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Panel Highlights Role of States in Developing Effective Principals3646GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>After hearing results from a recent study on the successful strategic development of school leaders, Lance Clow, an Idaho state representative serving on the state’s education committee, said the research confirms what his wife, a public school teacher, often told him—bring in a good principal and everything improves. “Just like a rising tide raises all boats, a good principal raises everybody up, the students and teachers,” he said. </p><p>Clow was one of the state legislators and staff members attending an early morning panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Nashville, Tenn., to hear results from a recent Wallace-funded initiative on building principal pipelines. Principal pipelines, which a team of researchers from RAND and Policy Studies Associates studied in six large school districts over eight years, are a strategic approach to preparing and supporting school leaders to develop a consistent and adequate supply of effective principals. </p><p>Ty Wilde, a senior research officer at Wallace, along with NCSL’s Ashley Idrees and Paul Fleming, former assistant commissioner for the Teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education, detailed the good news of the study—principal pipelines were found to have a positive impact on both principal retention and academic achievement—and provided a deep-dive into how states can implement principal pipelines in their home districts. </p><p>The NCSL, which provides resources and research about key issues like school leadership to legislators, thought it was important to share the Wallace-supported research with its members, who are always looking for connections to expertise and evidence-based solutions. “The research is timely and applicable,” said Idrees, a<em>policy specialist in NCSL's education program</em>. “Every state throughout the nation hopes to provide invaluable school leaders to guide and support teachers and students.” </p><p>The results of the principal pipeline study were so positive that they surprised Wilde, who managed the project at Wallace. She joked with the breakfast group gathered at the Nashville Music City Center that for the first time in almost 20 years of conducting or managing research, she stopped to call her mother. She was that bowled over by the findings—both the results and their magnitude.&#160; </p><p>Researchers found that schools in pipeline districts outperformed comparison schools in other districts in both <u><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx">reading and math</a></u>. Surprisingly, academic benefits were largest for the lowest performing schools, which often pose the biggest challenges to improvement. Principal turnover was reduced, and the cost of implementation remained low when compared with other district-wide improvement efforts, like teacher professional development. Among studies of district interventions, few had shown such strong results. </p><p>“Principal pipelines are feasible, affordable and effective,” Wilde told the group. “We hope you consider ways to support principal pipelines in your state.”&#160; </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">The pieces of the pipeline </h3><p> School leadership is a concern for many states, and 36 states passed some kind of legislation to improve school leadership in 2018. But the six districts that the study focused on—Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; Denver; Gwinnett County, Ga. (Atlanta area); Hillsborough County, Fla. (Tampa area); New York City; and Prince George’s County, Md. (Washington, D.C., metro area)—all addressed reforming principal leadership using principal pipelines. The pipeline refers to four, mutually reinforcing components the districts put into place&#58; rigorous standards that spell out what their principals need to know and do; high-quality pre-service training for aspiring principals; selective hiring and placement; and well-aligned on-the-job support and evaluation of principals, especially newcomers to the job.</p><p>In addition, pipeline districts invested in system supports, such as a maintaining a “leader-tracking” database of updated information on both current and possible future school leaders and reshaping the principal supervisor role to bolster on-the-ground support of principals. </p><p>Within this framework, flexibility is key, Wilde said, and each study district adapted the pipeline components to their own needs. </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">On the ground in Tennessee</h3><p> When it comes to training and hiring school leaders, the state of Tennessee—though not one of the six districts in the pipeline initiative—was all in on developing a program based on the four principal pipeline criteria. In 2017, the state awarded $1 million in <u><a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/education/news/2017/8/1/tdoe-awards-over-1-million-to-support-school-leader-development.html">Principal Pipeline Partnership</a></u> grants under ESSA’s Title II, Part A, funds, designed to help schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality. The provision allows states to set aside 3 percent of Title II funding for state-level activities supporting principals and other school leaders. Tennessee used the money to help create comprehensive leader training programs, becoming one of the first states to do so. The grants, given to partnerships between districts and universities, businesses or nonprofits, were distributed by the newly formed Tennessee Transformational Leadership Alliance (TTLA). TTLA managed the competitive application and awarding process, giving priority to partnerships that had a four-year plan for either a new or improved model for principal improvement. </p><p>Fleming, the former assistant commissioner who led the state’s leadership development initiative, said that when building Tennessee’s pipeline, the state chose to lean in on four areas specifically&#58; aligning principal preparation programs to the state’s leadership principal standards with a focus on equity; building high-quality residency experiences into the programs; providing bridge support for participants after they complete a program but before they are hired as a principal; and ensuring appropriate induction for new leaders.