Tag Archives: Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

Study: Successful schools have strong leadership

28 May

A strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders
Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.
1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.
2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.
3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.
4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.
5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.
6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.
7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.
8. Has a sense of humor.
9. Is a role model for students and staff.
10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/
Also see, Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Nick Morrison reported in the Forbes article, It’s Not Teacher Quality Or Class Size, It’s Leadership That Makes Schools Successful:

Unlocking the secrets of high-performing schools is understandably the focus of much education-oriented research, and now academics think they have found the key. Their findings conclude that it is not teacher quality or class size, it is leadership that makes schools successful.
Researchers at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics used techniques developed over the last decade to analyze management practices in schools in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Italy, Brazil and India.
Based on interviews with headteachers at more than 1,800 schools, the study collected data on four key areas: operations management, performance monitoring, target setting and talent management. This was used to create an index, measuring schools from 1 to 5 according to how far these practices had been adopted….
Quality of leadership has long been regarded as one of the most important factors in school improvement. Previous studies have also attempted to pinpoint what it is that makes an effective school leader, as I reported last year.
What makes this particular report so significant is that it elevates leadership to the most influential factor by some distance. It is not conclusive, however. The study’s authors acknowledge that there may be other – as yet unidentified – factors at play, but it does present a convincing case.
It is possible that a study based on interviews with school leaders will overestimate the role that school leaders play. Staff in these schools may well have very different views of how the schools are managed.
There are also question marks over the desirability of applying one set of standards across the board when so much of the effectiveness of one approach or another is context specific. What works in one school may not work in another.
In addition we should be wary of taking a purely prescriptive and data-driven approach to leadership. While a rigorous focus on achievement may be necessary to success, it is by no means sufficient. School leaders also need to have a sense of moral purpose as a reason for the journey and the emotional intelligence to take their staff with them.
Some of what makes a leader successful, and of what makes a school effective, is intangible, and it is important not to fall into the trap of valuing it just because we can measure it.
Nevertheless, this study surely reinforces the importance of providing schools with robust and purposeful leadership, and puts a priority on recruiting and developing the individuals who can deliver sustainable improvement…. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/05/22/its-not-teacher-quality-or-class-size-its-leadership-that-makes-schools-successful/

Citation:

In brief: Does management matter in schools?
Renata Lemos, May 2014
Paper No’ CEPCP424: | Full paper (pdf) Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File Keywords: Education; management; school management index; pupil outcomes; school performance
JEL Classification:
Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES – Paper Copy Still In Print. This Paper is published under the following series: CentrePiece Magazine Share: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter
Abstract:
Better school management is associated with better pupil achievement, according to CEP analysis of the quality of management practices in schools in a range of developed and developing countries. Renata Lemos notes that the quality of school management is related to leadership traits of the head teachers – and that management practices have a greater effect on pupil outcomes than the effects of class size, competition or teaching quality.
Centre Piece 19 (1) Spring2014 pages: 24-25 http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/abstract.asp?index=4434

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share
A strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision.

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal? http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Related:

Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/29/wallace-foundation-study-leadership-matters-in-student-achievement/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

More states adopting laws which mandate principal evaluation

25 May

In New research: School principal effectiveness, moi said:
The number one reason why teachers leave the profession has to do with working conditions. A key influencer of the environment of a school and the working conditions is the school principal.
Gregory Branch, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin reported in the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research report, Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

VI. Conclusion
An important facet of many school policy discussions is the role of strong leadership, particularly of principals. Leadership is viewed as especially important in revitalizing failing schools. This discussion is, however, largely uninformed by systematic analysis of principals and their impact on student outcomes….
The initial results suggest that principal movements parallel teacher movements. Specifically, principals are affected by the racial and achievement distribution of students in schools, and this enters into mobility patterns. Yet the common view that the best leave the most needy schools is not supported.
An important element of the role of principals is how they interact with teachers. Our on-going analysis links principals to measures of teacher effectiveness to understand how principals affect teacher outcomes. http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/CALDER-Working-Paper-32_FINAL.pdf

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders
Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.
1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.
2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.
3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.
4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.
5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.
6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.
7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.
8. Has a sense of humor.
9. Is a role model for students and staff.
10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Denisa R. Superville wrote in the Education Week article, States Forge Ahead on Principal Evaluation:

