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Think States Play No Role in Shaping Effective Principals? Think Again.14084GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>​​​​States often tread lightly when it comes to assuming a full role in improving principal quality. They are concerned, among other things, about overreach into an area—public education—where local authority is prized. But that doesn’t mean states have to be bystanders as interest in cultivating effective school leadership grows. Indeed, according to a RAND report published by Wallace last fall, states have seven key policy levers to consider pulling&#58;<br></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Setting principal standards<br></div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Recruiting promising candidates into the profession</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Licensing new and veteran principals<br></div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Approving and overseeing principal preparation programs</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Supporting principals’ growth with professional development</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Evaluating principals</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Supporting “leader tracking systems,” online systems to collect and analyze data on aspiring and established school leaders.</div><p>The report,<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/using-state-level-policy-levers-to-promote-principal-quality.aspx"><em>Using State-level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality</em></a>, examines how seven states have pulled these levers, or not, as well as what helps and hinders effective use of the levers.&#160; A <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Infographic-Policies-Seven-States-Enacted-to-Promote-the-Quality-of-Principal-Preparation.pdf">new infographic​</a> also details what pulling the levers can entail as well as the degree to which the seven states have used each one. The states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia—are part of Wallace’s&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">University Principal Preparation Initiative</a>, an effort bringing together university-based preservice school leadership programs, school districts and states to improve principal training.&#160; </p><p>We spoke via email with Susan Gates, a senior researcher at RAND and the lead author of the report, to find out more about using state policy levers for better school leadership. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.</p><p><strong>What’s the main lesson of your study for states that may be eyeing the principalship and considering what steps to take to improve it?</strong></p><p>When setting policy priorities related to the principalship, states need to consider the mix of policy levers they are currently using compared with the full range of options we outline in the report. What are you doing that is working well? What is not working so well? Think about how your successes could be leveraged to improve upon the gap areas. For example, all of the University Principal Preparation Initiative states have leader standards and are using them to promote principal quality to some degree, but not consistently across all levers. Extending the use of leader standards to levers where they are not currently used—such as evaluation—to create coherence across the entire pathway is a good option for states to consider.</p><p>Another key insight is that the pathway to the principalship is more complicated than most people think, and it differs state to state. The seven levers our report highlights typically target specific stages of the pathway. The best levers for one state to focus on may be different from those for another because the two states may have dissimilar pathways.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>What else did you find out about the varying routes to becoming a principal among the states you examined?&#160; </strong></p><p>When people think about the pathway to the principalship, they often have something simple in mind. A teacher attends a graduate program, gets a license and becomes a principal. We found that the pathway to the principalship is much more complex than that. It is common for there to be multiple stages in the licensure process. In addition, some states have alternative pathways that allow candidates to bypass state-approved preparation programs. This was true in three of the seven initiative states—California, Kentucky and Virginia. These alternative pathways are really interesting. If used with restraint, they can allow states to increase the stringency of program regulation and oversight without unduly burdening specific districts—because there is a work-around districts can pursue when they want to hire a compelling candidate who did not attend a state-approved program. But if used excessively, these alternative pathways can render state-approved programs irrelevant. These alternative pathways have potentially important implications for the use of other levers, and states should gather and examine data about the prevalence and implications of their use.</p><p><strong>You emphasize that a change in one area of state principal policy can trigger changes in others. Why does that matter?</strong></p><p>Our study highlights that the seven policy levers are highly interconnected. By reinforcing the ties between and among levers, states can amplify their effectiveness. We saw numerous examples of this. For example, program approval requirements in most states include that programs engage in effective candidate recruitment practices such as getting input from districts. Another example is that principal licensure, as I suggested earlier, typically requires completion of a state-approved principal preparation program. As a result, licensure requirements drive aspiring principals into programs that are in turn shaped by state policy. This interconnectedness means that when new policies are implemented that target one lever, they can have downstream or upstream implications for other levers. For example, when states change the assessment they use for state licensure, state-approved principal preparation programs modify their programs to support the success of their students on these assessments—even when the state’s program approval requirements do not explicitly change.&#160; </p><p><strong>Of the various key levers states can pull to improve school leadership, one stands out for having received nearly universal agreement in the seven states that it was effective in promoting principal quality&#58; leader standards. Why are standards so powerful?</strong></p><p>Leader standards are important because they provide a way of communicating priorities and objectives about the principalship that is relevant to all stakeholder groups (aspiring and current leaders, principal preparation programs and districts) and across all stages of the pathway to the principalship. Standards help states reinforce the ties between and among levers. For example, stakeholders we interviewed reported that program approval and licensure requirements were viewed as more effective when clearly aligned with standards.<br> <br> <strong>On the other hand, few of the people you interviewed for the report thought the recruitment lever was being used effectively. What do you think might be keeping states from pressing this lever more forcefully?</strong></p><p>Recruitment is a particularly complex one for states because using it effectively involves influencing the behavior of all three groups of policy targets&#58; aspiring leaders, programs and districts. Aspiring leaders must be encouraged to enroll in a state-approved principal preparation program, programs must be encouraged to accept high-potential candidates and districts must encourage those with potential to pursue the pathway to the principalship. The decision to enroll in a particular program requires the aspiring leader to make a financial commitment to the principal pathway in general and to a particular program. That can be a dealbreaker even in situations where all three groups agree that a particular candidate would be a good leader and that a particular institution is a good fit for that candidate.</p><p>All of the states in our study establish pre-requisites for admission to state-approved principal preparation programs and most encourage these programs to collaborate with districts in the candidate admission process. But only one of the states has a state-funded effort that provides financial resources to promising candidates to attend designated preparation programs. I think this approach is not used more widely because of the costs associated with it and the political difficulty associated with allocating state funds to support an aspiring principal’s pre-service preparation at some but not all state-approved programs.