Education Drivers

Principal Standards

Ideally, all aspects of school principal recruitment, selection, development, support, and accountability would be tied to and driven by a detailed set of standards that define principal competencies, preparation programs, and licenses. Each state has the responsibility for establishing, monitoring, and governing standards for principals in each of these areas. The states are responsible for establishing competency standards, approving principal preparation programs (including specific coursework, school-based learning experience, and faculty qualifications), and setting requirements for oversight of principal licensure/certification (initial and renewal). They also have the authority to monitor principal outcome data. Unfortunately, a significant number of states provide inadequate oversight of development and enforcement of these standards. Their policies are not aligned with evidence-based practices for these standards nor do they require principals to demonstrate desired competencies. They also collect little or no data on process or outcome performance of the state systems. As a result, principal training programs, professional development programs, and principal evaluation systems vary significantly in their alignment with state standards across and within most states.

Data Mining

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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
What is the experience level of school principals, in the role of principal?

The purpose of this analysis is to examine data from the National Schools and Staffing Survey on principal years of experience on the job.

Keyworth, R. (2014). What is the experience level of school principals, in the role of principal? Retrieved from what-is-experience-level834.

What is the postsecondary education level of school principals?
This analysis examines the Principal Follow-up Survey a component of the National Schools and Staffing Survey to determine principal education levels for public, private, and charter schools.
Keyworth, R. (2014). What is the postsecondary education level of school principals? Retrieved from what-is-postsecondary-education.
How do education administration graduate candidates compare with students in other fields?
This analysis examines school principal entry qualifications as compared to other graduate fields of study.
States, J. (2014). How do education administration graduate candidates compare with students in other fields? Retrieved from how-do-education-administration.
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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Change Agents: How States Can Develop Effective School Leaders

This report highlights the very important role that states play in cultivating principal leadership talent. This paper speaks concern about improving human resources management at the state and district levels, doing quality control at the entry requirements, and give states tools and strategies to re-frame policies to bolster the principal talent pipeline. 

Change Agents: How States Can Develop Effective School Leaders. (2013). New York: New Leaders. Retrieved from  

Leadership for Learning: Making the Connections among State, District, and School Policies and Practices

This paper discusses the potential and challenges of a “cohesive leadership system” which coordinates leadership standards, training, and conditions at both the State and district levels. Effective coordination of these components, then, has the potential to both speed and make more permanent the benefits to the learning of all students.

Leadership for Learning: Making the Connections among State, District, and School Policies and Practices. (2006). New York: The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from https://schoolturnaroundsupport.org/resources/leadership-learning-making-connections

Principal Talent Management According to the Evidence: A Review of the Literature

This literature review aims to provide district leaders with an understanding of the research and best evidence regarding the components of effective principal talent management systems.

American Institutes for Research & George W. Bush Institute’s. (2016). Principal Talent Management According to the Evidence: A Review of the Literature. Retrieved from http://gwbcenter.imgix.net/Resources/gwbi-principal-talent-management-lit-review.pdf

Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments

Standardized tests play a critical role in tracking and comparing K-12 student progress across time, student demographics, and governing bodies (states, cities, districts). One methodology is to benchmark the each state’s proficiency standards against those of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test.  This study does just that.  Using NAEP as a common yardstick allows a comparison of different state assessments. The results confirm the wide variation in proficiency standards across states.  It also documents that the significant majority of states have standards are much lower than those established by the NAEP.

Bandeira de Mello, V., Rahman, T., and Park, B.J. (2018). Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments (NCES 2018-159). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.

What Districts Know--and Need to Know--about Their Principals

This paper highlights the limitations of district-level data on principals encountered during data collection for a study on principal preparation programs. 

George W. Bush Institute & Education Reform Initiative. (2016). What Districts Know--and Need to Know--about Their Principals. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED570674

Following the Leaders: an Analysis of Graduate Effectiveness from Five Principal Preparation Programs

With this current study, the Bush Institute sought to go beyond sharing information about best practices in principal preparation and connect information about program graduates to student outcomes. Specifically, this study evaluated the impact of five Alliance to Reform Education Leadership Network programs on student achievement. 

George W. Bush Institute & American Institutes for Research. (2016) Following the Leaders: an Analysis of Graduate Effectiveness from Five Principal Preparation Programs. Retrieved from http://gwbcenter.imgix.net/Resources/GWBI_AIR-GraduateEffectiveness.pdf

Principal Licensure Exams and Future Job Performance: Evidence From the School Leaders Licensure Assessment

This paper investigate the most commonly used exam, the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA), using 10 years of data on Tennessee test takers. This paper found that although candidates with higher scores are more likely to be hired as principals, we find little evidence that SLLA scores predict measures of principal job performance, including supervisors’ evaluation ratings or teachers’ assessments of school leadership from a statewide survey.

Grissom, J. A., Mitani, H., & Blissett, R. S. (2017). Principal licensure exams and future job performance: Evidence from the School Leaders Licensure Assessment. Educational evaluation and policy analysis39(2), 248-280.

