School Leadership Counts

While the importance and impact of school and teacher leadership has been widely understood by policymakers and practitioners, the field has lacked a comprehensive, research-based analysis to identify the specific elements of school and teacher leadership that can increase student achievement.

Through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, the New Teacher Center (NTC) partnered with Dr. Richard Ingersoll of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education to analyze how specific instructional school leadership and teacher leadership variables correlate to student achievement. The new School Leadership Counts report identifies these variables.

Key findings include:

  • Students perform better in schools with the highest levels of instructional and teacher leadership.
  • Specific elements of instructional leadership are strongly related to higher student achievement: (a) Fostering a shared vision for the school; (b) Providing an effective school improvement team; and (c) Holding teachers to high instructional standards.
  • When teachers are involved in decision-making processes related to school improvement planning and student conduct policies, students learn more.
  • Schools rarely implement the instructional and teacher leadership variables most strongly related to increased student achievement.
  • High-poverty schools often lack the instructional and teacher leadership elements that strongly relate to increased student achievement, limiting students’ potential.


The report analyzed NTC’s TELL Survey responses from nearly one million teachers and principals in over 25,000 public schools in 16 states from 2011 – 2015.


For more, see