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Systematic Approach to Principal Development Can Benefit Students4810GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​The RAND Corporation’s new groundbreaking 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>, presents strong evidence that student achievement benefits when large&#160;districts invest in hiring, developing and supporting high-quality principals. But what does it take for a school district to build a sturdy pipeline of talented principals and sustain it? Superintendents from four districts shared insights during a panel discussion marking the publication’s launch at Baruch College in New York City. </p><p>The panelists—Richard Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; Jeff Eakins, superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida; Monica Goldson, interim CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, Maryland; and J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO and superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia—engaged in a lively conversation moderated by Sonja Santelises, chief executive officer of Baltimore City Public Schools. The panelists’ districts, along with Denver Public Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina, participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which helped fund their pipeline-building activities from 2011 to 2016. The RAND report examined the results of the effort and found that across the districts, student math and reading achievement in schools with new principals outpaced achievement in similar comparison schools elsewhere in the districts’ states. The impact was notable. “We found no other comprehensive district-wide initiatives with demonstrated positive effects of this magnitude on student achievement,” RAND’s lead research on the project, Susan Gates, has said.</p><p>The panel discussed the importance of building all four components of a comprehensive principal pipeline—rigorous leadership standards, effective pre-service training, selective hiring and placement, and on-the-job support—to see results. Here are a few key takeaways from their conversation&#58;</p><p><strong>Creating a principal pipeline takes a village.&#160; </strong> <br> Every district department has to get behind the work, and to succeed “all parts of the pipeline have to be in alignment, from beginning to end,” Eakins said. In Hillsborough, this has meant examining the work of principal supervisors, the district staff members who support and evaluate principals. The district created standards for supervisors and re-interviewed everyone in the position to ensure they were the right fit to develop principals as instructional leaders. </p><p>These efforts resonated with Valerie Wanza, chief school performance and accountability officer for Broward County Public Schools, Florida, who attended the event. Broward (as well as Santelises’ Baltimore) is one of six schools districts in Wallace’s Principal Supervisor Initiative, which aims to refashion the supervisor job so it focuses less on administration and more on work with principals &#160;to boost instruction. “As a supervisor of principal supervisors, what was reported today reaffirms that we’re going in the right direction,” she said.&#160; </p><p><strong>Principal burnout is real. On-the-job support combats it.</strong> <br> The RAND report found that pipeline activities had a profound effect on retention, with new principals in the Pipeline districts more likely to stay in their jobs for at least three years than new principals in comparison schools. On-the-job support is critical to reducing turnover, the panelists noted, especially for principals leading schools in disadvantaged communities. “We just don’t pat them on the back and tell them, “Oh, you have the tools in your toolkit to handle that,” said Goldson from Prince George’s County Public Schools. Instead, the district figures out how to help. One strategy&#58; Staff at-risk schools with a community resource advocate who can address students’ social and emotional needs, allowing the principal to stay focused on improving instruction. </p><p><strong>Be a data-driven matchmaker.</strong> <br> New York City’s Carranza likened hiring a principal to online dating. “Look at it as an eHarmony moment,” he suggested. “You have to match the right leader with the right community, and couple that with the right types of support.” <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/leader-tracking-systems-turning-data-into-information-for-school-leadership.aspx">Operating a leader tracking system</a>, essentially an electronic collection of profiles of aspiring and current principals, has made finding the best qualified candidate much easier for the Pipeline districts. It also ensures that great people don’t slip through the cracks. Not every graduate of Gwinnett’s internal training program becomes a principal immediately, noted Wilbanks. Using the leader tracking system, the district can review the skills and experiences of all potential candidates when a position opens. </p><p><strong>Your future principals are in the classroom.</strong><br> The panelists also noted that the pipeline work has made them more attentive to their leadership pools. Gwinnett, for instance, recognized it had few male principals and assistant principals who are African American. In response, it plans to launch a formal program to identify high-potential African American male teachers who might step up to the job. Hillsborough actively mines its classrooms, too—a big departure from pre-pipeline days when the district typically waited for individuals to express interest in school leadership. Today, it seeks out talented teachers, gives them opportunities to demonstrate leadership, and then gets “in their ear” about becoming a principal, said Eakins. </p><p><strong>Take advantage of partnerships.</strong> <br> University partnerships, too, have proven beneficial to Hillsborough’s pipeline, added Eakins. After recognizing that the district lacked principals with the skillset to lead struggling schools, it worked with the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida to develop a master’s degree in educational leadership for turn-around schools. Four years later, nearly 50 Hillsborough principals are now graduates of the program.&#160; </p><p><strong>Federal dollars could be available to build principal pipelines.</strong> <br> An independent analysis of the RAND report found that RAND’s research about student achievement and principal retention is of sufficient quality to meet evidence standards required (or encouraged) for certain pockets of funding under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, including the major Title I funding stream. &#160;Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, took note of that at the event. <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/essa-evidence-review-of-the-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">Evidence from the RAND study</a>, he said, “suggests that the creation of principal pipelines, aligned with the evidence base, deserves serious consideration by large districts, understanding that they can adapt the approach to their local context and use Title I funds to do so.” </p><p>Goldson advised districts to examine their system data to make the case for change, then use RAND’s research to show why building a pipeline is money well spent. “For $42 per child [per year], you have an opportunity to invest in human capital that will deliver improvements in student achievement,” she said.