&#160;&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>The report describes a number of ways to encourage change—coupling mandates with support, for example, or engaging early on with the variety of people and institutions that have a stake in the policy at hand. But you note that “among the most significant” policy changes you saw were those that emerged from efforts that had piggybacked on earlier K-12 education reforms. What’s an example? Why does this approach work?</strong></p><p>There’s a lot going on at the state level when it comes to education policy, and the principalship is often what is called a “low agenda status” topic in this space. It’s just not on the radar of a lot of people. This can make it difficult for principal quality to bubble up to the top of the priority list for policy change. One way to get principal quality initiatives on the agenda and successfully implemented is to link them clearly to a broader state education priority. Even better is to craft principal quality initiatives that piggyback on prior initiatives targeting teachers. For example, if the state revamps the teacher evaluation system or assessment for aspiring teachers, it can leverage that work and advance related efforts to revise principal evaluation systems or assessments for aspiring leaders. By leveraging the prior efforts, the costs of developing the system or assessment itself may be lower and some of the political legwork needed to achieve buy-in will have already been done. <br> <br> <strong>State policymakers—like their counterparts on the federal, local and school-district level—find themselves in an unprecedented moment. They are facing not only the pandemic’s dire effects on education but also the nation’s long overdue reckoning with racial justice. Is there a way in which state school leadership policy can help provide a beneficial response to these developments?</strong></p><p>The challenges facing our nation’s schools and school districts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and reckoning with racial justice pose deep questions for state policymakers that go well beyond school leadership policy. Within the school leadership space, the base of evidence about how to effectively address these challenges is relatively thin. Our study found that policy lever use is perceived as effective when it is grounded in evidenced-based, rigorous requirements. We also found that stakeholder engagement allows states to leverage expertise from across the state and expand and or supplement state capacity in order to push forward on a change agenda.</p><p>So as a first step, states could support knowledge-building about equity-centered and crisis-oriented school leadership, tapping a wide range of stakeholders to inform next steps.&#160; This could take the form of support for learning communities, or the development of templates for districts or preparation programs to use as they engage with community groups on these complex issues.</p><p>Another idea would be for states to orient their support for principal professional development toward these issues. Our study found that PD was being&#160;<em>used&#160;​</em>by all states, but stakeholders in only three states felt that it was being&#160;&#160;<em>used effectively</em> to promote principal quality. Professional development was a real focus of new state activity during the study time frame, with most states launching efforts to expand PD support. Orienting these efforts toward these pressing concerns is something states could consider.​<br><br></p>Wallace editorial team792021-07-22T04:00:00ZResearcher discusses seven policy levers states can pull to improve school leadership7/22/2021 5:00:29 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Think States Play No Role in Shaping Effective Principals Researcher discusses seven policy levers states can pull to 252https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Lessons in Virtual Hiring for School Leaders9596GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​The COVID-19 pandemic has upended a great number of systems and processes in the K-12 education system, including the hiring of principals and school leaders. More than a year into the pandemic, school districts are once again facing a remote hiring season. What can we learn from their experience last year? And what might be improved in the virtual hiring process for both district leaders and job candidates going forward? <br></p><p>The Wallace Blog caught up with Maggie K. Thomas, deputy chief of talent development at the District of Columbia Public Schools, to investigate the challenges and possibilities of remote hiring based on the district’s emergency pivot to virtual operations last year. Despite all the technological and other difficulties facing it, the district school system was able to fill all its school leader slots well before the fall 2020 school term began. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Lessons-in-Virtual-Hiring-for-School-Leaders/50996660963_16497d132b_k.jpg" alt="50996660963_16497d132b_k.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br> </p><p> <strong>What kind of strategies did DCPS use to effectively carry out virtual hiring amidst the challenges of the pandemic?</strong></p><p>Virtual hiring requires strategy, systems....and more strategy.&#160;The pandemic has been a great opportunity for us to strategically think more creatively around how each stage of our interview process effectively assesses our core values and necessary competencies for each role. For example, we had to re-imagine the role of performance tasks so that they would elevate a candidate's awareness and intentionality around equity-centered leadership. Similarly, to assess candidates’ ability to meet the needs of today's climate, we had to purposefully craft questions that encourage candidates to explicitly describe how they have navigated change, ambiguity and socio-emotional challenges in their previous roles. </p><p>We also leaned into the convenience of virtual hiring by leveraging cross-team collaboration throughout the interview process.&#160;In the instances in which we collaborated with our equity team, our chiefs of schools, and our strategy and performance management teams—to have them serve on a panel, craft questions and/or review performance tasks—the different perspectives helped to better support candidate selection.<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Lessons-in-Virtual-Hiring-for-School-Leaders/50617472368_121cd8661d_b.jpg" alt="50617472368_121cd8661d_b.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>Speaking even more practically, how did you go about hiring principals virtually?</strong></p><p>One of the pieces that can easily be overlooked is the need to be intentional about preparing the technology needed to execute virtual interviews.&#160;While the world was quickly transitioning into working from home and getting more accustomed to using tech tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, we were surprised at some of the small snags that our team had to uncover and plan around (think&#58; breakout rooms, waiting rooms, mute buttons). To remedy this, we took a sandbox approach where our team leads set up Zoom rooms and worked through any of our anticipated hiccups.&#160;This made our first and subsequent interview days run so much smoother.&#160;We sent a comprehensive email to interviewers a week in advance that included stepper documents and videos for using Zoom, a candidate profile, all of the necessary rubrics for the interview, and supports-in-place for the actual day.</p><p>On the candidate side, we also learned that they needed guidance and coaching on bringing their best self to a virtual interview space.&#160;Whereas cues for dress, body language and even background were either not applicable or normed in-person, there was a need to establish best practices for virtual settings.&#160;Things like posture, lighting and position in front of the camera quickly became coaching points after feedback from our interviewers suggested that candidates looked disinterested or uninvested. What we found was that some candidates were taking a more relaxed approach to their virtual interviews and abandoning tried and true practices that would be more commonplace in person.&#160;Helping our candidates to envision how they would be received on the other end of a screen provided them with the necessary perspective to change their approach.</p><p> <strong>How about the virtual onboarding process? </strong></p><p>Our virtual onboarding for principals and new principals was successful, albeit very different from orientations in years past.&#160;One of the unique challenges we faced, and are planning around for the summer ahead, is the appropriate design for content delivery and engagement.&#160;For our New Principal Orientation, we have eight days’ worth of critical content from our central services partners that new school leaders need in order to be day-one ready.&#160;With that said, it becomes incredibly challenging to retain and apply that information if you're in front of a screen for eight hours per day.&#160;</p><p>For this year, we're trying to be more intentional about how we design our week, as well as individual days for programming.