This report presents selected findings from the school principal data files of the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). It provides the following descriptive information on school principals by school type, student characteristics, and other relevant categories: number, race/ethnicity, age, gender, college degrees, salary, hours worked, focus of work, years experience, and tenure at current school.
Battle, D. (2009). Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2007–08 Schools and Staf ng Survey (NCES 2009-323). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
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 study examines the detrimental impact of principal turnover, including lower teacher retention and lower student achievement. Particularly hard hit are high poverty schools, which often lose principals at a higher rate as they transition to lower poverty, higher student achievement schools.
Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., & Loeb, S. (2012). Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes. Social Science Research, 41(4), 904-919.
The Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary School Principals in the United States is a subsection of the NCES 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). It provides descriptive statistics on K-12 school principals in areas such as: race, gender, education level, salary, experience, and working conditions.
Bitterman, A., Goldring, R., Gray, L., Broughman, S. (2014).Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States:Results From the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Summary, First Look. IES, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
This article explores the relationship between school contextual factors and teacher retention decisions in New York City and finds that school administration by far has the greatest influence on teacher retention.
Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Ing, M., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 303-333.
This study provides new evidence on the importance of school leadership by estimating individual principals’ contributions to growth in student achievement.
Branch, G., Hanushek, E., & Rivkin, S. G. (2013). School leaders matter: measuring the impact of effective principals Education Next, 13.
This small-scale pilot study investigated the role of school principals in the induction of new teachers in Ontario, Canada.
Cherian, F., & Daniel, Y. (2008). Principal Leadership in New Teacher Induction: Becoming Agents of Change. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 3(2), 1-11.
In this paper, we study how providing improved information to principals about teacher effectiveness and encouraging them to use the information in personnel decisions affects the composition of teacher turnovers.
Cullen, J. B., Koedel, C., & Parsons, E. (2016). The compositional effect of rigorous teacher evaluation on workforce quality. Working Paper No. 22805. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from https://www.nber.org/papers/w22805.pdf
Principals are in a paradoxical position. On one hand, they're called on to use research-based strategies to improve student achievement. On the other, they're increasingly required to micromanage teachers by observing in classrooms and engaging in intensive evaluation. The authors point out that these two positions are at odds with each other.
Dufour, R., & Mattos, M. (2013). How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?. Educational Leadership, 70(7), 34-40.
This study hypothesizes that school working conditions help explain both teacher satisfaction and turnover. In particular, it focuses on the role of effective principals in retaining teachers, particularly in disadvantaged schools with the greatest staffing challenges.
Grissom, J. A. (2011). Can good principals keep teachers in disadvantaged schools? Linking principal effectiveness to teacher satisfaction and turnover in hard-to-staff environments. Teachers College Record, 113(11), 2552-2585.
Using multiple measures of teacher and principal effectiveness, the authors document that indeed more effective principals see lower rates of teacher turnover, on average
Grissom, J. A., & Bartanen, B. (2019). Strategic retention: Principal effectiveness and teacher turnover in multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems. American Educational Research Journal, 56(2), 514–555.
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 examines the associations between leadership behaviors and student achievement gains using a unique data source: in-person, full-day observations of principals collected over three school years. The study finds that principals’ time spent broadly on instructional functions does not predict student achievement growth. Time spent on informal classroom walkthroughs negatively predicts student growth, particularly in high schools.
Grissom, J. A., Loeb, S., & Master, B. (2013). Effective instructional time use for school leaders longitudinal evidence from observations of principals. Educational Researcher, 0013189X13510020.
This Wallace paper summarizes a decade of the foundation’s research in school leadership to identify five critical roles for school principals to be effective.
Harvey, J., et al. (2013). The School Principal As Leader: Guiding Schools To Better Teaching And Learning. The Wallace Foundation.
The study explored the following overarching question: What does it take for leaders to promote and support powerful, equitable learning in a school and in the district and state system that serves the school? The study pursued this question through a set of coordinated investigations,
Knapp, M. S., Copland, M. A., Honig, M. I., Plecki, M. L., & Portin, B. S. (2010). Learning-focused leadership and leadership support: Meaning and practice in urban systems. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy–University of Washington.
The purpose of this paper is to provide one perspective on this question, focusing in particular on findings that may be applicable in the Nordic context.
Leithwood, K., & Louis, K. S. (2012). Linking leadership to learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
This study aimed to estimate the impact of collective, or shared, leadership on key teacher variables and on student achievement.
