>Following the redesign, most principal supervisors in the six districts reported that they now spend most of their time — 63 percent — in schools or meeting with principals. This shift means supervisors are working directly with principals, engaging in new routines and practices, such as participating in classroom walk-throughs, coaching, leading collaborative learning, and providing ongoing feedback.</p><p>Across districts, the principals emphasized that they trusted their supervisors to function as both supporters and evaluators. As one Cleveland principal explained&#58; “You don’t feel as though it’s your boss evaluating you. So it’s very comfortable. He’ll come in, he’ll have a conversation with you. … He always asks, ‘How can I support you? What do you need from me?’” It’s more of that than a formulated check-the-box.”</p><p>The districts also trained the supervisors to recognize high-quality instruction or better coach principals. For many, it was the first time they were provided with professional instruction specifically for their role. After two years, 80 percent of the supervisors reported participating in such opportunities.</p><p>In addition to offering professional development, districts began to identify more promising principal supervisor candidates and restructured central offices to support the new role and redistribute some noninstructional duties from supervisors to others in those offices.</p><p>Still, districts face some challenges. Goldring notes that the districts are continuing to refine the way they revamp the supervisor role, including defining what instructional leadership means, finding the right balance between supervisors’ time in school versus the central office, and providing uniformly high-quality training.</p><p>“It’s a heavy lift,” says Goldring. “But this study represents an incredibly positive example of the power of the supervisor role and a hopeful story about the power of district reform.”</p><p>Vanderbilt and Mathematica are planning two more reports to be published in 2019&#58; One will measure the initiative’s impact on principal effectiveness, and the other will compare principal supervision in the six districts in the study with peers in other urban districts.</p><p><em>This article first appeared in <a href="https&#58;//www.the74million.org/article/spiro-principals-need-coaches-too-what-a-new-study-of-6-large-school-districts-reveals-about-the-shifting-role-and-value-of-principal-supervisors/" target="_blank">The 74 Million</a> and is reposted with permission.</em></p>Jody Spiro142018-08-28T04:00:00ZPrincipals Need Coaches Too: What a New Study of 6 Large School Districts Reveals About the Shifting Role, and Value, of ‘Principal Supervisors’8/29/2018 3:10:43 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Principals Need Coaches Too What a New Study of 6 Large School Districts Reveals About the Shifting Role, and Value, of 3763https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership?10334GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>From providing superintendents with a forum to trade ideas to working with school districts to reshape the principal supervisor job to establishing alternative training programs for principals, states can do a lot to strengthen principals and other school leaders. </p><p>That’s the lesson from the education chiefs of Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania, who sat down recently to discuss the work going on in their states to bolster education leaders. Listen to what they have to say in this <a href="https&#58;//ccsso.org/blog/knowledge-action-how-states-are-working-promote-effective-school-leadership-models">video series</a> by the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You’ll also hear some inspiring messages about why the state efforts matters. Here’s a sampling&#58;</p><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIW8LsL5QjI&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img height="190" class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Nebraska_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;292px;" /></a> <li>“When school leaders have a chance to ensure that students have everything that they need to be successful, that’s really what the definition of equity is—that every student that’s in front of them is getting that chance to be the best that they can possibly be.” —Matthew Blomstedt, commissioner of education for Nebraska <br> <br> <br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5nMeaozvDs&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/Ohio_Commiss-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;294px;" /></a> <li>“School leadership is tremendously important because fundamentally it’s the leader that really sees to all the different pieces and parts within a school working together in the interests of helping educate each and every child. What we see is [that] when you find a school that is delivering an absolute excellent education, you’ll always find a great excellent leader.” —Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction for Ohio<br><br></li></ul><ul> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o6uDYRPmoA&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><img class="wf-Image-Right" alt="PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/what-can-states-do-to-bolster-school-leadership/PA_Commissioner-retouch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;295px;" /></a> <li>“First and foremost, school leaders set the stage, set the conditions and provide the resources for teachers to best serve their students and their community. Effective school leadership and student success are tied hand in hand.” —Pedro Rivera, secretary of education for Pennsylvania</li></ul><p>Looking for more ideas? Check out the <a href="http&#58;//www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">school leadership page</a> on the Wallace website.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-08-14T04:00:00ZVideo Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in Three States8/15/2018 10:01:38 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Can States Do to Bolster School Leadership Video Series Offers Insights—and Inspiration—From State Education Chiefs in 601https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Students’ Mental and Emotional Health Top Concerns for Elementary Principals10228GP0|#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 2363https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making the Most of the Principal Supervisor Role10266GP0|#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 1345https://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 324https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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