&#160;Early ideas include creating clear, equity through-lines with content facilitators each day and ensuring that we include content connected to the larger district priorities centering on becoming an anti-racist organization that centers on the whole child. </p><p> <strong>What has been your biggest success, or what are you most proud of?</strong></p><p>This past year, in a cross-office teamwork effort, the talent development division was able to secure a $30 million Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program grant from the Department of Education to support educator effectiveness in our highest need schools. This grant—the highest amount awarded to all recipients across the entire nation—will allow DCPS to provide targeted professional development opportunities, performance-based compensation awards, specialized instructional coaching, school leader residencies, and a reimagined novice teacher experience. We are incredibly proud of how we’ll be able to utilize this investment to strategically get, grow and keep teachers and school leaders in our schools most impacted by past and present systemic bias.</p><p>Additionally, in terms of key talent milestones, we filled 100 percent of our school leader vacancies shortly after schools closed for the summer and, in an intentional effort to ensure our educator work force is representative of our student population, 18 percent of our new hires were males of color (surpassing the national, 2 percent average). This is our benchmark for success each year, and the team reached this goal amidst a pandemic and a complete shift to virtual processes.</p><p>Lastly, one of the things I am also proud of is our team intentionally planning a virtual onboarding process that addressed relevant topics around race, equity, bias and social justice. On our survey data from onboarding sessions, candidates expressed the highest levels of satisfaction with engaging in candid conversations that supported healing and awareness of the contributing factors of the opportunity gap.&#160;This is often a conversation that is glossed over and possibly not addressed in some districts, but we were committed to not using the limitations of virtual hiring as an excuse to not address these topics, especially on behalf of our most marginalized students.&#160; </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Lessons-in-Virtual-Hiring-for-School-Leaders/50997356351_8cade26f9a_k.jpg" alt="50997356351_8cade26f9a_k.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>What are you still figuring out?</strong></p><p>We're still trying to figure out how to bring some of the more intimate components of an interview process into our virtual processes. One of the pieces that we've adjusted thus far is our vision presentation for principals.&#160;Prior to this year, candidates submitted a PowerPoint as a performance task and then presented it at the in-person interview. This year, we're planning to have candidates film themselves delivering their vision presentation prior to the virtual interview.&#160;Again, we're hoping to have as many opportunities as possible to get a more holistic pulse on our candidates throughout the process given the limitations of a virtual approach.</p><p>At a deeper level, another area that we are still figuring out is how to ensure our leadership development programming is thoughtfully aligned to the larger, district-wide priorities. For example, at last year’s Summer Leadership Institute (which is attended by all school and central office leaders), we invited Professor Ibram X. Kendi, author of <em>How to Be an Anti-Racist</em>, as our keynote speaker to share his profound insight on elevating and examining our DCPS value of equity. We want to ensure that all leadership development opportunities connect to these agency-wide PDs so that there is a clear professional learning arc for critical technical matters, as well as for meaningful adaptive matters, such as anti-racism and whole child development. </p><p> <strong> <em>Finally, for a few quick tips for other districts and school leaders, here’s a condensed shortlist on virtual hiring, based on this conversation.</em></strong></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Preparation is key.&#160;Determine your 3-W's as early as possible—who, what and when. Whom do you need to hire and who is an ideal candidate? What will your hiring process entail? When do you need to make your hires by and when should you start vetting candidates?&#160;</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Invest in sustainable systems.&#160;Virtual hiring is here to stay, so evaluate your current platform and investigate whether or not it will continue to work for your organization in the long run. Depending on your budget, consider the feasibility of investing in a platform more tailored to your needs or to an advanced version of whatever you're currently using.&#160;</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"> Appeal to people in your target demographic and let them know who you are and what you believe.&#160;The workforce is changing and, with the myriad of challenges over the past year, candidates will want to know how your district is adapting and who you are as an organization. That said, as author Simon Sinek argues, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” As districts are trying to compete for top talent across the nation, candidates have to connect to what you believe in order to be inspired to join you on your mission. ​<br></div><p><em>Photos courtesy of DC Public Schools</em></p>Rochelle Herring362021-05-25T04:00:00ZAn inside look at how D.C. Public School District has re-structured its principal hiring process5/25/2021 6:16:31 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Lessons in Virtual Hiring for School Leaders Deputy chief of talent development at D.C. Public Schools offers an inside 458https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Shining the Spotlight on Assistant Principals22056GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​​ <p>​​​​​​​​​They are second in command in a school, and yet assistant principals often are not given opportunities to strengthen leadership skills that are vital to their effectiveness in the role as well as in the principal post many will assume one day. That is one of the main takeaways of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-role-of-assistant-principals-evidence-insights-for-advancing-school-leadership.aspx"> <em>The Role of Assistant Principals&#58; Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership</em></a>, a major new research review that synthesizes the findings of 79 studies about APs published since 2000 and includes fresh analyses of national and state data. The review found that the number of APs has grown markedly in the last 25 years and that the role has become a more common stop on the path to the principalship. At the same time, the researchers found disparities in the composition of the leadership workforce. Educators of color are less likely to become principals and more likely to become APs than white educators. Women are less likely than men to become either APs or principals.</p><p>Recently, the Wallace Blog spoke with the report’s authors, Ellen Goldring and Mollie Rubin of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Mariesa Herrmann of Mathematica, about their findings and the implications for district policies and practices. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.<br></p><p> <strong>The number of APs has grown six times faster than the number of principals in the last 25 years. Why do you think that is?</strong> </p><p> <strong>Herrmann</strong>&#58; We looked into whether it was due to an increased number of students in elementary schools and found that explained some but not all of the increase. You’re still seeing an increase in the assistant principal-student ratio in elementary schools over this time period.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> That’s important, because at least officially, districts might have a funding formula that says if a school is of a particular size, it gets an AP position. But we also surmise that local districts can certainly fund positions differently. They might combine a coaching position with a teacher-leader position and turn that into an AP position. We have no idea why [the increase] is happening, the implications vis-à-vis other staffing decisions and what the rationale might be for a district or principal to think that the AP position is a better role to help fulfill the needs of a school as compared to other positions.</p><p> <strong>The synthesis found uneven opportunities for advancement for educators of color and women in the leadership pipeline. Does the research suggest reasons why? What measures could be taken to promote equitable opportunities?