&#160;&#160; </p><p><strong>Learn from your peers.</strong> &#160;<br> Wilbanks offered advice to districts starting to build their pipeline&#58; Don’t do it alone. Reach out to other districts, learn from them, then share you own strategies. In fact, he plans to call on fellow Pipeline districts that are excelling in particular areas to find out “how I can catch up with them.” After all, the RAND report confirms that they’re on to something. The findings, he added, are “proof positive that the efforts and cost in both human resources and physical resources can and does make a difference to student achievement.” </p><p>And for those who missed the official report launch, fear not. You can catch the recorded livestream<a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/principal-pipeline-implementation.aspx"> here</a>. You can also see more behind-the-scenes coverage of the event in this <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/376102262278/posts/415103819282029">Facebook Live video</a>. </p>Jennifer Gill832019-04-09T04:00:00ZSuperintendents discuss what leads to success in building principal pipelines4/15/2019 2:39:17 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Systematic Approach to Principal Development Can Benefit Students Superintendents discuss what leads to success in building 96https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipeline4566GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​Responding to customers’ needs and desires is a given in retail, but in school leader preparation programs? In a <a href="https&#58;//ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php" target="_blank">recent blog post</a>, the University of North Georgia describes the process of earning the “seal of approval” from one of its customers—Gwinnett County Public Schools—by engaging with the school district to determine how the university’s Educational Leadership Certification Program could better respond to the needs of a district that hires its graduates.</p><p>Using a program assessment tool called <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/quality-measures-principal-preparation-program-assessment.aspx">Quality Measures</a>, representatives&#160;from the school leader training program and&#160;the large Atlanta-area district worked together to take stock of how well the program was preparing its graduates for the demands of the principalship. The information generated from the assessment guided both institutions in developing an improvement plan for the program. </p><p>In January, Gwinnett approved the University of North Georgia program as its newest partner for educational leadership certificates. The university is now one of six Georgia institutions of higher education working in partnership with the school district. The university “is going to help build and improve an assistant principal and principal pipeline for Gwinnett County,” Catherine Rosa, an assistant professor in the program, says in the blog post. She goes on to describe Gwinnett County as a leader in Georgia and the nation in developing effective school leaders.</p><p>Gwinnett County Public Schools is one of six large districts that participated in Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, which tested whether <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-a-stronger-principalship.aspx">districts could build and improve “principal pipelines”</a> to train, hire, and&#160;support and evaluate school principals. A report on the impact of principal pipelines is scheduled to be released in April.&#160; </p><p>To read the full article, click <a href="https&#58;//ung.edu/news/articles/2019/03/gwinnett-county-schools-partners-with-ung-on-certificate-program.php">here</a>. </p><p> <em>Header photo&#58; Berkmar High School, headed by Principal Al Taylor, is one of 140 schools in Gwinnett County. Photography by Claire Holt.</em></p>Wallace editorial team792019-04-02T04:00:00ZHow the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s ‘seal of approval’ for its principal training program4/2/2019 5:07:12 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / A University Works to Supply a Principal Pipeline How the University of North Georgia earned the Gwinnett school district’s 97https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support3431GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Given the important role principals play in school success, how can districts promote their effectiveness, especially in improving teaching? A new article in ASCD’s <em>Educational Leadership</em> magazine details how district-led efforts to increase on-the-job supports like mentoring and coaching are helping principals become better leaders.</p><p>The article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">“Lean on Me,”</a> is part of an issue devoted to <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/toc.aspx">“The Power of Instructional Leadership”</a> in ASCD’s flagship publication, which reaches a global audience of educators dedicated to achieving excellence in learning, teaching and leading. <br> </p>On-the-job support for principals has <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/support-for-instructional-leadership.aspx">traditionally been a low priority</a>, but districts are increasingly viewing supports like mentorship as critical to promoting instructional leadership, the article notes. In 2011, six large districts committed themselves to improving on-the-job support for principals as part of Wallace’s Principal Pipeline Initiative , and in 2014, Wallace launched the Principal Supervisor Initiative &#160;to support district-led efforts to focus the supervisor role more heavily on improving instruction. “Lean on Me” takes a closer look at how these efforts are playing out in both the pipeline initiative and supervisor effort districts.<div><br></div><div>To read the full article, <a href="http&#58;//www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar19/vol76/num06/Lean-on-Me.aspx">click here</a>.</div><div><br></div><div><em>Above photo&#58; Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, one of the principals featured in the story. Photo by Claire Holt.</em><br><br></div>Wallace editorial team792019-03-13T04:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.3/12/2019 7:31:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “Lean on Me”: The Power of Principal Mentorship and Support A new article in Educational Leadership looks at district-led 214https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds10752GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, it made a bi-partisan decision to devolve authority over federal education spending away from Washington, D.C. Now, it’s up to states and school districts to show that they are up to the challenge of deciding how best to use U.S. dollars to bolster public education for all students.