Leithwood, K., & Mascall, B. (2008). Collective leadership effects on student achievement. Educational administration quarterly, 44(4), 529-561.
Using meta-analytic review techniques, this study synthesized the results of 79
unpublished studies about the nature of transformational school leadership (TSL) and its
impact on the school organization, teachers, and students.
Leithwood, K., & Sun, J. (2012). The nature and effects of transformational school leadership: A meta-analytic review of unpublished research. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48(3), 387-423.
This report by researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto examines the available evidence and offers educators, policymakers and all citizens interested in promoting successfulschools, some answers to these vitally important questions
Leithwood, K., Seashore, K., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). Review of research: How leadership influences student learning.
Guided by a synthesis of theory on human motivation and evidence about teachers’motivation to implement school reform, this study aimed to better understand the responses of teachers and school administrators to government accountability initiatives and to assess the extent to which leadership practices had a bearing on those responses
Leithwood, K., Steinbach, R., & Jantzi, D. (2002). School leadership and teachers’ motivation to implement accountability policies. Educational Administration Quarterly, 38(1), 94-119.
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 Research, 89(5), 785-827.
The authors use longitudinal data from one large school district to investigate the distribution of principals across schools. They find that schools serving many low-income, non-White, and low-achieving students have principals who have less experience and less education and who attended less selective colleges. This distribution of principals is partially driven by the initial match of first-time principals to schools, and it is exacerbated by systematic attrition and transfer away from these schools.
Loeb, S., Kalogrides, D., & Horng, E. L. (2010). Principal preferences and the uneven distribution of principals across schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32(2), 205-229.
The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the relationships among principal transformational leadership, school leadership-team transformational leadership, and school culture.
Lucas, S., & Valentine, J. (2002). Transformational leadership: Principals, leadership teams, and school culture.American Educational Research Association annual convention, New Orleans. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED468519.pd
Focusing on school leadership relations between principals and teachers, this study examines the potential of their active collaboration around instructional matters to enhance the quality of teaching and student performance
Marks, H. M., & Printy, S. M. (2003). Principal leadership and school performance: An integration of transformational and instructional leadership. Educational administration quarterly, 39(3), 370-397.
This study analyzed three urban districts' efforts to improve the instructional quality and performance of their schools. The study also assessed the efforts made in four: (1) promoting the instructional leadership of principals; (2) supporting the professional learning of teachers, in particular through school-based coaching models; (3) specifying curriculum; (4) and promoting data-based decision making for planning and instructional improvement.
Marsh, J. A., Kerr, K. A., Ikemoto, G. S., Darilek, H., Suttorp, M., Zimmer, R. W., & Barney, H. (2005). The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning. RAND Corporation.
This study uses twelve years of administrative data from North Carolina to examine the impact of school principals on school quality. The study finds that principal departures are followed by a decrease in a school’s performance.
Miller, A. (2009). Principal turnover, student achievement and teacher retention. Unpublished manuscript, Princeton University.
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.
This report reviews studies that have investigated the relationships between principal characteristics (including precursors, behaviors, and leadership styles) and student achievement.
Osborne-Lampkin, L. T., Sidler Folsom, J., & Herrington, C. D. (2015). A systematic review of the relationships between principal characteristics and student achievement.
The Howard County school board agreed to pay nearly $1.65 million in salary and benefits to persuade Renee Foose to retire as schools superintendent.
Prudente, T. (2017). Howard County board pledged to pay Foose $1.65 million packages to step down as school superintendent. Retrieved from https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-foose-buyout-20170503-story.html
Drawing on normative, empirical, and critical literatures, this review explores the role of school administrators in responding to the needs of diverse students. Three administrative tasks are highlighted: fostering new meanings about diversity, promoting inclusive school cultures and instructional programs, and building relationships between schools and communities.
Riehl, C. J. (2000). The principal's role in creating inclusive schools for diverse students: A review of normative, empirical, and critical literature on the practice of educational administration. Review of educational research, 70(1), 55-81.
This paper is a synthesis of the evidence-base on school leadership and its impact on student performance.
Robinson, V. M. (2007). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why (Vol. 41). Winmalee, Victoria, Australia: Australian Council for Educational Leaders.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relative impact of different types of leadership on students' academic and nonacademic outcomes.
Robinson, V. M. J., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on school outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635–674.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relative impact of different types of leadership on students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes.
Robinson, V. M., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational administration quarterly.