</strong></p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> For educators of color, the research mentions things like differences in access to mentoring, particularly for Black women. It also suggests hiring discrimination, such as people of color not being considered for suburban schools or schools with predominately white student populations. One African American female educator in a study had a nice quote about this; she was not hired and informed that she wasn’t the right “fit.” She said, “Most of the [African American female administrators in our district]…are placed in high-poverty schools. Perhaps this is where we fit?” There’s also some evidence of differences in assigned leadership tasks by race, which could prevent people’s advancement. For women, there are a bunch of explanations—differences in access to mentorship, differences in assigned tasks, family responsibilities and the time commitments of being an assistant principal or a principal, differences in aspirations or confidence, and also discrimination.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> The point about not being a “good fit” is something to emphasize. There’s probably a lot of both explicit and implicit bias about where leaders of color want to be placed, should be placed and the implications for their career trajectories. We suggest using equity audits and leader tracking systems [which compile data on the backgrounds and careers of potential and sitting school leaders] to bring patterns to light and show how they play out in different types of schools. It’s an important first step but beyond that, districts need to create spaces for people to have really honest and open conversations about the patterns. That is key to addressing them.</p><p> <strong>Hermann&#58;</strong> Besides just understanding the patterns, I think addressing this requires mentoring people of color and women. Someone who is already a principal can help them understand how to be a leader in that particular district. Maybe to the extent that they share similar backgrounds or experiences, they can relate to that person.</p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> It’s also about making space to hear the experiences of people who are facing differential outcomes and how they’re experiencing the roles that they’re in. We often assume that we know what we’re trying to fix, but we don’t necessarily understand it at a deep level. </p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Shining-the-Spotlight-on-Assistant-Principals/FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" alt="FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>Principals today are more likely to have served as assistant principals than in the past. Many say that the experience was pivotal to their leadership preparation. What makes a strong principal-assistant principal mentoring relationship?&#160;</strong></p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> One study mentioned areas where assistant principals found advice and mentoring useful. One was skills development, such as building strong relationships, honing decision-making skills, having strong communications skills. This suggests that principals need to have strong leadership skills themselves, so that they can model them for the assistant principal.</p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> We noted in our report that there are no studies on how principals think about or conceptualize the role of assistant principals. We don’t know why an assistant principal might spend more time on task A or task B, or what principals consider when they hire assistant principals. There are gaps in terms of the research as well. &#160;</p><p>Your question brings out the important notion of the relationship between the assistant principal role and their evaluation, and the extent to which there is systematic, competency-based formative feedback that’s built into both the role of and the relationship between the assistant principal and the principal. In most cases, principals and assistant principals are evaluated on the same rubric. The few studies that talk about the assistant principal experience with evaluation note a lot of ambiguity. In one study, the assistant principals did not even know if they were formally evaluated or how. Another study mentioned the complexity of using the same rubric&#58; If I’m an assistant principal and evaluated on the same rubric as the principal, does that mean I can never be exemplary because that’s only for principals? What does this mean for the types of tasks and leadership opportunities that an assistant principal has?&#160; </p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> A principal might assign tasks to their assistant principal to fill in for their own weaknesses. Together they make one really powerful team, but when it comes to the assistant principal’s evaluation, what does it say? They may not have the opportunities to do or learn certain things.</p><p> <strong>The pandemic has upended education and created unprecedented challenges for school leaders this year. Has it heightened awareness of the role of assistant principals? Could it lead to lasting change to the job and if so, how? </strong></p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> During National Assistant Principals Week, I facilitated a webinar with a panel of four assistant principals about their role during COVID. The most important point they wanted to bring home was that they are school leaders in their own right and that this year highlighted their overall importance as part of the leadership team. They are not assistants to their principals. It was a nice link to the importance of assistant principals having opportunities to really be school leaders and not necessarily be the assistant principal of X—of student affairs, of curriculum and instruction, of a particular grade level. COVID put the focus on the complexity of school leadership and the need for partners in that work. You really need more than one leader.</p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58; </strong>I worry that in some ways, assistant principals may once again slip through the cracks. I keep hearing that assistant principals have become COVID contact tracers. That says a lot about how nebulous the job is. “<em>Who’s going to do contact tracing? Oh, the AP can!”</em> Principals who have lost their assistant principals, perhaps in the last recession, will be the first to tell you how important they are. But at the same time, there seems to be a lack of recognition and attention paid to the role. Perhaps it needs to be more deliberate.</p><p> <strong>Your report found that assistant principals have been seriously under-studied. If money and time were no object, what would you study about the role? </strong></p><p> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> I would love to watch the changes that happen when districts decide to invest in the assistant principal position—how they define the role to align with their vision and goals, and how it plays out in schools in terms of interpersonal dynamics, such as the relationships between assistant principals and principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders.</p><p>There’s also a study I want Mariesa to do because I don’t do this kind of work. We don’t know a whole lot about the effects of assistant principals or the effects of serving as an assistant principal on leader performance. I hypothesize that’s because the role is so nebulous. My question is, what are the leadership tasks that lead to the outcomes we’d like to see, both in terms of evaluation performance as an assistant principal and later as a principal, as well as outcomes for students, school and staff. If you could really figure out what matters most, then you could create a model of an assistant principalship that’s constant at a district level.</p><p> <strong>Herrmann&#58;</strong> Mollie did a really good job there! Assistant principal roles vary considerably and I think we need to better understand what aspects are most important for improving student learning and well-being. Are there ways the role can be better leveraged to improve outcomes for students? I don’t know if the role actually has to be constant across a district. I think you could investigate how it should be different, based on the local context, and what to take into account when developing the role.<br> <br> <strong>Rubin&#58;</strong> I wish I could fund you, Mariesa. </p><p> <strong>Goldring&#58;</strong> One of our big problems is that we have very blunt measuring instruments. We say that assistant principals’ tasks vary, but the way in which that has been measured is very unsatisfactory and leading to misunderstanding and misreporting. Researchers typically ask assistant principals how they spend their time, but no two studies ask that question similarly. In some studies, time is reported for a typical week, sometimes it’s not even clear what the timeframe is. We also need to rethink categories of tasks. Why is student disciplinary work not considered instructionally focused? If you’re working with a student to be more focused in class, isn’t that core instruction work? This is deep conceptual work that could greatly enhance the field.