&#160;&#160;&#160; <br></p><p><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Ensuring-that-Every-Student-Succeeds/Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" alt="Brogan_Pix-crop2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;" />That was the key message from Frank T. Brogan, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, at a recent Wallace Foundation conference.&#160; “Is every child better off as a result,” he urged audience members to ask themselves, noting that he finds “every” the key word in the Every Student Succeeds Act. “That’s an awesome responsibility. There are 50 million of them out there.”<br></p><p>Brogan made his comments at a gathering of about 200 local and state education officials, representatives of university principal preparation programs and other education leaders from around the country. ESSA, the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a leading source of support for public school education and is notable for giving states and localities more control over their use of federal education money. It also offers new possibilities for funding efforts to boost school leadership—a particular interest of the conference attendees, most of whom were&#160; &#160;participants in Wallace’s ESSA Leadership Learning Community and University Principal Preparation Initiative.</p><p>Brogan said ESSA was “as important and pronounced a piece of legislation as I have seen come out of Washington, D.C., in decades.” The law’s underlying assumption, he said, is a belief that those closest to children—their schools, their communities, their districts, their states—are in a better position than federal officials to determine the students’ educational needs and how to meet them. Local educators, he said, “live with these children, they see them every day.… They know the challenges these children bring to school.” </p><p>At the same time, the law gives states and districts the weighty responsibility of showing that Congress made the right decision in placing new powers in their hands. “What ESSA is designed to say is, ‘we trust you,’” Brogan told the audience, emphasizing that what Congress giveth, Congress can also take away.&#160; “If we don’t take up that mantle of local control and flexibility and create the same, they will snatch this bad boy away from us before we knew we had it,” he said. “We have to prove that we are worthy of that trust and find ways to reach children we have not been able to reach or reach them at higher levels.”</p><p>Brogan said that those who want to improve education need to avoid suggesting that current practices are bad—and focus instead on the idea that “by most standard measures” children today “are capable of more.” Educators and education officials, he argued, also need the “courage” to identify what requires changing and then make the necessary moves, despite inevitable pushback from others. “You can’t just open the window and yell ‘work harder;’ you have to work differently,” Brogan said.</p><p>One aid in this endeavor is evidence, Brogan argued, saying that educators nationwide are “desperate” to learn about innovations that have proved effective in classrooms elsewhere. “The beauty of funding evidence-based change is that it’s not just this shiny object,” he said. “This thing works. It can work for our children.” He noted that the U.S. Department of Education is creating a new unit to make it easier to get information about evidence-based practices. As part of an effort to consolidate the work of roughly 25 offices into 14 offices, the department has put the Office of Innovation under the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, which Brogan heads.</p><p>Asked about how the Department’s policies would help achieve equity in education, Brogan pointed to data as a key lever&#58; “You can’t address what you can’t see,” he said. “The data alone won’t guarantee that you know what the problem is, but it will allow a confidence in trendlines that will enable people to stop and get them to talk about this.”</p><p>One of his priorities in leading an office responsible for distributing about $23 billion annually in grants, Brogan said, is to balance the need for adherence to grant requirements with the need for user-friendliness. A self-described “customer-relationship guy,” Brogan said that he wants “to know what the customer satisfaction rates are for our clients… and then I want to have conversations within and without the department about how we can change that to be a more user-friendly group.” </p><p>Although most of his talk focused on ESSA, Brogan began his remarks by recounting his journey from modest beginnings in Lafayette, Indiana, to his arrival to a position of influence in the nation’s capital. Brogan’s father died when Brogan and his five siblings were young. The family was raised by a single mother with an 8th grade education—and a determination to see her children advance beyond what their circumstances suggested. Working in restaurants and cleaning houses to support the family, she also managed to instill the value of education in all her kids. “She was a rock star in our neighborhood,” Brogan said. “She was unique in that all six of her children graduated from high school. At that time, it was a cause célèbre. I survived my first 18 years on the blunt end of this woman’s will. Failure was not an option. We were going to get an education. She professed it with great regularity and extreme passion.”</p><p>The challenge posed by ESSA is whether states and districts can harness this type of fierce belief in the power of education to ensure that every child can succeed in life.</p><p>For a look at evidence-based funding opportunities for school leadership under ESSA see <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/school-leadership-interventions-every-student-succeeds-act-volume-1.aspx">here</a>.</p>Wallace editorial team792019-03-06T05:00:00ZFederal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust put in them by ESSA3/6/2019 7:33:33 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Ensuring That Every Student Succeeds Federal education official urges local, state officials to prove “worthy” of the trust 440https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals 10375GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​In 2011, we launched the Principal Pipeline Initiative to test whether six large districts could put in place systems aimed at developing corps of effective school principals. Independent studies of the initiative’s implementation thus far have found that <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/perspective-building-principal-pipelines-update.aspx">building principal pipelines</a> proved both feasible and affordable in the six participating districts, and we’ll soon know more about how this work impacted student achievement. But when the initiative concluded&#58; the question of sustainability remained&#58; Would districts maintain these pipeline components—and if so, how? </p><p>Now a Policy Studies Associates team led by researchers <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx">Leslie Anderson​</a> and Brenda Turnbull has interviewed key decision makers and surveyed novice principals to understand to what extent they are still carrying out the four components of the pipeline, what changes they have made and if principals’ perspectives on their hiring and placement, evaluation and support are similar to previous findings. Their findings are published in a new study <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">Sustaining a Principal Pipeline</a>. &#160;&#160; </p><p>We asked Anderson to elaborate on the report’s findings and what they mean for the sustainability of strong principal pipelines.