As state leaders continue to weigh the best use of federal funding to improve education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major new research report by the Learning Policy Institute and The Wallace Foundation underscores the importance of federal, state, and district policies that foster the availability and quality of principal preparation and professional development programs. The research finds that the preparation and professional development a school principal receives not only shapes their efficacy as a leader, but are also associated with positive outcomes for teachers and students.
Principals’ leadership is a critical factor in schools’ success, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. Specific strategies and resources can support the growth of a strong pipeline of principals who are able to lead teaching and learning in today’s schools. AACTE supports the Wallace Foundation’s principal preparation work, which includes research and initiatives such as the Principal Pipeline Initiative and the University Preparation Programs. The following is a an announcement from the Wallace Foundation’s most recent research featuring three reports that examine efforts being taken in large districts across the country to shift the principal supervisor role from a focus on administration to supporting principals as instructional leaders.
The Wallace Foundation released a trio of reports examining the benefits school districts gained from changing the principal supervisor role to focus less on administrative duties and more on supporting principals in improving instruction. Teams of researchers from Vanderbilt University, the University of Utah, Mathematica, and the Council of the Great City Schools collaborated with the foundation to design and administer surveys that show how the supervisor role may be changing in large districts nationwide. The reports build on earlier research suggesting that effective supervision is part of a comprehensive principal pipeline, with aligned parts, that can lead to benefits for student achievement.