</p><p>The second thing that has emerged for me is trying to understand how and why some assistant principals choose to make the role a stepping-stone to the principalship while others choose to stay in the role and make it their own leadership position in its own right, alongside the principal. Is it an individual preference, a district preference, something in the school context and the way that leaders are developing teams? If we understood this, we would be better able to counsel and speak about the options to teachers who are coming up through the ranks. </p>Jennifer Gill832021-05-18T04:00:00ZAs an increasing presence in schools, APs merit more attention and study, report authors say5/18/2021 6:00:12 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Shining the Spotlight on Assistant Principals As an increasing presence in schools, APs merit more attention and study 276https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Assistant Principals, Overlooked No More26205GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​They go by many titles—assistant principal, vice principal, associate principal—and their ranks are growing. The number of assistant principals has increased nearly six times faster than the number of principals in the last 25 years, surging 83 percent to more than 80,000. Roughly half of U.S. public schools today have at least one AP, up from one-third in 1990. As it proliferates, the AP role has the potential to promote racial and gender equity in school leadership and contribute to better outcomes for students.</p><p>That is a key finding of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/the-role-of-assistant-principals-evidence-insights-for-advancing-school-leadership.aspx"><em>The Role of Assistant Principals&#58; Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership</em></a>, a major new research review that synthesizes the findings of 79 studies about APs published since 2000 and includes fresh analyses of national and state data. The report was written by researchers Ellen Goldring and Mollie Rubin of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Mariesa Herrmann of Mathematica. They presented their findings at a recent <a href="https&#58;//zoom.us/rec/play/h1I-3eOj2LMRaJ7JTzQ10qvI_3i3ATzPY65aWDcYZuRoeQ4KXPuQBlelMcWkHByRGGBDlnolsM-KcWXU.AKzSK_iq6zUg3gsa">webinar</a> that also featured a panel discussion among education experts moderated by Nicholas Pelzer, a senior program officer in education leadership at Wallace.</p><p>Principals are more likely than ever to spend at least some time in their career as an AP, making the role an important “stepping stone” to leading a school, the authors found. The job varies considerably, with most APs engaging in a mix of instructional leadership, management and student discipline tasks. “APs wear many hats,” said panelist Debra Paradowski, an associate principal of 22 years who was named Assistant Principal of the Year in 2020 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).&#160;</p><p>Yet despite being one​​ chair away from the principal’s seat, APs are often overlooked for opportunities that would develop and strengthen essential skills needed to lead a school. “In short, assistant principals are not given systematic, sequential or comprehensive leadership-building opportunities or ongoing evaluative feedback in preparation for the principalship,” said Rubin.&#160;</p><p>School districts must think of APs as “principals-in-training” and encourage principals to assign challenging, hands-on leadership work that will best prepare them, said panelist Beverly Hutton, chief programs officer at NASSP. The shift to remote learning during the pandemic—and the many new leadership challenges and responsibilities it presented—underscored the fact that the job of running a school effectively is often simply too big and complex for one person. “Distributing leadership and allowing others to stretch, grow and contribute is the formula for success for everybody,” Hutton said. “It’s the key to succession, preparation, equity and even longevity in the [principal] role—you just can’t do it alone anymore.”</p><p>The research synthesis also found uneven opportunities for advancement in the school leadership pipeline. Across six states examined by the authors, 24 percent of APs were people of color compared with 19 percent of principals and 34 percent of students. Women accounted for 77 percent of teachers but only 52 percent of both principals and APs. Some research suggests that hiring discrimination and less access to mentoring may contribute to racial and gender disparities in advancement. Many educators are “tapped” for administrative jobs by school and district leaders, noted Hutton, and that could&#160;result in inequitable outcomes. “You don’t tap people that you can’t see,” she said.&#160;</p><p>A lack of mentors is common among APs working in urban schools, said panelist Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents larger urban school districts. A survey of APs by the organization a few years ago “found that there was very little coaching and mentoring for assistant principals, little professional development for principals on how to mentor assistant principals,” he noted. Hutton pointed out that the Professional Standards for Education Leaders (PSEL), which outline job expectations, clearly state that principals have a responsibility to develop staff members, including APs. Principals need to fulfill that mentoring role, she said, and APs must advocate for it.&#160;</p><p>The report’s authors suggested several ways to design the AP role as a stop along the way to the principalship, including developing job standards specifically for the position. Rather than creating separate standards, Hutton suggested that districts gather input from practitioners and further define PSEL to address the nuances of being an AP. “We need the voices of APs to help define their rightful place in the educational ecosystem,” she said.&#160;</p><p>There’s also the need for more research on APs to inform policy and practice. The authors cited numerous areas for deeper study, including how APs are assigned to schools, how well preservice programs prepare them, and which AP roles are most related to improved student and school outcomes. Paradowski said she hopes the new report brings heightened attention to the integral role that she and her peers play in schools. “We’re not the principal’s assistant but rather an assistant principal to help lead, guide and serve the community.”</p>Jennifer Gill832021-04-20T04:00:00ZLively panel discussion follows release of new findings on APs and how to make the most of the role4/20/2021 2:01:56 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Assistant Principals, Overlooked No More Lively panel discussion follows release of new findings on APs and how to make the 624https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Why should school districts invest in principals?9783GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​​<p>T​hey are items on every school district’s to-do list&#58; Reduce chronic absenteeism. Improve teacher satisfaction and retention. Bolster student learning. Now a major new research review points to the person who can have a positive impact on all of these priorities—the school principal. The groundbreaking study, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-a-systematic-synthesis-of-two-decades-of-research.aspx"> <em>How Principals Affect Students and Schools&#58; A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research</em></a>, finds that replacing a below-average principal at the 25th percentile of effectiveness with an above-average principal at the 75th percentile increases the average student’s learning by nearly three months in math and reading annually. Schools led by strong principals also have higher student attendance and greater teacher retention and satisfaction, according to the report. </p><p>Recently, the Wallace Blog caught up with the report’s authors, Jason A. Grissom, the Patricia and Rodes Hart professor at Vanderbilt University; Anna J. Egalite, associate professor at North Carolina State University; and Constance A. Lindsay, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to discuss their findings and implications for the field. The interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>After the release of the report, some people were asking on social media if a great principal is more important than a great teacher and you had a great response. Can you share it with us? </strong></p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> You can’t directly compare the effects of teachers and principals because the effects of a principal are largely through their work to expose kids to great teachers. It’s helpful to think about it from different points of view. From the student’s point of view, the teacher is clearly the most important person because he or she has the most direct effect on what I learn and my other outcomes. For the life of a school, the principal is certainly among the most important people, maybe the most important person, in part because principals are the ones who hire great teachers, ensure that great teachers stay in the building, and set the conditions for teachers to