The Bush Institute’s new studies look at effective ways to evaluate principal preparation and describe policies to get, support, and keep great principals.
A Framework for Principal Talent Management. (2016). Dallas, Texas: George W. Bush Institute. Retrieved from https://www.bushcenter.org/publications/resources-reports/reports/framework-principal-talent-management.html
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
This paper offer a number of research findings and action steps drawn from policies and practices that have been shown to be critical to the success of educational reforms at the local, district and state levels.
Research Findings to Support effective Educational policymaking: Evidence& Action Steps for State, District & Local Policymakers. (2009). New York: The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Research-Findings-Action-Items-to-Support-Effective-Educational-Policymaking.pdf
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology published this brief that summarizes research on the role of online communities of practice and social networks in supporting the professional performance of educators.
U.S. Department of Education. (2014, November). The Future Ready District: Professional Learning Through Online Communities of Practice and Social Networks to Drive Continuous Improvement. Retrieved from http://tech.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Section7-FutureReadyDistrictBrief-Final.pdf.
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
This report addresses the implementation of principal evaluation and related support as of 2015, viewing implementation in the context of districts’ aims, constraints, and capacity. Principal evaluation is part of the Wallace Principal Pipeline Initiative design, intended both as a means of assessing novice principals’ performance against clear standards and as a roadmap for tailoring professional development and one-on-one support to identified areas of need.
Anderson, L. M., & Turnbull, B. J. (2016). Evaluating and Supporting Principals. Building a Stronger Principalship: Volume 4. Policy Studies Associates, Inc.
The objective of this study is to investigate and characterize principals' backgrounds, individual and school level factors associated with leadership stability, and principal career paths and exit behaviors in Missouri.
Baker, B. D., Punswick, E., & Belt, C. (2010). School leadership stability, principal moves, and departures: Evidence from Missouri. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(4), 523-557.
Using statewide data from Missouri and Tennessee, we employ a difference-in-differences model with a matched comparison group to estimate arguably causal effects.
Bartanen, B., Grissom, J. A., & Rogers, L. K. (2019). The impacts of principal turnover. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 41(3), 350–374.
In order to inform discussions and decisions among policymakers, researchers, and parents, the 2008-09 Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS) was initiated as a nationally representative sample survey of public, private, and Bureau of Indian Education-funded (BIE) K-12 schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Battle, D. (2010). Principal Attrition and Mobility: Results from the 2008-09 Principal Follow-Up Survey. First Look. NCES 2010-337. National Center for Education Statistics.
This toolkit is designed to help structure principal’s thinking about the return to school, in whatever form that takes. The toolkits is structured to point and direct administrators to where to find help. The guidelines offer context for the use of the tools and tip sheets, and suggestions for actions you might consider.
Benton, K., Butterfield, K., Manian, N., Molina, M., Richel, M. (2020). Returning to School Toolkit for Principals. Rockville, MD: National Comprehensive Center at Westat. https://www.compcenternetwork.org/sites/default/files/local/5704/Returning%20to%20School%20Toolkit%20for%20Principals%20(07-16-2020).pdf
This paper seeks to estimate the effect that Career Leader (CL) program has had on teachers’ career decisions, specifically their decisions to stay in a specific school district or to remain in the teaching field.
Booker, K., & Glazerman, S. (2009). Effects of the Missouri Career Ladder program on teacher mobility. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED507470.pdf
CEELO reviewed data on 21 states’ principal licensure requirements, conducted structured interviews with experts on principal preparation and professional development in 7 states, and spoke with staff at the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Institute for School Leadership.
Brown, K. C., Squires, J., Connors-Tadros, L., & Horowitz, M. (2014). What do we know about principal preparation, licensure requirements, and professional development for school leaders. New Brunswick, NJ: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes.
Districts and states establish minimum eligibility requirements for individuals serving as principals in public schools. The intent of these requirements—which include mandated degrees, prior teaching and/or administrative experience, and certifications—is to ensure a minimum quality standard in the principal candidate pool.
Burkhauser, S., Gates, S. M., Hamilton, L. S., Li, J., & Pierson, A. (2013). Laying the foundation for successful school leadership. RAND.
This report tells policymakers what metrics they must track in order to make the best decisions regarding the supply and training of school leaders.
Campbell, C., & Gross, B. (2012). Principal Concerns: Leadership Data and Strategies for States. Center on Reinventing Public Education.
Canole, M., & Young, M. (2013). Standards for educational leaders: An analysis. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing school systems’ decisions behind crafting, developing, and revising differentiated pay plans that require districts to abandon the practice of providing only across-the-board salary increases for experience and advanced degrees by adding at least one additional criterion for compensating educators.