Since 2010, at least 36 states have adopted laws requiring principals to undergo regular assessments and increasing the rigor of those reviews, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The changes reflect a shift from largely pro forma evaluations to complicated matrices that seek to tie principals’ effectiveness, in part, to student academic growth. The policies typically require that a percentage of a principal’s evaluation include student performance or growth. The amount ranges, for example, from 20 percent in Delaware to 50 percent of the overall score in states such as Georgia and Ohio.
But according to new, yet-to-be-published research, the growth of principal-evaluation policies has not been matched with corresponding study of their implementation, reliability, and effectiveness. Most of the attention and studies are geared toward similar systems for teachers…
The push to greater accountability for principals and teachers is due to a number of factors, according to the NCSL review of laws and policies adopted between 2010 and 2014.
The federal Race to the Top grant competition, launched in 2009, included such evaluation systems as a requirement for participants. More recently, in order for states to qualify for waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, student growth had to be considered as a “significant” factor in evaluating principals, although federal guidelines left the details up to the states.
But the NCSL also found a dearth of valid and reliable evaluation methods, and little emphasis on training for the evaluators….
Mr. Grissom recommends a system that, in addition to considering student performance and growth, would include a qualitative aspect with very specific descriptions of what constitutes “good” performance and require evidence collection, school visits, discussions with people who work with the principals, and surveys that could include parents, teachers, students, and those in the community.
A high reliance on test scores gives only a “narrow view” of principal and teacher performance, said Dick Flanary, a deputy executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Factors such as graduation rates, drop-out rates, literacy rates, and teacher turnover may be more appropriate measures to use, in his view.
His group and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, identify a number of other factors they say should taken into account in evaluations. They include professional growth and learning; student growth and achievement; school planning and progress; school culture; professional qualities and instructional leadership; and stakeholder support and engagement…
Competing Approaches
States are trying out a variety of ways to make student achievement a formal part of principal evaluations. New research sorts those approaches into a few common baskets:
“50-50” Percentage Model:
50 percent of the evaluation score is derived from student-outcome measures, usually student achievement or academic growth. This can include indicators such as graduation and attendance rates. The other 50 percent of the score often comes from a performance rubric, aligned with standards developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Example: Georgia
Matrix Model:
In most cases, 50 percent of the evaluation is based on student outcome or growth measures; the other 50 percent of the score comes from a performance rubric. However, the overall score is derived from a matrix table, rather than a percentage formula.
Example: Ohio
Student ‘Data Trump’ Model
Student growth/performance may account for less than half of the principal’s overall score; however, a principal cannot earn the highest rating or be deemed “highly effective” with low student performance/outcome data. In other words, student data “trumps” everything else.
Example: Delaware
SOURCES: Ellen Goldring, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; Kelly Jones, Vanderbilt University
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/21/32principals_ep.h33.html

A strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision.

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal? http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Related:

Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement https://drwilda.com/2012/07/29/wallace-foundation-study-leadership-matters-in-student-achievement/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Study: There is lack of information about principal evaluation

6 Feb

Moi wrote in Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement:

In New research: School principal effectiveness, moi said:

The number one reason why teachers leave the profession has to do with working conditions. A key influencer of the environment of a school and the working conditions is the school principal.

Gregory Branch, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin are reporting in the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research report, Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

VI. Conclusion

An important facet of many school policy discussions is the role of strong leadership, particularly of principals. Leadership is viewed as especially important in revitalizing failing schools. This discussion is, however, largely uninformed by systematic analysis of principals and their impact on student outcomes….

The initial results suggest that principal movements parallel teacher movements. Specifically, principals are affected by the racial and achievement distribution of students in schools, and this enters into mobility patterns. Yet the common view that the best leave the most needy schools is not supported.

An important element of the role of principals is how they interact with teachers. Our on-going analysis links principals to measures of teacher effectiveness to understand how principals affect teacher outcomes. http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/CALDER-Working-Paper-32_FINAL.pdf

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators. http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

https://drwilda.com/2012/07/29/wallace-foundation-study-leadership-matters-in-student-achievement/

Sarah D. Sparks writes in the Education Week article, States Lack Data on Principals, Study Says:

The Dallas-based George W. Bush Institute was expected to release an analysis of all 50 states’ principal policies and related data collectionsRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader in Washington this week. It finds that even states with otherwise comprehensive longitudinal-data systems collect limited information about principals, particularly on their preparation.

“Despite the growing body of research, most states are not requiring the use of evidence on principal quality in policy,” said Kerry Ann Moll, a co-author of the report and the program director for the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership.

“Seven states couldn’t even tell us how many licenses they give each year,” Ms. Moll said. “That’s a big basic-data problem.”

