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 paper examines a number of promising principal preparation programs to identify lessons for improving the impact of principals on student perrmance.
A new approach to principal preparation: Innovative programs share their practices and lessons learned. Rainwater Leadership Alliance, 2010.
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
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
Intended as a formative assessment tool, this guide provides detailed, individual state profiles and state-to-state comparisons of 8 policy areas and 21 policy criteria that support the development of effective leaders.
Anderson, E., & Reynolds, A. L. (2015). A policymaker’s guide: Research-based policy for principal preparation program approval and licensure. Charlottesville, VA: University Council for Educational Administration.
This study used within-program comparison of follow-up survey responses from two sets of program graduates from a university-based leadership preparation program to determine differences in program features and outcome measures.
Ballenger, J., Alford, B., McCune, S. L., & McCune, E. D. (2010). Obtaining validation from graduates on a restructured principal preparation program. Jsl Vol 19-N5, 19 533.
Over the past 10 years, the Southern Regional Education Board has helped states and public universities across the region evaluate their state policies for preparing school principals who are leaders of instruction. This benchmark report reviews the past decade and looks at 10 learning-centered leadership indicators to gauge how far states have come and how far they need to go in selecting, preparing and supporting leaders of change.
Bottoms, G., Egelson, P., & Bussey, L. H. (2012). Progress over a decade in preparing more effective school principals. Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education Board.
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.
This study examined principal preparation programs within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to ascertain whether their programs were structured in a way that would equip principal candidates with the leadership roles deemed essential for 21st century school leadership.
Burks, Karlin. (2014). An Analysis of Principal Preparation Programs at Pennsylvania State Schools. Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs) Paper 1934.
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.
This report consists of two parts: a survey of 67 public school systems district staff serving as principal supervisors and on-site analysis of six districts pre-service training and support systems for new principals.
Corcoran, A., et al. (2013). Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.
The purpose of this study was to determine principals' perceptions of how effective mentoring programs and university-based principal preparation programs are in developing the skills necessary to carry out the 13 critical success factors identified by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). A review of the literature addressed what it means to be an effective principal and what an effective mentoring program should look like.
Dodson, R. B. (2006). The Effectiveness of Principal Training and Formal Principal Mentoring Programs.
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
In this report, the Southern Regional Education Board evaluates some 60 internship programs within its states and finds them lacking in a number of ways, including failing to provide real experiences in leadership. It urges policymakers, universities and school districts to create apprenticeships that better prepare aspiring principals for the demands they will face.
Fry, B., Bottoms, G., & O’neill, K. (2005). The principal internship: How can we get it right. Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education Board.
This study examined elementary school principal preparation programs to identify which program characteristics produced principals who were able to build well-qualified teams of teachers and improve student performance.
Fuller, E., Young, M., & Baker, B. D. (2010). Do principal preparation programs influence student achievement through the building of teacher-team qualifications by the principal? An exploratory analysis. Educational Administration Quarterly, 0011000010378613.
This study examines the influence of administrator credential programs, on-the-job experiences, and the standards in the development of urban public school principals.
Fultz, M. Assessing the Relationship Between Administrator Preparation Programs and Job Performance.
The authors have been evaluating the impact of five principal preparation programs in the United States on student outcomes. This information should be considered as one aspect of preparation program improvement and accountability. The study team lays out its recommendations in this policy paper.
George W. Bush Institute & Education Reform Initiative. (2016). Developing Leaders: The Importance--and the Challenges--of Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs, Retrieved from https://gwbcenter.imgix.net/Resources/gwbi-importance-of-evaluating-principal-prep.pdf
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
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
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.
This study present results of a comprehensive review of principal leadership assessment practices in the United States. Using the learning-centered leadership framework, it focused on identifying the congruence (or lack thereof) between documented assessment practices and the research-based criteria for effective leadership that are associated with improved school performance.
Goldring, E., Cravens, X. C., Murphy, J., Porter, A. C., Elliott, S. N., & Carson, B. (2009). The evaluation of principals: What and how do states and urban districts assess leadership?. The Elementary School Journal, 110(1), 19-39
With support from The Wallace Foundation, a Vanderbilt University team is developing a tool to monitor and assess the performance of school leaders. The Vanderbilt assessment will differ from existing tools by focusing 100 percent on instructional leadership and examining both principals and leadership teams. The paper, with two companion reports, presents the research behind and conceptual framework for the tool.
Goldring, E., Porter, A., Murphy, J., Elliott, S. N., & Cravens, X. (2009). Assessing learning-centered leadership: Connections to research, professional standards, and current practices. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 8(1), 1-36.