&#160; </p><p> <strong>What are the most significant implications of these findings for districts that want to develop and operate principal pipelines?</strong></p><p> <em>It’s worthwhile&#58;</em> There is a real payoff that districts have seen from steady investment of time and thought in developing and refining several key ingredients for leader development&#58; standards; partnerships; succession planning; mentoring and coaching, and leader tracking systems. Moreover, principals’ survey responses indicate that newly placed principals see strengths in the preparation and support they have received. As of 2018, the principal pipeline shows staying power. </p><p> <em>It’s a process not a product&#58;</em> One district leader described their pipeline experience as a journey rather than a destination that one reaches through shortcuts. No one should think that one district is “the district to watch” and try to copy what that district does. Instead, building a pipeline is a developmental process that district leaders must grow into. </p><p> <em>It’s affordable&#58;</em> There is almost no cost associated with developing leadership standards. In addition, only moderate costs are associated with creating a standardized application for principal candidates. Yet this relatively low-cost upgrade to district hiring practices can quickly strengthen the pool of candidates qualified to fill school vacancies. Indeed, seven years after starting the Principal Pipeline Initiative, district leaders no longer report struggling to find highly qualified candidates to fill vacancies; they are impressed with the skills of the principals they are hiring. Moreover, over time, districts saw fewer principal vacancies, suggesting that principal turnover had declined and new principals were better prepared.<br> </p><p> <strong>What lessons does the study hold about how districts and universities can work together to improve preservice training for principals? What are the challenges and how can they be overcome? </strong></p><p>PPI districts saw real benefits from investing staff time in the care and keeping of their university partners. Denver, for example, assigned a staff person to meet with district partners regularly, often monthly or more, to co-plan the programming. The result, according to another district administrator, has been that “they're producing candidates that are highly qualified [to lead our] schools.” Similarly, principal supervisors in Charlotte-Mecklenburg spent years on a university partner’s board and worked together closely to identify gaps between the district’s leadership standards and the university’s preparation program coursework. Ultimately, as one district leader explained, if done right, the benefits of the partnership are shared&#58; “There is that mutual beneficial relationship that enables the university to have outstanding graduates and for us to have outstanding leaders.”&#160; </p><p>By 2018, district investments in their university partnerships had yielded dividends. Higher percentages of principals who had started on the job in more recent years (after March 2012) compared with those who had started earlier (before March 2012) reported that their preservice preparation emphasized competencies related to school improvement, including instructional leadership.&#160; Moreover, more recently prepared principals reported having started on the job with higher levels of preparedness for leadership. </p><p> <strong>The report mentions that there are some areas of confusion or overlap in the various systems of support for principals that the pipeline developed. &#160;What are these areas and how can schools and districts remedy them? </strong></p><p>Districts strive to coordinate principal support in a way that addresses principal needs but mitigates the risk of delivering conflicting messages. While principal supervisors, mentors and coaches are all necessary principal support, they need to be managed appropriately to avoid contradictory or confusing advice. A Denver principal supervisor described a novice principal getting four sets of guidance from four different people on a daily basis, for example.&#160; </p><p>Creating more lines of communication between support streams is a good first step toward mitigating conflicting messaging.&#160; Because people are busy, it’s often hard to know which support provider is helping principals develop which capacity or competency. A leader in Gwinnett County maintained that it was incumbent upon district leaders and support providers to work together to provide a coherent support structure that ultimately helps principals succeed. She suggested that districts should start by calibrating support providers in defining or diagnosing the needs of the school. And she cautioned that coordination does not mean standardization and that the support delivered to principals should vary in response to school contexts and needs.</p><p>Finally, there is a danger of overwhelming principals with support.&#160; First-year principals often feel as if they are “drinking from a firehose,” as an administrator put it, and they cannot absorb all of the support they receive. Prince George’s County has tried to address this problem by creating what it calls “a central office school support network” to coordinate all of the offices that impact the building so that the principal “didn't have to have 13 different meetings with 13 different offices at the beginning of the school year.”</p><p> <strong>With the emergence of the principal supervisor role as a key element of the pipeline, how can districts ensure that supervisors are able to focus mainly on principal support and development? </strong></p><p> Districts used a variety of strategies to ensure that supervisors could focus on principal support. Several hired more supervisors, reducing their span of control and thereby increasing the time supervisors could devote to developing principals’ instructional leadership skills. One district removed any responsibility for operations management from principal supervisors’ span of control by creating a department of academic support and another department for school operations.<br></p><p>Another, less costly approach one district took was organizing supervisors into different buckets of responsibility. Leaders in this district recognized that their supervisors reflected an assortment of competencies, some uniquely qualified to guide principals’ growth in instructional leadership, and some not. They opted to divide the work of their eight supervisors so that five would be instructionally focused and three would be operationally focused.