State Oversight of Principals

Many states have few policies and collect little information on how school principals are prepared, licensed, supported, or evaluated, according to the Bush Institute survey.

For some states, she said, collecting data on principals “was not even on their radar,” but others, like Rhode IslandRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader, are creating comprehensive systems to follow principals from their training programs through licensing, placement, and school leadership.

According to an analysis by the Washington-based Data Quality Campaign, a majority of states now collect data on teacher preparation and effectiveness, but, “you can’t just pull information on teachers and principals and assume the data needed is going to be the same for both,” Ms. Moll said. “There are nuances there.”

The study, based on a survey of state education leaders in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, identifies five key responsibilities of an effective school leader:

Recruiting and selecting teachers;

Developing and supporting teachers;

Assessing and rewarding teachers;

Using data to drive instruction; and

Developing a positive school culture.

“I do think we are asking more of principals than we’ve ever asked before,” said Benjamin Fenton, the chief strategy officer and a co-founder of the New York City-based principal-preparation program New Leaders. These include making principals lead academics, manage personnel, and keep tabs on the finances of their campuses.

State Oversight of Principals

Many states have few policies and collect little information on how school principals are prepared, licensed, supported, or evaluated, according to the Bush Institute survey.

SOURCE: George W. Bush Institute

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/06/20principals.h32.html?tkn=YPWFUWftE8lJvXPWZ1Gykb7ZFWgPdwBkQKW0&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Here is a portion of the introduction to the report, Operating in the Dark: What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership,” looks at principal preparation and licensing policies in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Policy Recommendations

In conducting this survey, we did find that states recognize many of these shortfalls and are committed to building systems that support effective principals. Many states are already embarking on efforts to strengthen their policies and practices impacting school leaders. To assist states undertaking this important work, we offer policy recommendations, including:

Principal Preparation Program Approval

States need to understand the growing body of research highlighting the wide range of skills and behaviors that principals need to succeed in the highly complex and demanding job of school leader. This research should be incorporated into state requirements for principal preparation programs to ensure that programs produce high-quality candidates. Effective preparation programs include a number of key elements, including: being expressly designed to produce and place principals who improve student learning; having clearly defined principal competencies; strategically recruiting high-potential candidates into the program; using a rigorous candidate selection process; providing relevant coursework taught by faculty with practitioner experience; incorporating authentic learning experiences in real school settings; and ensuring that graduates demonstrate mastery of competencies.

States should allow organizations other than higher education institutions to be approved to provide principal preparation, as long as those programs meet the same rigorous standards.

States should monitor principal preparation program outcome data and hold programs accountable for producing effective principals.

Principal Licensure

States should move away from input-based principal licensing requirements such as years of teaching and degrees, which are not accurate proxies or predictors of principal effectiveness. For licensure to signal proof of competence, states should seek out a new form of performance based assessment that measures the more complex skills research shows effective schooleaders need to succeed. of competencies that correlate with principal effectiveness measures, including impact on student achievement. Leaders repeatedly receiving poor ratings should not have their licenses renewed.

Principal Outcome Data

States need to do more to ensure that their statewide longitudinal data systems can track principals as they move from principal preparation to licensure to school leadership positions. States need to be able to measure principals’ ability to secure jobs, retain jobs, demonstrate an impact on student achievement, and receive effective evaluation ratings. With this information, states can make strategic decisions and investments that result in a more highly qualified principal pool.

The research is clear that principals are a critical force in school improvement in that they are responsible for attracting and retaining teacher talent and driving the improvement of student learning.

It is our hope that this set of baseline data from the Principal Policy State Survey will promote further conversations and state-led efforts to ensure that every school in the nation is led by a highly prepared school leader who can produce student gains.                                                                                          http://bushcenter.org/alliance-reform-education-leadership/arel-state-policy-project

Strong leadership is essential for struggling schools. Strong leadership requires not only accountability, but authority.

Related:

New research: School principal effectiveness     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness? https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                 Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                            http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                              http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                     https://drwilda.com/

Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement

29 Jul

In New research: School principal effectiveness, moi said:

The number one reason why teachers leave the profession has to do with working conditions. A key influencer of the environment of a school and the working conditions is the school principal.

Gregory Branch, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin are reporting in the National Centerfor Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research report, Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

VI. Conclusion

An important facet of many school policy discussions is the role of strong leadership, particularly of principals. Leadership is viewed as especially important in revitalizing failing schools. This discussion is, however, largely uninformed by systematic analysis of principals and their impact on student outcomes….