Chiang, H., Wellington, A., Hallgren, K., Speroni, C., Herrmann, M., Glazerman, S., & Constantine, J. (2015). Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and impacts of pay-for-performance after two years, Executive Summary (NCEE 2015-4021). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED560156.pdf
The concept of strategic leadership has been in the discourse of corporate governance and
management but in recent days, strategic leadership has become a concept in education
literature. Strategic leadership is also relevant in education more especially in a PK-12
Cobbinah, J. E. (2020). Barriers to Strategic Leadership in Education. In Strategic Leadership in PK-12 Settings (pp. 82-93). IGI Global.
Principal evaluations can be important tools for improving leadership practice, but evaluations have often described by principals and researchers as unsystematic and lacking timely and actionable feedback. This study examines principal perceptions of the Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System.
DeMatthews, D. E., Scheffer, M., & Kotok, S. (2020). Useful or useless? Principal perceptions of the Texas principal evaluation and support system. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 1942775120933920.
This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired people to coach and evaluate its principals.
DeVita, M., Colvin, R., Darling-Hammond, L., Haycock, K. (2007). Education Leadership: A Bridge to School Reform. The Wallace Foundation.
A growing body of research recognizes the critical role of the school principal, demonstrating that school principals’ effects on student outcomes are second only to those of teachers. Yet policy makers have often paid little attention to principals, choosing instead to focus policy reform on teachers. In the last decade, this pattern has shifted somewhat.
Donaldson, M., Mavrogordato, M., Dougherty, S. M., Ghanem, R. A., & Youngs, P. (2021). Principal Evaluation under the Elementary and Secondary Every Student Succeeds Act: A Comprehensive Policy Review.
This paper explores the implementation of a professional development program (PDP) for school principals. Two methods for measuring fidelity of implementation of the PDP are examined
exploring the nature of implementatiion
This paper describes a continuous learning model of principal and superintendent support. The model places a premium on engagement at all levels of the system on shaping a focused culture of instruction within their schools.
Fink, E., & Resnick, L. B. (2001). Developing principals as instructional leaders. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(8), 598-610.
The purpose of this study is to reveal the extent to which different leadership models in education are studied, including the change in the trends of research on each model over time, the most prominent scholars working on each model, and the countries in which the articles are based.
Gümüş, S., Bellibaş, M. S., Esen, M., & Gümüş, E. (2018). A systematic review of studies of leadership models in educational research from 1980 to 2014. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 46(1), 25–48.
In this article, the authors put forth a new set of standards with equity at the core. They seek to advance the conversation about why standards centered on equity are needed—particularly in light of a proposed standards refresh—and what implications would follow from equity-focused standards.
Galloway, M. K., & Ishimaru, A. M. (2015). Radical recentering: Equity in educational leadership standards. Educational Administration Quarterly, 51(3), 372–408.
Effective school leaders, particularly principals, are associated with better outcomes for students and schools. Principals help set school vision and culture, which support teacher effectiveness and ultimately can help improve student achievement.
Gates, S. M., Woo, A., Xenakis, L., Wang, E. L., Herman, R., Andrew, M., & Todd, I. (2020). Using State-Level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality: Lessons from Seven States Partnering with Principal Preparation Programs and Districts. RAND Principal Preparation Series. Volume 2. Research Report. RR-A413-1. RAND Corporation. PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138.
The role of today's principal is changing, as is the principal workforce. The new generation of principals is younger with less teaching experience, and is more mobile, working more hours, and experiencing more job stress. Understanding how to better prepare new leaders for the role of principal is an urgent policy concern.
George W. Bush Institute, Education Reform Initiative, (2016). Developing Leaders: The Importance—and the Challenges—of Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED570672
This Story From the Field examines how Denver and five other school districts have constructed and are using these systems as they seek to better train, hire and support school principals.
Gill, J. (2016). Chock Full of Data: How School Districts Are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Principal Pipelines. Stories from the Field. Wallace Foundation.
This report describes how Denver Public Schools hired personnel to coach and evaluate its principals.
Gill, J., (2013). Make Room for the Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.
Principal supervisors are a potential point of leverage for supporting and developing principals' effectiveness, but little is known about the effectiveness of this approach. The overarching hypothesis of the PSI was that changing the role of principal supervisors from overseeing operations to developing principals' instructional leadership practices could drive improvement in principal effectiveness.
Goldring, E. B., Clark, M. A., Rubin, M., Rogers, L. K., Grissom, J. A., Gill, B., ... & Burnett, A. (2020). Changing the Principal Supervisor Role to Better Support Principals: Evidence from the Principal Supervisor Initiative. Mathematica.
An analysis by The New York Times of the city’s signature report-card system shows that schools run by graduates of the celebrated New York City Leadership Academy — which the mayor created and helped raise more than $80 million for — have not done as well as those led by experienced principals or new principals who came through traditional routes.
Gootman, E., Gebeloff, R. (2009). Principals Younger and Freer, but Raise Doubts in the Schools. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/nyregion/26principals.html
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 analysis, 39(2), 248-280.
For purposes of the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF), leadership is defined as the exercise of influence on organizational members and diverse stakeholders toward the identification and achievement of the organization’s vision and goals. For aspiring leaders, this framework provides important insights about what they will need to learn to be successful. Those already exercising leadership will find the framework a useful tool for self-reflection and self-assessment.