&#160; </p><p> <strong>What was surprising to you about these findings? </strong></p><p>That this initiative has real staying power. That is, seven years after the PPI began, districts still have their principal pipelines. Districts still use standards to shape their principal preparation, hiring, evaluation and support systems; hiring managers have well-stocked pools of vetted principal candidates as well as individual-level data for use in their succession planning. Mentors, coaches and supervisors continue to build principals’ skills on the job. All six districts continue working on strengthening and expanding the pipeline components in ways that further manage and support the career progressions of principals. For example, they continue to strengthen the principal supervisors’ skills in supporting principals. They also work on strengthening principals’ capacity to identify and develop the leadership talents of aspiring leaders, recognizing that sitting principals play a key role as mentors. </p><p>In summary, as we mention in the <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/sustainability-of-principal-pipeline-initiative.aspx">sustainability report</a>, they are trying to build an ecosystem for talent development in which principals and principal supervisors regularly seek to identify and nurture the very best and brightest future leaders.&#160; </p><p><em>Leslie Anderson is&#160;a Managing Director at Policy Studies Associates (PSA).&#160;To read her full bio </em><a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Leslie-Anderson-.aspx"><em>click here​</em></a><em>.</em><br></p>Wallace editorial team792019-02-19T05:00:00ZStudy finds Principal Pipelines have staying power and big payoffs for districts.2/19/2019 2:55:47 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Building an Ecosystem of Talent Development for Principals Study finds Principal Pipelines are durable and have big payoffs 572https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Leading for Equity Can Look Like3330GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​My question hung in the air at a conference for rural school and district leaders&#58; How many of you have heard common misconceptions about equity-related issues for students, like chronic absenteeism and access to diverse teachers? Slowly a principal raised his hand and shared that he, as a school leader, until recently believed that at-risk families (those living below the poverty line and/or facing significant financial or emotional hardships) value school less and therefore do not believe in the importance of regular attendance. I found his honesty remarkable, and it spurred a conversation about the importance of shifting to what’s been identified as an “equity mindset”—where we value the life experiences of all students and their families by identifying and removing misconceptions and barriers so we can provide differentiated supports and services to those most at-risk. </p><p>Shifting to an equity mindset on attendance, to use this example, means that we assume all of our families equally value the importance of their children’s education. Rather than accept the status quo, we therefore focus on understanding what might get in the way of their children’s attendance, and try to remove those barriers. And when we succeed, we can dramatically accelerate the trajectory of a student’s pathway towards postsecondary opportunities. For example, when low income elementary students attend school regularly, they can see outsized literacy gains, eight percent more growth in kindergarten and seven percent more growth in first grade than their higher income peers (Ready, 2010). By the time they hit sixth grade, students attending more than 90 percent of the time have significantly greater chances of graduating on time (Balfanz, Herzog, &amp; Maclver, 2007). The key is helping to make sure students at risk attend – something that begins with an equity mindset. </p><p class="wf-Element-Callout">In the struggle to create great schools for all students, equity often rides at the back of the bus. The Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook provides a powerful framework to change that dynamic. It is an especially thoughtful and actionable tool to bring equity to center stage in classrooms and schools. <br><em>—Dr. Joseph F. Murphy, Associate Dean, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University </em></p><p>Evidence-based equity shifts of this sort are part of the <a href="https&#58;//www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/reports/Tennessee-Leaders-for-Equity-Playbook.pdf"> <em>Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</em></a>, a publication developed by the Tennessee ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) team as part of its participation in a collaborative effort of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of the Great City Schools, the National Urban League and The Wallace Foundation, funded by Wallace. The initiative brings together teams from 10 participating states—each working on its own state’s priorities for and approaches to building the capacity of principals and other school leaders to support schools and students most in need of improvement—to help them develop their plans and to learn from each other’s work. Our playbook in Tennessee was developed by a statewide team of school, district, community, higher education and state leaders, with substantial feedback received from a comprehensive set of stakeholder groups. It features seven equity commitments, all selected for their strong research base that correlates with improved student outcomes, and corresponding actions for school, district, school board and community leaders&#58; </p><ul><li>Decrease chronic absenteeism</li><li>Reduce disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates</li><li>Increase early postsecondary opportunities</li><li>Provide equitable access to effective teachers</li><li>Recruit and retain a diverse teaching force</li><li>Embed cultural competence in school practices</li><li>Partner with community allies </li></ul><p>The use of the word <em>commitments</em> is intentional to signal the importance of taking deliberate and specific action to advance equity. Other sections of the playbook include an action plan framework to assist leaders in the selection, implementation and monitoring of the most relevant equity commitments for their community; an “equity shifts continuum” describing the common misconceptions that must be examined and discussed for each equity commitment before moving to an equity mindset; and a list of key terms defined, including “equity” and a “leader for equity.” </p><p>My interaction with the rural principals demonstrates the importance of viewing equity through two lenses&#58;<strong> improving outcomes for all students is not an exclusively urban problem </strong>and <strong>equity needs to be embedded into the DNA of school and district policies and practices</strong> if we want to