</p><p>The TTLA helped scale the pipeline across the state through nine regional preparation programs, helping districts maintain a focus on aligning training with the state leadership standards throughout training. Tennessee also developed a statewide evaluation model for school leaders to ensure that, once they began their jobs, principals were meeting standards and using their training in such areas as providing culturally responsive and equitable practices for their students and families. </p><p>Additionally, Tennessee created a principal residency, a semester-long mentorship program in which aspiring leaders work with an on-the-job principal, not only shadowing and learning from a leader, but also getting to participate hands-on in day-to-day work. And for assistant principals, the state offers the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership, which brings together a cohort of 25 aspiring leaders and focuses on training for leadership. </p><p>Fleming stressed that in order to be effective, the leader pipeline shouldn’t be considered just another program or an add-on to what states are already doing. Creating a pipeline to train and support great leaders is a cohesive approach that should influence the entire way of thinking about developing future school leaders, from establishing principal standards to finding a great fit between principal and school. <br> <br> <img alt="Tennesseegroup.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Panel-Highlights-Role-of-States-in-Developing-Effective-Principals/Tennesseegroup.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> </p><p class="wf-Element-ImageCaption" style="text-align&#58;left;"> Tennessee's Governor's Academy of School Leadership cohort, a partnership between the Governor's office, Vanderbilt University, the Department of Education and local districts. </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3"> The path ahead </h3> Even with the positive study results, Wilde and Fleming both said that building and maintaining the pipelines are not without their challenges. One of the biggest challenges, Fleming said, is the changing nature of the principal’s job itself. “Principals were once responsible for books, boilers and buses, then it moved to an instructional leadership mindset,” Fleming said. “Now the shift that’s occurred, to reach every student and every teacher, is you have to be a shared instructional leader.” That alone, he said, is a great reason for more and better training. <p>&#160;</p><p>There’s also an urgent need for a more diverse body of leaders. In Tennessee, for example, 40 percent of school children are students of color, while only 20 percent of leaders are. The state found, positively, that prospective leaders trained through the TTLA pipeline were more diverse than the state average. When adopting a principal pipeline, “The state can be very deliberate to build that into the application,” Fleming said. “How are you addressing the identification, selection and retention of diverse candidates—race, gender, culture—into the program?” </p><h3 class="wf-Element-H3">Lessons for other states </h3><p> The presentation and research gave some officials from states that don’t currently have a principal pipeline something to think about. Sydnee Dickson, superintendent of public instruction in Utah, said that local schools and districts in her state are engaged with leadership strategies that start with their own teachers. But she’s interested in creating a more integrated system. “What I liked about the research is that it shows how investing can get a sustainable return—instead of just one and done, ‘hey, we did this initiative,’ versus this very integrated, systemic approach to leadership.” </p><p>The integrated, systematic approach to school leadership is one of the keys to the pipeline’s success. Fleming said that he hoped that other states would follow Tennessee’s lead and “build into the DNA of the district principal leadership that is consistent as a foundational element of success.” And even though pipelines face the inevitable challenges, the researchers and Fleming agree that, after seeing the pipelines in action on the road to school improvement, the challenges are well worth it.</p> Holly Korbey1012019-09-10T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.9/10/2019 1:45:34 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Panel Highlights Role of States in Developing Effective Principals At the National Conference of State Legislatures, a look 583https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