be able to teach to their full potential. </p><p>The report tries to emphasize how large the impacts of principals are and also what the scope of those effects are. Even if you just focus on student test scores, the report uses this size-plus-scope-of-effect to argue that we really should be investing in principal leadership. We’d go so far as to say that if you could only invest in one adult in the school building, then that person should pretty clearly be the principal. </p><p> <strong>Given the research evidence showing the positive effects that a principal can have on student learning and other important outcomes, how can the field help less-effective principals improve? </strong></p><p> <strong>Egalite&#58;</strong> That’s the question we tried to answer in the second part of the report, which identifies the four leadership behaviors of great principals&#58; engaging in instructionally-focused interactions with teachers, building a productive school climate, facilitating collaboration and professional learning communities, and managing personnel and resources strategically. If you were designing professional development for below-average principals, these are the four areas you could lean on that the evidence shows are associated with better outcomes in the long run. </p><p> <strong>Which instructionally-focused activities appear particularly effective—and which ones not so much?</strong></p><p> <strong>Egalite&#58;</strong> One effective activity is the use of data. Principals can encourage teacher buy-in by using data to monitor student progress and demonstrate changes in student achievement. Another is teacher evaluations, which have become more sophisticated in recent years. They no longer just analyze student test scores to say if someone is a good teacher or a bad teacher, but marry that information with other data points collected through classroom observations and other measures. </p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> We tried to highlight engagement with instruction as separate from a more general, and maybe ill-defined notion, of what it means to be an instructional leader. Some principals have internalized the message that instructional leadership means being in classrooms. But simply being present is not associated with greater student growth. It may even have negative effects because having the principal in the classroom is distracting for both the students and the teacher. Maybe that distraction is worth it if the principal follows up with support for the teacher’s work and uses data from the observations to help drive the instructional program. But on its own, it’s not enough to move the needle. <br> </p><p> <strong>The report found that principals can have an important impact on marginalized populations, including students from low-income households and students of color. How does an equity-focused principal exhibit the four leadership behaviors?</strong></p><p> <strong>Lindsay&#58;</strong> They infuse all the activities they usually do with an equity focus. With regard to instruction, it would mean working with teachers to adopt a more culturally responsive pedagogy. It means making sure that teachers are engaging in practices that are relevant to all students in the school. In building a productive school climate, it means working with families and thinking about the community context. </p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> Thinking about how equity can be infused into these domains of behavior is clearly an area we need to know more about. The report offers lots of examples from the research base that exists, but the evidence is still developing.<br></p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Why-should-school-districts-invest-in-principals/FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" alt="FIGURE-7-2-Emerging-Framework-Connecting-Equity-in-Principal-Leadership-to-Equitable-Outcomes-ch.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>You also found widening racial and ethnic gaps between principals and the students they serve. What are some tactics that districts can use to diversify the principal workforce? </strong></p><p> <strong>Lindsay&#58;</strong> The key is diversifying the teacher workforce, because principals start as teachers. In terms of district actions, there are strategies like “grow your own” programs where districts identify and develop individuals in-house who are well-suited to meeting the needs of their community. Districts can also examine different stages of the educator human capital pipeline to identify places where people of color drop out and then work to shore up those stages. </p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> We’ve had concerns for a long time that access to the principalship in a lot of areas is driven by who you know within a district. That likely disadvantages people who are not in power. In response, districts are increasingly formalizing leadership programs with predefined selection criteria, ensuring that people are getting into the principal pipeline on the basis of their capacity for leadership. And at the end of the pipeline, there has to be an equitable hiring and selection process. Diversifying the pipeline is an area we have to learn more about—where is it happening successfully and how, so that those practices can be taken to other places to ensure greater principal diversity. </p><p> <strong>Based on your report’s findings, what aspect of school leadership would you study right now if money and time were no object?</strong></p><p> <strong>Lindsay&#58;</strong> A lot of the research on equity that we drew from is very localized and context specific. I would study equity in a more systematic way. Just as we have rubrics for other things, I think it would be nice to have one about culturally responsive pedagogy that’s been tested and validated at a wide scale. </p><p> <strong>Egalite&#58;</strong> I’d like to know more, from a measurement perspective, about defining effective principals. I went through a Catholic teacher training program and for a brief moment considered its leadership training program. Their approach to leadership training is very much centered on building the school culture. Test scores are a much later part of the conversation. Private Catholic schools are obviously a different context than public schools, but how a principal sets the tone in a school and gets everyone rowing in the same direction is still relevant. How do you measure that? We rely on test scores to gauge principal effectiveness because they are easily collected by states, but it’s really just one piece of the pie. A more multidimensional view of principal effectiveness would be helpful.</p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> I’m interested in how to measure capacity for the skills and behaviors we discuss in the report, so that we can do a better job identifying future leaders, developing their capacities and ensuring they are ready to lead when they enter the principalship. Historically, we have not done a great job of assessing people’s future potential. Maybe this is because we didn’t have the opportunities to develop the tools that measure those capacities. The same tools could also be used once a person is in leadership to identify areas for growth and target professional learning. They could also help us identify excellent leaders so we can draw on their excellence to help other people behind them in the principal pipeline. There are a lot of opportunities to think about how we identify, measure and assess both potential and strength at all phases of the pipeline. </p><p> <strong>Your report is the first of three research syntheses to be released by Wallace this year. A second will examine the role of the assistant principal and a third will look at the characteristics and outcomes of effective principal preparation programs and on-the-job development. How does it feel to be first out of the gate?</strong></p><p> <strong>Grissom&#58;</strong> We’ve done a few presentations about our report and people have asked how our findings apply to assistant principals and the implications for pre-service preparation and in-service professional learning. </p><p>It will be very interesting to see the conversations following the release of the other two reports and how they build on the conversation we’ve been having with the release of ours. Stay tuned. </p>Jennifer Gill832021-03-23T04:00:00ZYour 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.4/5/2021 8:19:43 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Why should school districts invest in principals Authors of major new research review on school leadership discuss the 255https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline Podcast24109GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Last January, we launched the first series of <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast, featuring in-depth conversations with leaders who have been implementing principal pipelines—a systematic approach to leadership development and support—in their states and districts. Following the release of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">new research showing the effectiveness</a> of these efforts, we created Series Two to explore how pipelines benefit districts, schools and students.