successfully move our collective thinking about equity from an <em>initiative</em> to a necessary and enduring <em>systematic approach</em> for reaching every student. This shift requires us as leaders to grapple with the powerful notion that student outcomes will not improve until adult learning and behaviors change. </p><p>Since the release of the Playbook in the spring of 2018, I have been fortunate to see both rural and urban districts in Tennessee use it as a training and support tool to help shift adult learning and behaviors towards equity. For example, Bobby Cox, superintendent of rural Warren County, uses it as part of a comprehensive district approach for training all employees, from district leaders and principals to cafeteria workers and bus drivers on the importance of learning strategies—such as providing meditation and counseling for disciplinary infractions rather than relying exclusively on out-of-school suspensions. This approach helps increase the social and emotional well-being of students. And it’s paying big dividends so far with significant increases in student attendance; the chronic absenteeism rate is 3 percent this year compared with 14 percent last year, with decreases in out-of-school suspensions. </p><p>I am convinced the equity shifts and commitments we’ve articulated in the <em>Tennessee Leaders for Equity Playbook</em> can play a role in accelerating the urgency and summoning the collective courage we need to make educational equity no longer a dream deferred in our state. We hope it can help provide a guide for others across the country, as well. &#160;<br></p><p>Paul Fleming is the Assistant Commissioner for the Teachers and Leaders Division at the Tennessee Department of Education. See his full bio <a href="/about-wallace/People/Pages/Paul-Fleming.aspx">here​</a>. ​​ <br> </p><p> <em>Lead photo&#58; Principal James Nebel of Sweetwater Middle School; Gwinnett County, Georgia</em></p>Paul Fleming942019-02-12T05:00:00ZStatewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and districts in Tennessee better support all students.2/12/2019 7:22:37 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Leading for Equity Can Look Like Statewide collaboration and new “Leaders for Equity Playbook” are helping schools and 2402https://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 566https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making Principal Preparation a Team Sport16106GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61 <p>Educational leader, culture-setter, community liaison…The role of the principal has become more demanding in the twenty-first century, and principal preparation programs haven’t always been able to keep up. Part of the problem is that it’s rare for university-based programs to work closely with the school districts that hire their graduates. Starting in 2016, seven universities set out to change that as part of the Wallace-funded University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). After year one of the four-year effort, the universities succeeded in forging strong partnerships with districts and other key players—the first step in overhauling their programs and sending out better-prepared principals.</p><p>How they did it is the subject of a new report by the RAND Corporation titled <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx?_ga=2.209301970.1951641179.1542038823-1057583374.1513009179"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs&#58; Partners Collaborate for Change</em></a>. We spoke with Elaine Wang, one of the report’s authors, about the challenges and benefits of the collaborative approach.* &#160;</p><p><strong><img class="wf-Image-Left" alt="Wang-photo.jpg" src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-Principal-Preparation-a-Team-Sport/Wang-photo.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;167px;" />What is the problem that the University Principal&#160;Preparation&#160;Initiative is seeking to help solve?</strong></p><p>School district leaders around the country express concern about the quality of candidates applying for principalships. They’re just not ready to step into this important role. This is due in part to shifting (and many would argue increasing) expectations for school leaders.&#160;The job of a principal includes establishing a positive school culture, providing instructional leadership, hiring and supporting teachers, managing a budget, ensuring compliance with federal, state and local requirements, developing community partnerships, and the list goes on.&#160;Some principal preparation programs have struggled to keep up with the changing expectations and diverse needs of the schools served by their graduates. </p><p><strong>Why was it important for the seven participating universities to establish strong working relationships with the school districts that hire their graduates?</strong></p><p>UPPI refocuses principal preparation programs so they think of districts, rather than aspiring principals, as their “customers.” District leaders—superintendents, assistant superintendents, talent office directors—understand the skills their principals need to have and the situations they will likely face. By drawing on this knowledge, preparation programs can identify areas for improvement, so they can prepare more effective principals. When the program and district establish a strong working relationship, together they can ensure, for example, that candidates have strong mentor principals or that course instructors have relevant, practical expertise. We’re also beginning to see in some UPPI districts that the collaboration between universities and districts on principal preparation can grow into other mutually beneficial areas, such as preparing teachers to step into leadership positions and providing support after program graduates enter leadership positions.</p><p><strong>How did the universities and school districts go about forming and cementing their partnerships?</strong><br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;<br> The universities looked first to engage districts with which they already had a relationship. In some cases, this was a formal relationship—for example to support a district-specific cohort within the larger principal preparation program.&#160;In other cases, there were informal relationships because the preparation programs hired district officials as adjunct faculty or districts frequently hired program graduates. Some universities and districts established connections where there were none before. <br> &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;<br> There were several early activities that helped them build and deepen their partnerships. First, they worked to articulate and agree on what candidates graduating from the program should know and be able to do. For some teams, this was a very intensive process. Having a common objective helped them understand and work with each other even when there was disagreement. Next, they reflected on and identified the strengths and weaknesses of the existing program. Finally, they each developed a logic model to help guide change. This process allowed all voices to be heard, rallied everyone around the same goals, and secured a commitment on everyone’s part to help to reach those goals.