How School Leaders Can Create Conditions for Teacher and Student Success3448GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Two veteran principals and a leading researcher from the RAND Corporation explored both the role principals play in student achievement and the positive effects of building principal pipelines at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Baltimore. The annual event brings together journalists and education experts from across the country.<br><br> The discussion focused on the results detailed in a new RAND report, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"> <em>Principal Pipelines&#58; A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools</em></a>. Moderated by Matt Barnum, a reporter for <em>Chalkbeat</em>, the panel featured Susan Gates, a senior economist with RAND and co-principal investigator of the evaluation; Mary Beck, principal of Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago; and Robert Motley, principal of Atholton High School in Columbia, Md.<br><br> The RAND research examined the impact of The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which supported six large school districts in developing the four major components of a principal pipeline. The districts were not creating a new program, Gates emphasized. Rather, by setting rigorous standards for school leaders, ensuring high-quality preservice preparation, being selective in hiring and placement, and providing aligned on-the-job support and evaluations, the districts were “doing regular and routine work strategically and effectively,” Gates said. “And they had to develop systems to sustain these improvements over time.”</p><p> <strong>The Benefits of Pipelines</strong><br> The districts, researchers found, were able to build pipelines and to do so at an affordable cost. Better still, the RAND study concluded that the pipelines were effective, benefiting districts, schools and students. Schools with new principals in pipeline districts outperformed matched non-pipeline schools with new principals in the same state by 2.87 percentile points in math and 6.22 percentile points in reading after three year or more years. (They also saw gains after two years.) Further, the districts saw less turnover among principals, Gates explained.<br><br> “This is a great study showing this program appears to be effective,” commented Barnum. He asked Gates whether national and state policymakers had been wise in focusing so much attention on teachers, rather than principals.<br><br> “The number one factor driving teacher turnover is the quality of the school leader,” Gates answered. “At the end of the day, people don’t want to go to work for a [bad] boss. If we could get stellar school leaders in every school, teachers would be happier and more effective.”<br><br> Beck agreed, saying that working for an ineffective principal had spurred her own interest in becoming a school leader. “It comes down to motivation and dedication and commitment to kids,” she said. “In the Chicago Public Schools we’re high poverty, and we are really successful. And it’s because principals believe in social justice and the transformative power of education.”<br><br> Motley concurred, noting that, among other things, he has bought a “rolling desk” that he pushes around school hallways so he can stay in touch with teachers and students.</p><p> <strong>What Principals Do</strong><br> Asked by Barnum to describe a typical day for a principal, Beck and Motley also agreed&#58; There isn’t one.<br><br> “You walk in each day with a schedule, but you’re dealing with kids, so every day something comes up and the schedule gets thrown out the window,” Motley said. “Meeting with a parent. Making the observation schedule for teacher evaluations. Lunch duty. Mandatory state testing. Covering for my [assistant principals]. Sports activities in the afternoon. Award recognitions for kids who are getting scholarships.”<br><br> Pressed by a reporter to be more specific about what effective principals do, Beck said they don’t let things slide, addressing problems right away and setting a tone for the school. “I often view my staff as my students,” she explained. “I approach coaching 108 adults the same as I would approach teaching a class with a lesson plan.”<br><br> “I see my role as helping my teachers become better teachers,” added Motley, a 13-year veteran of the job. Participating in professional learning opportunities also refreshes and sustains him.<br><br> For Gates, such answers struck a familiar note. “It’s interesting, because those responses are well aligned with our research study,” she said. “It effectively shows that if districts can create the conditions for success, then principals will stay, and schools will be successful.”</p><p> <strong>Future Research </strong> <br> Reporters asked whether the RAND study looked at effects of the pipeline on diversity, which it didn’t. But Gates said research shows school principals come from the ranks of teachers, “and there is a dramatic diversity gap when you compare the teacher workforce relative to the student population. This is an area where a concerted effort needs to be made with the teacher pipeline.”<br><strong></strong><br> Gates offered reporters a tip&#58; “Pose questions to the senior leadership in school districts. Ask what their standards are, how they are defining what is a good principal and what are they looking for to assess the leaders in every school. Ultimately, that’s what the principal pipeline initiative was trying to do.”