Leithwood, K. (2012). Ontario Leadership Framework 2012 with a discussion of the research foundations. Ottawa, Canada: Institute for Education Leadership. https://www.education-leadership-ontario.ca/application/files/2514/9452/5287/The_Ontario_Leadership_Framework_2012_-_with_a_Discussion_of_the_Research_Foundations.pdf
This article presents results from a study of leadership coaches who worked with novice principals in a university-based induction program for a 3-year period.
Lochmiller, C. R. (2014). Leadership coaching in an induction program for novice principals: A 3-year study. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 9(1), 59–84.
This publication seeks to help answer those questions by bringing together findings from four reports commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to inform its development of a potential new initiative regarding university-based principal training.
Mendels, P. (2016). Improving University Principal Preparation Programs: Five Themes from the Field. Wallace Foundation.
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.
This article examines the salary trajectory of teachers as they move up the career ladder into leadership positions.
Pijanowski, J. C., & Brady, K. P. (2009). The influence of salary in attracting and retaining school leaders. Education and Urban Society, 42(1), 25–41.
This brief describes: (1) The need for more and better principal professional development to improve principal effectiveness, decrease principal turnover, and more equitably distribute successful principals across all schools; (2) The research on the importance of principals and how professional development can improve principals' effectiveness; and (3) Options and examples for leveraging current policies to revisit and refocus efforts concerning principal professional development.
Rowland, C. (2017). Principal Professional Development: New Opportunities for a Renewed State Focus. Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research.
This module will not focus on the empirical challenges to developing measures of principal effectiveness and their accompanying reward systems, but rather will focus on what is known and will provide guidance on those issues upon which there is agreement.
Schuermann, P. J., Guthrie, J. W., Prince, C. D., & Witham, P. J. (2009). Principal compensation and performance incentives. Washington, DC: Center for Educator Compensation Reform, US Department of Education.
This study focuses on the experiences of ten novice principals involved in a principal mentoring program in a large urban school district to examine the connections of theory and practice from training received in their administrative preparation program. It sought to understand the impact of receiving support and mentoring in retaining principals. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) the importance of networking with other principals, (2) individualized support with mentors, and (3) continuous development and professional growth. The research presented will contribute to the agenda of retaining quality administrators in the field.
Simieou, F., Decman, J., Grigsby, B., & Schumacher, G. (2010). Lean on me: Peer mentoring for novice principals. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 5(1), 1-9.
This paper examines research on what we know about the causes and impact of principal turnover.
Snodgrass Rangel, V. (2018). A review of the literature on principal turnover. Review of Educational Research, 88(1), 87-124.
The lived experience of principal supervisors in Long Beach Unified School District consisted of an intentional and aligned system of principal evaluations, coaching, and principal supervisor professional learning community. Principal supervisors also identified practices such as increased visits to schools and classrooms with principals, central office departments focused on teaching and learning, and the traits of creating an environment of vulnerability and growth mindset as an important skill set.
Stringer, M. (2017). The 2015 Model Principal Supervisor Professional Standards: Transforming the Role of Principal Supervisors (Doctoral dissertation, Brandman University).
This study used Hierarchical Multivariate Linear models to investigate relationships between principals' behaviors and district principal evaluation purpose, focus, and assessed leadership activities in 13 school districts in Michigan. The study found that principals were more likely to engage in learning-centered leadership behaviors when the purposes of evaluation included principal professional development, school restructuring, and accountability; when the focus of evaluation was related to instructional leadership; and when evaluation addressed leadership in school goal setting, curriculum design, teacher professional development and evaluation, and monitoring student learning.
Sun, M., & Youngs, P. (2009). How does district principal evaluation affect learning-centered principal leadership? Evidence from Michigan school districts. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 8(4), 411-445.
Effective preparation and professional development programs build the capacity of principals to lead across their full range of responsibilities, fostering school environments where adults and students thrive. Research points to several key building blocks of strong preparation and development programs.
Sutcher, L., Podolsky, A., & Espinoza, D. (2017). Supporting principals’ learning: Key features of effective programs. Retrieved from https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Supporting_Principals_Learning_REPORT.pdf
The T-PESS process incorporates a series of actions and activities that should be applied on an ongoing basis. While the T-PESS process results in your annual summary assessment, it's better to think of it as an annual process of activities that help you self-assess, establish performance goals, collect and analyze information, and provide constructive feedback, improving your quality and effectiveness as the school leader.
Texas Education Agency. (2019). Charting a course for the professional growth and development of principals: Evaluation process.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology published this report that details the results of exploratory research on how to design and manage online communities of practice for educators.
U.S. Department of Education. (2014, April). Designing Online Communities of Practice for Educators to Create Value. Retrieved from http://tech.ed.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Exploratory-Research-on-Designing-Online-Communities-FINAL.pdf.