How Principals in Public and Private Schools Use Their Time: 2011-12. Stats in Brief. NCES 2018-054.

This brief examines the mean (average) percentage of time that principals reported spending on these activities in the 2011–12 school year, both overall and by selected school, staffing, and principal characteristics.

Hoyer, K. M., & Sparks, D. (2017). How Principals in Public and Private Schools Use Their Time: 2011-12. Stats in Brief. NCES 2018-054. National Center for Education Statistics.

The Effect of Principal Behaviors on Student, Teacher and School Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature.

This meta-analysis finds a positive relationship between school principals spending time on five commonly assigned roles and student achievement. 

Liebowitz, D. D., & Porter, L. (2019). The Effect of Principal Behaviors on Student, Teacher, and School Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature. Review of Educational Research89(5), 785-827.

Principals in the Pipeline

This paper describe four essential elements of effective principals: principal standards, high-quality training, selective hiring, and a combination of solid on-the-job support and performance evaluation, especially for new hires.

Mendels, P. (2012). Principals in the pipeline. The Learning Professional33(3), 48.

The principal as Human Capital Manager: Lessons from the Private Sector

This research suggests that the effectiveness of principals in managing the recruitment and advancement of teachers will contribute to improvements in student learning. One of the key ways these managers influence performance is through human capital management: the attraction, development and retention of the employee talent the organization needs.

Milanowski, A., & Kimball, S. (2010). The principal as human capital manager: Lessons from the private sector. Teaching talent: A visionary framework for human capital in education, 69-90.

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015

This document updates a set of voluntary school leadership standards first developed in 1996, then revised in 2008 and long known by the initials of the creator of the original document, ISLLC. The 2015 document differs from its predecessors by focusing more strongly and clearly on students and student learning. 

National Policy Board for Educational Administration. (2015). Professional standards for educational leaders 2015.

Principal Effectiveness: A New Principalship to Drive Student Achievement, Teacher Effectiveness and School Turnarounds with Key Insights from the Urban Excellence Framework

This report uses findings from individual school across the country and principals to inform a new definition of principal effectiveness. It makes recommendations for school leadership policies geared toward dramatically increasing the number of successful principals. 

New Leaders for New Schools. (2009). Principal Effectiveness: A New Principalship to Drive Student Achievement, Teacher Effectiveness and School Turnarounds with Key Insights from the Urban Excellence Framework [TM]. Executive Summary. ERIC Clearinghouse.

Prioritizing Leadership: New Leaders' Federal Policy Platform

Founded in 2000 by a team of social entrepreneurs, New Leaders is a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders and designs effective leadership policies and practices for school systems across the country.

New Leaders. (2014). Prioritizing Leadership: New Leaders' Federal Policy Platform. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED559351.pdf

Preparing a pipeline of effective principals: A legislative approach

Using examples from states throughout the country, this guidebook from the National Conference of State Legislatures describes six key areas in which state legislators can take action to improve the quality of leadership in public schools

Shelton, S. V. (2012). Preparing a pipeline of effective principals: A legislative approach. National Conference of State Legislatures.

First-Ever Professional Standards for Principal Supervisors Released

The first-ever standards meant to clarify what principal supervisors should know and be able to do to help principals improve teaching and learning in schools were released on Monday.

Superville, D.R. (2015). First-Ever Professional Standards for Principal Supervisors Released. Eduaction Week. Retrieved from https://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/District_Dossier/2015/12/first-ever_professional_standa.html

Improving State Evaluation of Principal Preparation Programs

Intended for state officials involved in the assessment and approval of university and other programs to train future school principals, this report describes five design principles for effective program evaluation.

UCEA and New Leaders (2016). Improving state evaluation of principal preparation programs. Retrieved from: www.sepkit.org

School Principals and School Performance
This paper uses data from New York City to estimate how the characteristics of school principals relate to school performance, as measured by students' standardized exam scores and other outcomes. There is little evidence of any relationship between school performance and principal education and pre-principal work experience, but some evidence that experience as an assistant principal at the principal's current school is associated with higher performance among inexperienced principals.
Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School Principals and School Performance. Working Paper 38. National Center for Analysis of longitudinal data in Education research.
The Making of the Principal-Five Lessons in Leadership Training
This Wallace Perspective plumbs foundation research and work in school leadership to identify five lessons for better training, including: more selective admission to training programs, a focus on instructional leadership and mentoring for new principals.
Mitgang, L. (2012). The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training. Perspective. Wallace Foundation.
Assessing Learning-Centered Leadership: Connections to Research, Professional Standards, and Current Practices
Research shows that most assessments of school leaders are ineffective in gauging how leaders are - or are not - promoting learning. This Wallace Perspective describes a possible new direction, highlights new assessment instruments and discusses unknowns in using assessments to improve leadership and benefit students.
Portin, B. S. (2009). Assessing the effectiveness of school leaders: New directions and new processes. The Wallace Foundation

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