</p><p>The first two episodes focus on two major findings from the new research&#58; that pipeline districts saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-principal-pipelines-episode-7-a-district-strategy-to-improve-student-achievement.aspx">notable, statistically significant benefits for student achievement</a>, and that these districts also saw <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-8-building-principal-pipelines-improves-principal-retention.aspx">improved principal retention</a>. Leaders discuss how pipelines created stability, networks of support and clear standards that led to these improvements. </p><p>“It confirms what many of us as practitioners already know,” Linda Chen, chief academic officer for New York City public schools says in Episode 7. “A great principal really impacts the outcomes of students.” </p><p>Researchers join the podcast for <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-9-measuring-the-effectiveness-of-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 9</a> to share how they were able to reliably measure outcomes across 1,100 schools and how they linked student achievement improvements to the pipeline. </p><p>The final two episodes look ahead at the long-term sustainability of pipelines. In <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-10-how-districts-sustained-their-principal-pipelines.aspx">Episode 10</a>, district leaders explain how they were able to maintain all four pipeline components two years after funding from The Wallace Foundation ended. And <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/episode-11-how-districts-states-and-universities-can-play-a-role.aspx">Episode 11</a> examines the role that districts, states and universities play in building and supporting principal pipelines, including how to tap funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act. </p><p>“When we think about universities and districts, and then the state role, I think it's all working in tandem to make sure that we're creating the best opportunities for principals,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.</p><p>You can stream <em>The Principal Pipeline</em> podcast on <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=1b4876a898&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">our site</a>, where you’ll also find more information about each show, or download them from <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=0305e5a96d&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">iTunes</a>, <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=51cbfa9760&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">Google Play</a> or <a href="https&#58;//wallacefoundation.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=72af77d384006061df548e8b5&amp;id=bdb0aa2fec&amp;e=8a3a7dee59">Stitcher</a>.</p> Wallace editorial team792019-09-03T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/6/2019 2:44:19 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Stream Series Two of The Principal Pipeline Podcast New episodes focus on successes, lessons learned and what’s next 813https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
On-the-Job Support Helps New Principals Build Skills—and Confidence24097GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p> <em>​A principal pipeline is an approach to school leader development that can have major benefits for school districts, as indicated in <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> we published recently. Pipelines have four parts—rigorous job standards, high-quality pre-service preparation, selective hiring, and aligned on-the-job support and evaluation. In an occasional series, we examine each of these components by talking to principals in districts that, with Wallace support, tested the pipeline idea. In the <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/effective-school-leaders-learn-how-to-solve-problems.aspx">first post</a>, we found out how <em>pre-service training had prepared a Georgia principal to improve the graduation rate at his high school. Today, we explore how on-the-job support helped a newcomer to the principalship in North Carolina gain the skills and confidence he needed to succeed.&#160; &#160;&#160;&#160;</em></em></p><p>“We weren’t sure we wanted you here.” </p><p>“We didn’t think you would make it.” </p><p>Recalling these comments transports Mike Miliote back to 2010, when he was a novice principal at Matthews Elementary School in Matthews, N.C., about 12 miles from downtown Charlotte. With only 13 months under his belt as an assistant principal, Miliote had little administrative experience compared with other first-time principals—and his staff recognized it. In his first year on the job, Miliote avoided difficult conversations, he remembers. He also kept teachers out of the decision-making loop. </p><p>Even the best pre-service training can’t fully prepare new principals for the realities of their difficult and often lonely jobs. Yet in too many districts, novices are left to fend for themselves, an indication of “a longstanding ‘sink-or-swim’ mindset toward principals&#58; ‘You’re supposed to be a leader, so lead!,’” in the words of one <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-principal-mentoring-right.aspx">Wallace report</a>. </p><p>Fortunately, this was not the situation that Miliote encountered, as he found when he progressed through a multiyear induction program with other novice principals offered by his employer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The district started the program not only to help new principals sharpen their instructional leadership skills, but also to provide them with a network of peers they can lean on for support. “With a district approaching 180 schools, getting to know 10 to 20 other principals really well makes the district seem smaller and helps them feel more supported,” says Jevelyn Bonner-Reed, the district’s director of grant innovation.</p><p>For the first two years of the program, novice principals are paired with a high-performing veteran principal who mentors them during their transition into school leadership. In year three, principals study different leadership styles and how they apply to running a school at the Educational Leadership Institute at Queens University in Charlotte. They also take a time-management course to learn how to maximize their time spent on instructional leadership efforts.</p><p>The program culminates in the fourth year with a capstone project in which principals reflect on their leadership practice by interviewing their teachers and other staff members about what it’s like to work with them. The interviews “helped me gain an understanding of strengths and weaknesses from those I lead, regardless of how they perceived me,” Miliote says.&#160;His faculty members were candid, acknowledging their initial worries in comments like those above, but noted that he was now someone they wanted to stand behind.</p><p>Miliote credits the induction program for this transformation. As a principal, “you have to have confidence in yourself,” he says. “I don’t think I would have developed that without going through the program.” Miliote’s growth was reflected in the changes in how he carried out the job. He no longer ran away from conflict, instead encouraging staff members to tell him their concerns so they could find solutions together. He also started putting teachers in charge of school initiatives, something he would have never considered early on. </p><p>The students at Matthews turned out to be the ultimate beneficiaries of the collaborative working relationship between Miliote and his staff. The school’s academic achievement was just barely meeting growth expectations when he arrived. By the time he left in 2014, the school was exceeding it.&#160;&#160; </p><p>Miliote is now principal of Jay M. Robinson Middle School in Charlotte, which is also surpassing growth expectations under his leadership. In the future, he expects to take on an additional role&#58; Mentor to novice principals in the induction program. </p><p><em>Photo of Mike Miliote by Claire Holt</em></p>Jennifer Gill832019-07-23T04:00:00ZAn induction program guided a novice school leader through his early years on the job11/12/2019 10:02:10 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / On-the-Job Support Helps New Principals Build Skills—and Confidence An induction program guided a novice school leader 1006https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What If Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them4255GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>R <em>ecent <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">research</a> about Wallace’s <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a> found that when six large school districts carried out a systematic approach to cultivating effective school leadership, benefits for principal retention ensued. New York City was one of the pipeline districts, and in this guest column, Marina Cofield, senior executive director of the Office of Leadership at the New York City Department of Education, discusses why the nation’s largest school system decided that school leader retention mattered—and what steps to take in response.