May 2022 Issue Brief: Effective School Leaders

School administrators serve as instructional leaders and set the tone for the culture of a school, play an important role in hiring and retaining teachers, and impact student outcomes from attendance to achievement. The principal’s influence is pivotal. In this month’s issue brief, Core Education explores effective school leadership and recommendations for policy to improve Read more about May 2022 Issue Brief: Effective School Leaders[…]

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How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research

Over the past two decades, the policy landscape and the research landscape of school leadership have experienced major shifts. High-stakes accountability, multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems, heightened policy attention to educational equity, and other changes have altered expectations for what leaders need to know, how they spend their time, and the outcomes—both what and for whom—they Read more about How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research[…]

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Overwhelmed by Mounting Mental Health Issues and Public Distrust, a ‘Mass Exodus’ of Principals Could be Coming

Recently in The 74, Marianna McMurdock wrote a piece on pandemic-related school principal attrition. Excerpts of the piece appear below: Across the country, many principals are preparing to leave the education field altogether. A survey of more than 500 this fall by the National Association of Secondary School Principals has found nearly four in ten Read more about Overwhelmed by Mounting Mental Health Issues and Public Distrust, a ‘Mass Exodus’ of Principals Could be Coming[…]

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The Leaders we Need Now: Evolution of the Principalship

How have principals experienced changes in schooling over the last two years? To answer this question, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) launched Leaders We Need Now, a series of research reports on how the unprecedented crises and turmoil in 2020–21 have affected the work of principals and the impact these changes will Read more about The Leaders we Need Now: Evolution of the Principalship[…]

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Time to Lead: An Illustrative Look at how Elementary School Principals Spend their Workweek

Principals can improve their teachers’ classroom practice, either directly or indirectly by arranging resources, to support improvement. However, there is limited information about how principals spend their time. A snapshot from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides insights on workday time allocations for principals in 100 schools. Key findings in the snapshot include the Read more about Time to Lead: An Illustrative Look at how Elementary School Principals Spend their Workweek[…]

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October Issue Brief: School Leader Effectiveness

For many years, school administrators have served as instructional leaders and have set the tone for the culture of a school. The COVID-19 pandemic further expanded the role of the school administrator – with major emphasis on student health and wellness, school safety, and equitable practice. Indeed, the school leader’s influence is pivotal, and every Read more about October Issue Brief: School Leader Effectiveness[…]

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The Role of Assistant Principals: Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership

The Wallace Foundation recently released a report focusing on the potential for Assistant Principals to help foster educational equity, school improvement, and principal effectiveness.  Recent years have seen a surge in the number of assistant principals and the percentage of schools with them, but despite its growing presence, the AP role is often overlooked. With Read more about The Role of Assistant Principals: Evidence and Insights for Advancing School Leadership[…]

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The K–12 Improvement Imperative

Writing for the Christensen Institute, authors Thomas Arnett and Bob Moesta present the findings of a study designed to help the proponents of continuous improvement approaches better understand how context shapes choices about how to improve.  Every principal and superintendent accepts their role knowing that they will be expected to make their schools better. For Read more about The K–12 Improvement Imperative[…]

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Principal Preparation Guidebook

The George W. Bush Institute Education Reform Initiative has released a new resource for districts, policymakers, and funders based on the initiative’s five-year research collaboration with four school districts. The newly released Principal Preparation Guidebook, the fourth in a series of guidebooks, provides guidance on how to effectively prepare a strong pool of principal candidates. Read more about Principal Preparation Guidebook[…]

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Why Should School Districts Focus on Effective Implementation?

The George W. Bush Institute’s Education Reform Initiative recently released a tool designed to help education leaders turn their vision into reality – the Effective Implementation Framework.  Researchers are currently using it in a School Leadership District Cohort research project with four district partners to implement the Principal Talent Management Framework – a resource to Read more about Why Should School Districts Focus on Effective Implementation?[…]

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Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools

Rand has released a new report on The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative (PPI). Students performed up to 6 points above the median percentile on state tests in schools that implemented the program, which is aimed at improving school leaders. Research across the decades has confirmed that effective school leadership is associated with better outcomes Read more about Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools[…]

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Perceptions of School Leadership

Effective principal leadership practices improve school organization, teaching, and student achievement outcomes. These practices include framing and communicating a school’s goals and mission, creating shared expectations of high performance, clarifying roles and objectives, and promoting professional development. However, research demonstrates that teachers tend to rate principals lower on important leadership practices than principals rate themselves, Read more about Perceptions of School Leadership[…]

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Revisioning the Principal Supervisor Role

Principals and districts benefit when principal supervisors move beyond the role of administrator to coach and mentor, according to a new Vanderbilt University report. The report, “A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors: Evidence from Six Districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative,”   details the implementation of five key components to reshape the supervisor position in Read more about Revisioning the Principal Supervisor Role[…]

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Issue Brief: Effective School Leaders

School administrators serve as instructional leaders and set the tone for the culture of a school. The principal’s influence is pivotal. In Core Education’s May issue brief, we explore effective school leadership and recommendations for policy to improve the preparation, support, and evaluation of educational leaders. In addition, we review the research-based factors that make Read more about Issue Brief: Effective School Leaders[…]

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Guiding Principals: State Efforts to Bolster Instructional Leadership

In her newest policy paper and accompanying data visualization, Roxanne Garza explores how support systems for principals vary across the country. Over the last decade, the term instructional leader has worked its way into the vernacular of the education community to describe the role of school principals. What people actually mean when using this term, Read more about Guiding Principals: State Efforts to Bolster Instructional Leadership[…]

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Preparing to Lead: Lessons in Principal Development for High Performing Education Systems

Of all in-school influences on student learning, leadership is second only to teaching quality. Indeed, when it comes to whole-system improvement, some argue that improving the quality of school leadership is a higher strategic priority than improving the quality of individual teachers, due to a principal’s influence across a school. While school leadership is routinely Read more about Preparing to Lead: Lessons in Principal Development for High Performing Education Systems[…]

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