The initial results suggest that principal movements parallel teacher movements. Specifically, principals are affected by the racial and achievement distribution of students in schools, and this enters into mobility patterns. Yet the common view that the best leave the most needy schools is not supported.

An important element of the role of principals is how they interact with teachers. Our on-going analysis links principals to measures of teacher effectiveness to understand how principals affect teacher outcomes. http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/CALDER-Working-Paper-32_FINAL.pdf

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders

Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.

1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.

2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.

3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.

4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.

5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.

6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.

7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.

8. Has a sense of humor.

9. Is a role model for students and staff.

10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Also see, Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

The Wallace Foundation has several reports about principal effectiveness. Here is the press release from the Wallace Foundation about the report, The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training:

Research Points to Five Essential Steps to Get Better Trained Principals in All Schools

June 26, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Jessica Schwartz
The Wallace Foundation
212-251-9782

Angie Cannon
The Hatcher Group
301-656-0348

New Wallace Foundation “Perspective” is Second in Series about School Leadership

NEW YORK (June 26, 2012) – Strengthening university-based principal-preparation programs and boosting on-the-job training for new principals could help school districts develop more effective principals, according to a report released today by The Wallace Foundation.

The Making of the Principal: Five Key Lessons in Leadership Training distills insights from school leadership projects and major research studies supported by the foundation since 2000. The report notes that although notable progress has been made in revamping how principals are prepared for their jobs, much more remains to be done to improve university-based principal training programs – long criticized as weak and unselective – and to ensure that novice principals receive effective professional development.

“If we want to meet our goals for improving our public schools, we must strengthen the training programs that prepare our principals to lead,” said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at Wallace. “Research shows that effective principals are essential to turning around troubled schools, and among in-school factors are second only to teaching in their influence on student achievement. Investing in their preparation and support is a cost-effective school improvement strategy.”

The report notes that over the past decade, more school districts have begun providing better mentoring and professional development to new principals. Districts have also pushed to raise the quality of “pre-service” principal training, while many states have tightened accreditation rules and adopted new standards to push universities and other training providers to improve.

Yet, the report notes that training offered at most of the 500-plus, university-based programs, where the majority of principals are trained, has failed to keep pace with the evolving role of principals as instructional leaders, that is, managers who focus on improving teaching and learning, not just administrative matters. Critics cite flaws including: nonselective admissions, curricula that fail to take into account the needs of districts and diverse student bodies; weak connections between theory and practice; faculty members with little or no experience as school leaders; and poorly designed internships.

The publication is the latest in a series of Wallace Perspectives, occasional reports that mine foundation-supported projects and research for insights to help solve difficult problems in education. The Making of the Principal draws on lessons from Wallace-supported scholarship by leading researchers (at institutions including the RAND Corporation, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto), as well as Wallace-funded projects in 24 states and numerous districts. The new Perspective concludes that five lessons could guide many more school districts as they devise ways to put strong principals in every school:

  • A more selective process for choosing candidates for training is the essen¬tial first step. Exemplary programs rigorously review candidates’ skills, experience and leadership dispositions. The best programs actively involve school districts in identifying, recruiting and screening candidates with the potential and desire to lead schools.
  • Aspiring principals need pre-service training that prepares them to lead improved instruction and school change, not just manage buildings. Exemplary programs offer curricula focused on improving instruction, coursework that applies theory to practice and well-designed internships.
  • Districts can and should do more to exercise their consumer power to raise the quality of principal training so that graduates better meet their needs. Training programs have a powerful incentive to improve when a district says it will only hire graduates of programs that meet its standards and needs.
  • States could make better use of their power to influence the quality of leadership training through standard-setting, program accreditation, principal certification and financial support for highly qualified candidates. In 2010, at least 23 states enacted 42 laws to support school leader initiatives, but states need to do more to build a pipeline of qualified school leaders.
  • New principals need high-quality mentoring and professional development tailored to individual and district needs. Since 2000, more than half of the states have enacted mentoring requirements, but it’s often merely a “buddy system,” with inadequately trained mentors.

A Perspective released earlier this year examined the five practices of highly effective principals. Subsequent reports in the Wallace series will focus on:

  • The district role in building a corps of effective principals that is big enough to improve teaching and learning district-wide.
  • The state role in improving school leadership.

This report and other materials can be downloaded for free from The Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org

####

The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The foundation maintains an online library of lessons at www.wallacefoundation.org about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and an extended school day and year; enhancing out-of-school time opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.