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 study examines the influence of principal leadership in high schools on classroom instruction and student achievement through key organizational factors, including professional capacity, parent–community ties, and the school’s learning climate.
Sebastian, J., & Allensworth, E. (2012). The Influence of Principal Leadership on Classroom Instruction and.
This report sets forth a framework of essential supports and contextual resources for school improvement, examines empirical evidence on its key elements and how they link to improvements in student learning, and investigates how a school's essential supports interact with community context to affect student learning.
Sebring, P. B., Allensworth, E., Bryk, A. S., Easton, J. Q., & Luppescu, S. (2006). The Essential Supports for School Improvement. Research Report. Consortium on Chicago School Research.
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.
This paper reviews evidence from six recent studies, which collectively suggest that teachers who leave high-poverty schools are not fleeing their students, but rather the poor working conditions that make it difficult for them to teach and their students to learn. They include school leadership, collegial relationships, and elements of school culture.
Simon, N. S., & Johnson, S. M. (2013). Teacher turnover in high-poverty schools: What we know and can do. Teachers College Record, 117, 1-36
The report examines the internal and external conditions that matter for students’ and teachers’ feelings of safety.
Steinberg, M. P., Allensworth, E., & Johnson, D. W. (2011). Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools: The Roles of Community Context and School Social Organization. Consortium on Chicago School Research. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
Based on a synthesis of unpublished transformational school leadership (TSL) research completed during the last 14 years, this study inquired into the nature of TSL and its effects on student achievement using review methods including standard meta-analysis and vote-counting techniques.
Sun, J., & Leithwood, K. (2012). Transformational school leadership effects on student achievement. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 11(4), 418-451.
This study reviews evidence about the overall influence of direction-setting leadership practices (DSLPs), 1 of 4 major categories of practices included in a widely known conception of effective leadership (e.g., Leithwood & Louis, 2011) and a focus of many other such conceptions, as well.
Sun, J., & Leithwood, K. (2015). Direction-setting school leadership practices: A meta-analytical review of evidence about their influence. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 26(4), 499-523.
This paper examines the effects of principal leadership and peer teacher influence on teachers' instructional practice and student learning.
Supovitz, J., Sirinides, P., & May, H. (2010). How principals and peers influence teaching and learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(1), 31-56.
The National Teacher and Principal Survey is completed every four years soliciting descriptive information from principals and teachers across the 50 states. A few highlights include: Sixty percent of school principals have been at their schools for three years or less.
Taie, S., and Goldring, R. (2017). Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look (NCES 2017-070). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved [date] from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017070.
This empirical study of the practice of five elementary school principals whose student achievement gains were three times the expected rate of progress redefines some capabilities identified in the literature as central to leadership for learning.
Timperley, H. (2011). Knowledge and the leadership of learning. Leadership and policy in schools, 10(2), 145-170.
The hypothesis that guided this study was that the degree of teacher professionalism in a school would be related to (a) the professional orientation of principals in their exercise of administrative authority—especially, the extending of adaptive discretion to teachers in the conduct of their work—and (b) the trust evident among various actors in the school community.
Tschannen-Moran, M. (2009). Fostering teacher professionalism in schools: The role of leadership orientation and trust. Educational Administration Quarterly, 45(2), 217-247.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships among faculty trust in the principal, principal leadership behaviors, school climate, and student achievement.
Tschannen-Moran, M., & Gareis, C. R. (2015). Faculty trust in the principal: An essential ingredient in high-performing schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 53(1), 66-92.
The purpose of this study was to examine various factors that are often present in principal–teacher interactions and teacher–teacher relationships to see how those may have an impact on teachers’ classroom instructional practices.
Wahlstrom, K. L., & Louis, K. S. (2008). How teachers experience principal leadership: The roles of professional community, trust, efficacy, and shared responsibility. Educational administration quarterly, 44(4), 458-495.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss findings from Learning from Leadership. This study was designed to identify and describe successful educational leadership and to explain how such leadership can yield improvements in student learning.
Wahlstrom, K. L., Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., & Anderson, S. E. (2010). Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning. The Informed Educator Series. Educational Research Service.
This study investigates: (1) how principals’ data-driven practices may vary by principals’ and school backgrounds and how that changes over time; (2) how principals’ data-driven practices influence teacher buy-in; and (3) how principals’ data-driven practices and teachers’ buy-in influence student outcomes.
Yoon, S. Y. (2016). Principals’ data-driven practice and its influences on teacher buy-in and student achievement in comprehensive school reform models. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(4), 500-523.