</p><p><strong>What is the biggest challenge the universities and their partners have faced in redesigning the programming, and how are they tackling it?</strong></p><p>Universities and their partners are grappling with how to craft a set of coherent experiences that prepare candidates for an inherently complex job in a wide range of school settings. It’s an ambitious undertaking. For example, the teams used a research-based tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing programs and identify areas for improvement. They also worked together to develop learning experiences outside of traditional classroom instruction, such as modules linked to field-based experiences and milestone assessments that span multiple courses.</p><p>Several UPPI teams were confronted with turnover among the staff working on the initiative, as well as key supporters like university presidents, provosts, deans, and school district superintendents. Some teams prepared for this inevitable turnover by cross-training their staff, so that someone was always prepared to step in when a team member was unavailable. Some relied on strong documentation, to help onboard new team members and organization leaders. In all cases, the university-based project lead took time to brief new team members in order to smooth out the transition.</p><p><strong>What has surprised you in your research to date?</strong></p><p>One thing that has surprised us also surprised many of the universities and their partners&#58; how much they were able to learn from each other. Because they listened to district leaders, university leaders began to understand that principals—including their own graduates—needed more explicit guidance and practice in areas such as communication and cultural responsiveness. District leaders found that being authentically involved in shaping the principal program caused them to rethink their expectations for their school leaders. We heard repeatedly from district, university and state leaders that working closely with their partners has prompted them to fundamentally retool how principals are developed and supported. The UPPI programs are sharing their experiences, strategies—and in some cases revised syllabi and program materials—with programs across their state and beyond.</p><p><em>*This interview has been edited and condensed.</em></p> Wallace editorial team792018-11-20T05:00:00ZRAND’s Elaine Wang on how seven universities are learning to think of school districts as collaborators and “customers”11/20/2018 2:56:05 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making Principal Preparation a Team Sport RAND’s Elaine Wang on how seven universities are learning to think of school 488https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
“Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job Easier16111GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>Schools were created for learning—from young kids mastering their ABCs to high-school students developing career skills and everything in between. A new <em>Education Week</em> series shows just how much principals are learning too.</p><p>In the recent special report <a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/ew/collections/principal-solutions/index.html?cmp=soc-edit-tw">“Principals Under Pressure,”</a> school leaders spoke candidly about the most challenging parts of the job—which <em>Education Week </em>argues is the most demanding and complex in the K-12 system&#58; “Six issues came up, over and over,” the series cites, “Safety, student mental health, dealing with toxic employees, handling the complex needs of special education students and their families, holding on to the best teachers, and time management and work-life balance.” </p><p>Over the years we’ve learned the extent to which <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/How-Leadership-Influences-Student-Learning.pdf">high-quality principals are vital to the effectiveness of schools</a>. But <em>Education Week’s </em>articles underscore just how challenging the principalship can be, and point to a need for better preparation and support to help principals face the real-world demands of the job. </p><p>According to a 2016 survey, many district and university leaders <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">agree</a> that most university-based preparation programs have not adequately prepared principals for today’s challenges. To test how these training grounds can change to better prepare future leaders, we launched the four-year University Principal Preparation Initiative in 2016. Seven universities are seeking to redesign their programs to reflect the research on what constitutes high-quality principal training. A key aspect of the redesign is immersing principal candidates in school life. The participating universities are boosting internships and field experience to offer genuine leadership experience, and they’re closely tying these real-world experiences to what’s taught in courses.</p><p>Importantly, the universities are doing this work through partnerships. Partnerships between principal training programs and school districts are rare, but they can help training programs respond to district needs and are <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/improving-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx">essential</a> to high-quality instruction. Each university training program in the initiative has partnered with at least three school districts that hire its graduates, a state education office and a mentor university training program. </p><p>At the outset of the initiative, the universities worked with their partners to agree upon expectations for their graduates. They examined their current programs to identify strengths and weaknesses, and then they mapped their goals and strategies. Curriculum changes vary by the university but include an emphasis on special education and instruction in building school culture—two issues closely related to the top challenges identified by <em>Education Week</em>. RAND Corporation recently released its first of three reports on the initiative, <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/launching-redesign-university-principal-preparation-programs.aspx"><em>Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs</em></a>, which looks at the initiative’s implementation and suggests that this type of redesign process is doable. </p><p>University programs are just one piece of the pipeline to help principals lead effectively. Since 2011, our <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/Building-a-Stronger-Principalship-Vol-5-The-Principal-Pipeline-Initiative-in-Action.pdf">Principal Pipeline Initiative</a> has been testing whether district-managed principal pipelines can produce large corps of principals who can improve teaching, learning and student achievement in schools. We’ve been working with six large, urban school districts across the country to help them develop strong principal pipelines by improving principal training, hiring and on-the-job support and evaluation. Independent studies have found that building principal pipelines is feasible and affordable, and forthcoming reports will offer more about the impact on student achievement and school improvement.