<br></p><br>Wallace editorial team792019-05-16T04:00:00ZVeteran principals and researcher dig into principal pipeline findings at gathering of education writers5/16/2019 2:30:32 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / How School Leaders Can Create Conditions for Teacher and Student Success Veteran principals and researcher dig into 497https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Sunshine State Educators Look to a New Day in Principal Preparation16121GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>What happens when a Florida university principal preparation program, three local school districts, the state’s education agency and others make a commitment to work together to improve the way future school leaders are trained? </p><p>An explosion of ideas, tough work and innovation—if a <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-principal-preparation-programs-live-stream-12-12-18.aspx">lively panel discussion</a> at a recent Wallace gathering is to be believed.</p><p>The meeting brought together participants in the Wallace-sponsored University Principal Preparation Initiative. The effort is centered at seven universities around the country that are seeking to redesign their principal prep programs to ensure that they help shape professionals ready for the demands of the often difficult jobs awaiting them, especially in high-needs schools. &#160;A centerpiece of the initiative is that the universities are revamping their programs in close partnership with other key players&#58; school districts that hire their graduates; state agencies that determine accreditation and other policies influencing university programming; and “mentor” programs, preparation programs that bring special expertise to bear on redesign. </p><p>The panel highlighted the work of Florida Atlantic University and its partners. Moderator Steve Tozer, professor of educational policy studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago, opened by making clear the stakes of the endeavor. “This initiative is based partly on fact that superintendents and universities alike are feeling the need to improve how we do principal preparation nationwide,” he said, along with a recognition that “if we don’t do better it’s going to make it much harder to expect improved learning outcomes for our kids in schools.” </p><p>Daniel Reyes-Guerra, a professor and director of the initiative at Florida Atlantic, outlined the many changes in programming that have taken place at his university since the redesign got under way about two years ago. Among other things, there are now close links between university and district in everything from program admissions to course content to the required practical leadership experiences students receive in schools. Driving the changes, Reyes-Guerra said, is this question&#58; “How do we go from the university doing their thing, the districts doing their thing … [to] producing the kind of leader that these districts want?”</p><p>One of the partner districts is Broward County, and another panelist, Ted Toomer, director of leadership development for that county’s school system, said that constant, open communications—including weekly video chats among the partners—had been an essential to making the “deep, messy work” of change possible. “Having everybody around the table talking about the work has been a major, major benefit,” he said. </p><p><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="AnnMarieDilbert_cropped3.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Sunshine-State-Educators-Look-to-a-New-Day-in-Principal-Preparation/AnnMarieDilbert_cropped3.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Annmarie Dilbert, principal of Crosspointe Elementary School in Palm Beach County, another of the partners in the Florida effort, spoke about the role of mentoring would-be principals in preparation programs. Based on less-than-optimal mentoring she had seen in her career, Dilbert was inspired to join Florida Atlantic’s new approach this fall. Dilbert, like other principals taking part, acts as a mentor to a teacher in her own school. It’s a major commitment, she said, but Dilbert has been gratified by “the growth that I have seen in her—as well as myself.” She has hopes for the future, too. “I’m seeing results and I’m only one semester in,” Dilbert said. </p><p>In joining the initiative, state education officials have seen that the state, too, could have a substantial role to play in the cultivation of effective principals. Paul Burns, deputy chancellor for educator quality at the Florida Department of Education, said the initiative had spurred the establishment of a task force to examine the status of education leadership in the Sunshine State. Composed of representatives from a number of institutions with a stake in effective school leadership—from school teachers and prep program faculty members to principals, school boards, unions and others—the task force has examined, among other things, the extent that state policies and standards support effective leadership. </p><p>The idea, Burns said, is “to begin to dig deeply into this notion of educational leadership for the state of Florida—what it looks like, what our needs are, what our gaps are, to begin to identify what was going well.” A report on their findings is being finalized now, Burns said after the panel.</p><p>You can watch the full panel discussion <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-principal-preparation-programs-live-stream-12-12-18.aspx">here</a> and see the latest findings from the University Principal Preparation Initiative <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">here</a>. </p>Wallace editorial team792018-12-14T05:00:00ZPanel discussion sheds light on innovative new programs to better train and support school leaders12/14/2018 4:56:00 AMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Sunshine State Educators Look to a New Day in Principal Preparation Panel discussion sheds light on innovative new programs 907https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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