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</em></p><p> <img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="marina.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/What-If-Districts-Focused-Not-Just-on-Preparing-and-Hiring-Principals-But-Also-Retaining-Them/marina.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;249px;" />Six years ago, I stepped into my current role heading the office responsible for ensuring that the school system has a strong pipeline of educational leaders—professionals well-prepared to fill all of our principal vacancies and lead our schools successfully. In a system of our size, with more than 1,600 schools serving 1.1 million children, this meant having well-qualified candidates for roughly 175 to 190 positions each year. As I thought about what the work entailed—developing stronger principal preparation programs and more strategic approaches to principal hiring—I reminded myself that our goal was to do more than fill empty slots. It was ultimately to provide every school in the system with a strong leader. </p><p>Perhaps, I thought, we should focus not only on increasing the number of well-trained educators ready to enter the principalship, but also on reducing the number of people who leave it.</p><p>Boosting principal retention made sense to me because of what we know about improving schools.&#160; In short, <a href="https&#58;//hbr.org/2017/09/research-how-the-best-school-leaders-create-enduring-change">research</a> has shown that meaningful, enduring school improvement doesn’t happen overnight, but rather takes at least three, and often more than five, years of strategic, sustained effort. Moreover, as a key driver of the change, school leaders must stay on the job more than just a few years in order to see their efforts all the way through—from visioning and strategic planning to piloting, school-wide scaling, monitoring and making adjustments over time.&#160; </p><p>We believe that we have landed on a way to help our principals not only survive but stay fully engaged in their roles over the long term. In the unique design of our New Principal Support program, we have found a strategy to increase retention for both early-career and more experienced principals.</p><p>Drawing on what we know about professional development generally, we decided the best approach was to provide individualized, job-embedded coaching for every new principal in the system. Our twist was who serves as the coach. We believe the people best positioned for this work are those who have very recently been successful principals in our system. These leaders understand the challenges and expectations of the position as they exist today, an especially important factor in a profession that is changing so rapidly. </p><p>We offered some of our best veteran principals three different ways to join our program team&#58; </p><ul><li>They could continue to lead their school and take on the responsibility of coaching just three new principals and receive a stipend; <br><br> </li><li>They could agree to leave their school for a year to participate in a full-time “coaching fellowship,” with the right to return to their principal position at the end of the year; or <br><br> </li><li>They could leave their school altogether and become a permanent member of our coaching staff.</li></ul><p>Recognizing that even the best principals don’t necessarily have highly developed coaching skills, we also trained the coaches in a robust professional learning program that is aligned to International Coach Federation standards and incorporates a focus on coaching for racial equity.&#160; </p><p>Our New Principal Support (NPS) program has yielded significant results, some intended and some a welcome surprise. In the intended department&#58; New principals who receive coaching through our program are staying on the job through their first two years at higher rates than those who did not receive our coaching. They also report overwhelmingly that the coaching is a valuable support and helps alleviate feelings of isolation in their job. </p><p>What we did not expect is that the program also has a positive impact on retention of the principal-coaches. Successful principals who have been in their positions for five years or more are looking for opportunities to grow professionally, to be part of a learning community and to broaden their impact. Being able to join our team of coaches (all of whom are exceptional principals), to participate in our professional learning series and to aid colleagues new to the profession checks all those boxes. As a result, our coaches report feeling energized and excited to continue leading their schools. </p><p>As one veteran high school principal who serves as a coach told us, “Teaching an old dog like me new tricks is no easy task, but the professional learning around coaching skills and racial equity I engaged in with NPS to prepare me for my work the past two years coaching new principals really sharpened my own principal and leadership skills and also specifically motivated me to tackle long-standing racial equity issues that had been festering in my school over the recent past.”</p><p>Keeping principals like this one on the job will pay dividends for his whole school community. It’s well worth our investment.&#160; </p><p><em>Top photo&#58; Jolon Shields, assistant principal at Origins High School, Brooklyn, New York. Photo by Claire Holt.</em></p> <p></p>Marina Cofield982019-07-09T04:00:00ZYour 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.7/9/2019 3:52:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What If Districts Focused Not Just on Preparing and Hiring Principals But Also Retaining Them New York City was one of the 1903https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Knock-Knock Jokes, Broken AC Units, Classroom Instruction: The Realities of Being a Principal20935GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​W​hat makes a good day in the life of a novice principal or AP? For answers, look no farther than&#160;a video​, posted recently by the Delaware Department of Education. &#160;A good day “starts off with about 500 high-fives as the kids come into the building,” says John Lynch, principal of Jennie E. Smith Elementary School in Newark, Del. “It includes a little time sitting on the carpet with the kindergartners. Some knock-knock jokes at lunch. A great science lesson. Seeing somebody smile. Seeing the ways my teachers innovate.”<br></p><p>View the rest for yourself in this series of reflections from some of the 75 participants in Delaware’s Induction Program for New Building Administrators&#58; ​<br></p> ​ ​<a href="https&#58;//youtu.be/sNtjiCvvBZY" target="_blank"><img alt="delaware-dept-video.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Delaware-Videos-The-Realities-of-Being-a-Principal/delaware-dept-video.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />​​</a> <br>&#160; <p>&#160;</p><p>​The induction program brought together novice school leaders monthly over the 2018-2019 school year to learn about such matters as ways of working that adhere to the national <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/professional-standards-for-educational-leaders-2015.aspx">Professional Standards for Education Leadership</a>. They also shared common ​​​str​uggles and successes.</p><p>The program has proved so popular, according to Michael Saylor, education associate in school leadership at Delaware’s education department, that what was originally intended as a single-year program has been expanded to a second year of coaching and other activities for selected APs.&#160;</p><p>The efforts of these new school leaders and their peers throughout the state&#160;have received some high-level recognition. Watch this video shout out from a recent event celebrating their work&#58; </p><p><a href="https&#58;//youtu.be/zEPSBCsD93U" target="_blank"><img alt="gov-carney-video.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Delaware-Videos-The-Realities-of-Being-a-Principal/gov-carney-video.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />​</a><br><br></p>Wallace editorial team792019-05-23T04:00:00ZDelaware Videos Celebrate Joys and Challenges of School Leadership6/4/2019 1:38:46 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Knock-Knock Jokes, Broken AC Units, Classroom Instruction: The Realities of Being a Principal W​hat makes a good day in the 504https://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/" target="_blank">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/" target="_blank">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.3/27/2020 9:38:19 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 2541https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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