Citation:

The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training

Published :

June 2012, 33 pages

Author(s) :

Lee Mitgang

Publishing Organization :

The Wallace Foundation

Topics :

School Leadership, Effective Principal Leadership, Principal Training

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT (PDF) ›

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Learn more ›

Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World: Lessons from Exemplary Leadership Development Programs – Final Report ›

A groundbreaking report provides case studies and practical guidelines to help district and state policymakers reinvent how principals are prepared for their jobs.

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Districts Developing Leaders: Lessons on Consumer Actions and Program Approaches from Eight Urban Districts ›

What happens when urban school districts set out to improve principal training by flexing their consumer muscle? This report finds out.

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See, Study: The problem with principal training and how to fix it http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/study-the-problem-with-principal-training-and-how-to-fix-it/2012/07/29/gJQA1gL5HX_blog.html

Schools must be relentless about the basics for their population of kids.   

What does it Mean to Be Relentless About the Basics:      

  1. Students acquire strong subject matter skills in reading, writing, and math.
  2. Students are assessed often to gauge where they are in acquiring basic skills.
  3. If there are deficiencies in acquiring skills, schools intervene as soon as a deficiency assessment is made.
  4. Schools intervene early in life challenges faced by students which prevent them from attending school and performing in school.
  5. Appropriate corrective assistance is provided by the school to overcome both academic and life challenges.   

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement

http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers

http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal?

http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

New research: School principal effectiveness

7 Feb

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.

Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.

This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.

Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:

5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.

Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”

4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000.

Retired teacher and author Jaime O’Neill believes this ongoing threat to job security has a destabilizing effect. As a new teacher, he wrote, you can expect your job “threatened each and every year when the annual state budget reveals once more that big cuts to education are coming, that you’ve been pink slipped until or unless there’s a last-minute reprieve. That yearly panic will cause you to wonder why you ever went into teaching in the first place, and you will surely make plans to seek other employment with each mention of just how precarious your employment is.”

3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139.

Linda DeRegnaucourt, an accomplished high school math teacher, told CNN that after working for five years without a raise, and taking home an annual salary of $38,000, she simply cannot afford to continue doing the job she loves. DeRegnaucourt, like many other teachers, will leave the profession to pursue a more lucrative career.

2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.

Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.

On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”

As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.

1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.

But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support.

The number one reason why teachers leave the profession has to do with working conditions. A key influencer of the environment of a school and the working conditions is the school principal.

Gregory Branch, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin are reporting in the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research report, Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

VI. Conclusion

An important facet of many school policy discussions is the role of strong leadership, particularly of principals. Leadership is viewed as especially important in revitalizing failing schools. This discussion is, however, largely uninformed by systematic analysis of principals and their impact on student outcomes.

Understanding the impact of principals on learning is a particularly difficult analytical problem. The non-random sorting of principals among schools and consequent difficulty separating the contributions of principals from the influences of peers and other school factors raise questions about the degree to which principals are responsible for differential outcomes.

Panel data on student performance that are linked to principals and schools permit circumventing the most serious difficulties in identifying principal effectiveness.

Embedded within a value-added that controls for initial student achievement, we investigate models of principal fixed effects, both with and without school fixed effects, and models of returns to principal tenure at a school. These provide alternative measures of principal effectiveness that deal with different types of potentially confounding influences.

The results suggest the existence of substantial variation in principal effectiveness, particularly in higher poverty and lower achieving schools. In fact the variance estimates for principal effectiveness are roughly twice as large in high as opposed to low poverty schools and in low as opposed to high achieving schools.

Allowance for test issues including measurement error and test difficulty does not change these results. These results are consistent with a hypothesis that principal skill is more important in the most challenging schools.

Contrary to commonly held views, more effective principals are less likely to switch districts and are more likely to remain in the same school. This skill-biased moving is particularly prevalent in schools with lower initial achievement.

The initial results suggest that principal movements parallel teacher movements. Specifically, principals are affected by the racial and achievement distribution of students in schools, and this enters into mobility patterns. Yet the common view that the best leave the most needy schools is not supported.

An important element of the role of principals is how they interact with teachers. Our on-going analysis links principals to measures of teacher effectiveness to understand how principals affect teacher outcomes. http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/CALDER-Working-Paper-32_FINAL.pdf

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders

Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.

1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.

2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.

3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.

4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.

5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.

6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.

7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.

8. Has a sense of humor.

9. Is a role model for students and staff.

10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision.

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement

http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teacher

http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal?

http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©