</p><p>We’ve also been working to improve the support principals receive while on the job through our Principal Supervisor Initiative. As part of this work, six districts are shifting the principal supervisor role from a focus on operation and compliance to a focus on developing principals to be effective instructional leaders. Thus far, the districts have reported that <a name="_Hlk529184236">principals were able to develop more productive relationships with their supervisors and a </a> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/a-new-role-emerges-for-principal-supervisors.aspx">study of their efforts</a> demonstrates the feasibility of making substantial changes to the principal supervisor role.</p><p>Clearly, principals have a tough job—and the role is changing rapidly to meet increasing the demands on school leaders. Better preparation and support can help school principals navigate the challenges they face every day and ensure that they are continuously honing their own skills too. &#160;</p> Wallace editorial team792018-11-13T05:00:00ZEducation Week series on principals underscores the need for training that reflects the real-world demands of the job11/13/2018 2:59:23 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / “Principals Under Pressure”: Preparation and Support Can Make a Tough Job Easier A new Education Week series shows just how 297https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Congressional Briefing Addresses the Vital (and expanding) Role of School Leaders10295GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61;GP0|#8cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba;L0|#08cf34914-7bff-4dc4-95c0-d6e59a295cba|Effective Principal Leadership;GPP|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;GP0|#0cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a;L0|#00cd55c08-6cf5-4ae7-a735-f8317421308a|ESSA;GP0|#184b3b02-1dae-4ee1-9ac9-9704ebd0b823;L0|#0184b3b02-1dae-4ee1-9ac9-9704ebd0b823|State and Federal Policy<p>​​​​​Encompassing, evolving, critical—that’s how principals described their roles during a recent congressional briefing to highlight <a href="https&#58;//www.principalsmonth.org/event/national-principals-month-capitol-hill-briefing/">National Principals Month</a>. National education leaders and congressional staff had convened on Capitol Hill to discuss federal support for principals, focusing on funding opportunities for school leadership in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). </p><p>“We know a lot from evidence and experience about the vital role of principals and other school leaders in terms of getting the opportunity, the systems, the outcomes we need,” said Tiara Booker-Dwyer, executive director of leadership development and school improvement for the Maryland State Department of Education. Next to classroom instruction, principals are the second most important factor that impacts student learning, she added, alluding to a landmark Wallace-funded <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-leadership-influences-student-learning.aspx">examination of school leadership</a>.</p><p>In describing the importance of principals’ work, panelists detailed an overwhelming list of job duties&#58; managing operations and finance, engaging parents, implementing policies, evaluating instruction, overseeing student behavior, encouraging students’ social and emotional health, supporting their staff and fostering a positive school climate. This prompted moderator Scott Palmer, managing partner and co-founder of EducationCounsel, to suggest, “Maybe if Congress could find a way to stop time, that would be really helpful.”</p><p>While Congress doesn’t have the power to stop time, panelists were unequivocal in urging Congress to support principals in another way&#58; funding support for&#160;school leadership. Palmer pointed to increasing attention paid to school leadership at the federal level, including through <a href="/knowledge-center/Documents/School-Leadership-Interventions-ESSA-Evidence-Review.pdf">ESSA</a>, which expands the opportunities for states and districts to use federal funding for school leadership improvement. Title II, Part A of ESSA allocates about $2.3 billion per year to improve the quality of principals, teachers and other school leaders. States may reserve up to an additional 3 percent of the amount set aside for district subgrants for school leader support. </p><p>“It’s important that you understand the critical role of principals and other school leaders and that funding for Title II—full funding, more funding—is essential to the work we do each and every day,” said Christine Handy, president of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and principal of Gaithersburg High School in Maryland. </p><p>Panelists identified principal supervisors as an important driver of improved leadership. Laura Mastrogiovanni, principal of M.S. 137 in Queens, said her leadership skills “came through my support, through having a mentor, a coach, a consultant. I’ve had all three at one point in my 13 years [as a principal].” </p><p>Eric Cardwell, president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and principal of Besser Elementary School in Alpena, Mich., noted that 56 percent of NAESP’s members have zero to five years of experience. “What that’s telling me is that people get in, they might get overwhelmed, and they get out—either back into teaching or into another job,” he said. “What we need to do a better job with is that mentorship, that collaboration, that time for those folks to ask the questions that they have and not just turn the keys over.”</p><p>After the panelists answered questions from teachers, principals and congressional staff, Palmer asked panelists what point they thought was most important to end on. Cardwell said, “I would encourage you to go into schools and ask principals what Title II means to them. It is everything.”</p><p>You can watch a<a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6CKK3IKqJk"> video</a> of the full Capitol Hill briefing hosted by NAESP, NASSP and the American Federation of School Administrators, check the full calendar of events for <a href="https&#58;//www.principalsmonth.org/event/national-principals-month-capitol-hill-briefing/">National Principals Month</a>, follow the conversation on Twitter with #ThankAPrincipal and learn more at the <a href="/knowledge-center/school-leadership/pages/default.aspx">School Leadership</a> section of our Knowledge Center.</p>Wallace editorial team792018-10-15T04:00:00ZNational education leaders and congressional staff convened on Capitol Hill earlier in October to discuss federal support for principals.10/25/2018 8:47:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Congressional Briefing Addresses the Vital (and expanding) Role of School Leaders A National Principals Month event hosted 1613https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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