Evidence Review of School Leadership Interventions Under ESSA

Recognizing that effective leadership is essential to most school improvement efforts, the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) enables states and districts to use certain major funding sources to help achieve their school improvement goals by supporting principals and other school leaders.

Because those funding streams urge consideration of evidence of effectiveness, Wallace commissioned RAND to examine the evidence behind various leadership-focused activities and describe the law’s evidence framework. The report, School Leadership Interventions Under the Every Student Succeeds Act:  Evidence Review, is the result.

An accompanying RAND commentary, How States and Districts Can Leverage the Every Student Succeeds Act to Improve School Leadership, offers a snapshot of the report.

A key finding of the report is that “school leadership is explicitly acknowledged as a valid target of educational improvement activities across the titles in ESSA,” including Title I (the largest single source of funding under the law) and Title II.

The report identifies six categories of activity that are consistent with the law’s evidence provisions: leader-evaluation systems; principal preparation programs; strategic staff management; professional learning; working conditions; and school improvement models.

For more, see the report: http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Pages/School-Leadership-Interventions-Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-Volume-1.aspx

For a 2-page snapshot, see: http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/School-Leadership-Interventions-ESSA-Commentary.pdf