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 study draws on data combining survey responses from principals, assistant principals, teachers and parents with administrative data to identify which principal skills matter most for school outcomes.
Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating Principal Effectiveness How Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Assistant Principals Identify the Central Importance of Managerial Skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091-1123.
This study draws on a range of existing quantitative data resources, including Chicago Public Schools' personnel and test score data, and a biannual survey of teachers and principals to
Hart, H. M., Sporte, S. E., Ponisciak, S. M., Stevens, W., & Cambronne, A. (2008). Teacher and Principal Leadership in Chicago: Ongoing Analyses of Preparation Programs. Research Report. Consortium on Chicago School Research.
This report is a comprehensive and research-based framework outlining the conditions necessary for transformational school leaders to succeed. It offers a framework of conditions that can help districts enable great school leadership.
Ikemoto, G., Taliaferro, L., Fenton, B., Davis, J. (2014)Great Principals at Scale: Creating Districts That Enable All Principals to be Effective. New Leaders
This report examines the issue of school principal candidate standards as evidenced by below-average verbal, quantitative, and analytic scores, as measured by standardized tests.
Keedy, J. L., & Grandy, J. (1999). Trends in GRE Scores in Education Administration: Implications for Principal Preparation Programs. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED436828.pdf
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.
There are a number of vehicles federal policymakers can use to create or encourage effective leadership policies. Throughout this series we will describe an ideal policy and then suggest potential vehicles policymakers could use to pursue that policy.
New Leaders. (2014). Pre-Service Preparation: Building a Strong Supply of Effective Future Leaders. Retrieved from http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/file-8-pre-service-prep-2016.pdf
This report provides an overview of NYCLA’s flagship principal preparation program. Intended to help others involved in principal preparation think through important elements of principal preparation, including candidate selection, developing experiential learning opportunities, and funding, staffing and sustaining the program, the guide shares NYCLA’s successes and lessons learned during the 11 years we have delivered the Aspiring Principals Program in New York City, as well as through our work with various state and district partners nationally to adapt the program.
NYC Leadership Academy (2014). Taking Charge of Principal Preparation-A Guide to NYC Leadership Academy's Aspiring Principals Program. Retrieved from http://www.nycleadershipacademy.org/news-and-resources/tools-and-publications/pdfs/app-guide-full-guide.
Ready to Lead presents the collective expertise of educators engaged in building or conducting research on principal residency designs across the United States, and answers the call for greater clarity on principal residency design.
NYC Leadership Academy & American Institutes for Research. (2016). Ready to Lead: Designing Residencies for Better Principal Preparation. Retrieved from https://www.air.org/resource/ready-lead-designing-residencies-better-principal-preparation
This paper describes Auburn University's story of developing an innovative field-based master's level principal preparation program. The program’s goal was to align the program's curriculum and internship experiences with state and other accrediting agency standards, current leadership preparation research, and local educational agency (LEA) partner input and support. 0
Reames, E. (2010). Shifting Paradigms: Redesigning a Principal Preparation Program's Curriculum. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 5, 436-459.
This book presents information and tools necessary to successfully evaluate all types of educational leaders and improve both individual and organizational performance.
Reeves, D. B. (Ed.). (2008). Assessing educational leaders: Evaluating performance for improved individual and organizational results. SAGE.
This report outlines steps States can take to strengthen the approval and renewal processes of their principal preparation programs.
Reform Support Network. (2014). Promising Practices in Approving and Renewing Principal Preparation Programs. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/implementation-support-unit/tech-assist/promising-practices-principal-preparation.pdf
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.
In this report, the Southern Regional Education Board outlines critical actions that states, districts, universities and principals themselves should take as part of a systematic plan to address principal succession. The report makes the case for principal succession planning and describes six steps for succession planning that states and districts can implement to ensure they have the right principals for the job.
Schmidt-Davis, J., & Bottoms, G. (2011). Who's Next? Let's Stop Gambling on School Performance and Plan for Principal Succession. Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
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.
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
This report represents the first systematic comparison of student outcomes in schools led by the Aspiring Principals Program (APP) graduates after three years to those in comparable schools led by other new principals.
Weinstein, M., Schwartz, A. E., & Corcoran, S. P. (2009). The New York City Aspiring Principals Program: A School-Level Evaluation. NYU Wagner Research Paper, (2011-07).
This study compares the effect size and return on investment for rapid assessment, between, increased spending, voucher programs, charter schools, and increased accountability.
Yeh, S. S. (2007). The cost-effectiveness of five policies for improving student achievement. American Journal of Evaluation, 28(4), 416-436.