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School leadership

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Karin Chenoweth

on 2 May 2015

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Transcript of School leadership

What Should Ed Trust Do About School Leadership?
There is substantial variation in the effectiveness of principals.

Highly effective principals can help raise the achievement of a typical student in their schools,
while ineffective principals don’t.

Source: Branch, Rivkin and Hanushek, (2012). Estimating the Effect of Leaders on Public Sector Productivity: The Case of School Principals. CALDER Working Paper No. 66

Source: Leithwood, Seashore Louis, Anderson and Wahlstrom. (2004). How leadership influences student learning. The Wallace Foundation.




The total (direct and indirect) effects of leadership on student learning account for about a 1/4 of total school effects.

Source: Almy and Tooley (2012). Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools
That Support Effective Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC: The Education Trust.


Leadership retains teachers.


Although a wide range of working conditions matter to teachers, principal leadership is most important.

"Teachers we studied spoke intently about how their principals related to them personally and professionally. They wanted administrators to be present, positive, and actively engaged in the
instructional life of the school. Often, the principals failed to meet these teachers’ expectations. Most were said to succeed in some things but fall short in others. A surprising number were, in these teachers’ views,
ineffectual, demoralizing, or
even destructive.
" (emphasis added)
Johnson, Susan Moore, and The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers , "Why Teachers Leave...And Why They Stay,"
American Educator,
2006
Currently the Wallace Foundation is pursuing three intertwined tracks:
Using the existing research base to build practical applications based on that insight
Building a further research base
Using the research to affect the field broadly
TNTP

Rainwater Leadership Alliance


Updated July 2013. Operating in the Dark, an analysis of the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership’s Principal Policy State Survey findings, is a first-of-its-kind report on states’ policies that affect principal preparation, licensure, tenure, and data collection.  This report explores how states are using their authority to increase the supply of effective principals focused on raising student achievement.  The findings are based on self-reported data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Operating in the Dark includes state policy recommendations to drive needed reforms and gives the educational community new insights on promising efforts by states to improve the supply of high-quality principals.

Bush Institute
Bush Institute


Updated July 2013. Operating in the Dark, an analysis of the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership’s Principal Policy State Survey findings, is a first-of-its-kind report on states’ policies that affect principal preparation, licensure, tenure, and data collection.  This report explores how states are using their authority to increase the supply of effective principals focused on raising student achievement.  The findings are based on self-reported data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Operating in the Dark includes state policy recommendations to drive needed reforms and gives the educational community new insights on promising efforts by states to improve the supply of high-quality principals.

What Has Ed Trust Done in the Past?
We have done some policy work


As a "communication partner" to help disseminate research findings about school leadership
As participants in "professional learning communities" with their networks of practitioners
Some Possible Levers of School Leadership to Think About:
Certification
Development
Working Conditions
Evaluation (Federal, State, Local)
Affecting the Field Broadly
SAM project
-- it aims to help principals better use their time to focus on instruction
VAL-ED
-- it aims to improve the system of evaluating principals
ISSLIC
-- it is funding the revision of the Interstate School Licensure Consortium Standards by CCSSO and National Policy Board for Educational Administration (as it funded the current standards in 2008) The new standards are supposed to be ready in October.
Affecting state policy
-- it is funding the National Governors Association to develop policies around licensure, certification, etc.
Communicating
to the field and the general public the research demonstrating that school leadership is important (Grants include NPR, Education Week, and Ed Trust -- among others.)
So, what's the way forward?
The big outstanding questions that still exist seem to be about scale and sustainability.

Scale: Knowing that principals matter, how can we ensure that we have enough principals who know what they're doing that we don't continue to have pockets of excellence but rather can guarantee good leadership wherever it is needed?
Sustainability:
At a school level -- Once improvement happens, how we ensure that the improvement continues?
At a district and state level -- How can we ensure a steady supply (pipeline) of school leaders who know what they are doing?

What role can Ed Trust play in helping the field and policy makers think through these issues in a productive way?
Are there specific lines of work that
we should pursue?


Source: Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom & Anderson (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning.

Principals Matter
Meta-analysis across several decades of quantitative studies shows positive
average effects of instructional leadership
on student achievement.
"The comparisons between transformational and instructional leadership and between the five leadership dimensions suggested that the more leaders focus their relationships, their work, and their learning on the core business of teaching and learning, the greater their influence on student outcomes."
--Robinson, Lloyd and Rowe, 2008 "The Impact of Leadership on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Differential Effects of Leadership Types"
But What Does "Instructional Leadership" Mean?
For some, it has boiled down to simply being in classrooms, and many districts have begun requiring principals to be in classrooms more, including requiring them to do regular "walkthroughs."
In this study, Grissom, Masters, and Loeb found "a negative association between time spent on walkthroughs and outcomes."

When they broke apart the data they found walkthroughs can be helpful, but
only
when principals use them to provide direct coaching and feedback and to gather information about what professional development teachers need. Or, as the study says,
"Schools are likely better served if principals
spend more time using the information for school improvement than collecting it."
Effective Instructional Time Use for School Leaders: Longitudinal Evidence from Observation of Principals, Grissom, Masters, and Loeb, 2014
In Studying 33 Effective School Leaders in 24 Schools, What Did
Getting It Done
Find?
Most (75 percent) defined themselves as "instructional leaders" in some way and the rest defined themselves as setting a direction and vision for excellence
They led instruction in different ways depending on the context of their schools but they all put instruction at the center of their managerial responsibilities. So, for example, they:
established an urgency around time and built master schedules and student schedules around the instructional needs of students and teachers (many called themselves "teachers of teachers").
identified and spread expertise
made sure budgets reflected instructional priorities
monitored data continually to ensure that they focused on the most important things and didn't get distracted by day-to-day crises

This is much more complex than simply saying "do walkthroughs" or listing a set of behaviors in which principals should engage. Some of the "Getting It Done" leaders did a lot of walkthroughs; some spent more time meeting with teams of teachers; some spent that time planning professional development. They used professional judgment about what was needed when -- and what they did changed over time.
The Wallace Foundation has funded much of the key research demonstrating that "principals matter."
Some Leaders are Able to Improve Schools More than Other Leaders
It is attempting to change the focus of principal supervisors from "bureaucratic compliance" to support.

Practical Applications
Building a further research base
Wallace has arranged for and paid for the independent evaluation of both the principal pipeline initiative and the principal supervision initiative. If the research finds effects on student achievement it will be a powerful argument that school leadership is
the
key lever for school improvement; if not, Wallace may drop the entire school leadership development effort.




The effect of principals is second only to
teachers in in-school effects.
We have spent a lot of time learning from and about successful school leaders
* DTM and "It's Being Done" work (including conference)

*
Getting It Done
Partnership with Wallace
We have had a long-standing partnership with Wallace
* As participants in their "professional learning communities"
* As a "communications partner" to disseminate research findings about school leadership

* HEA Recommendations for principal preparation programs
Leadership is necessary to improve schools
Conclusion from a 6-year study in 9 states, 45 districts and 180 schools:
“To date, we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.”

What kind of leadership seems to be the most effective?
"Instructional Leadership"
It has funded efforts by six districts to develop an aligned "principal pipeline" to recruit, develop, train, induct, support, and evaluate school leaders. The districts are required to attend "professional learning communities" with the communications partners -- fondly known as "ppi plc"
Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Denver
Gwinnett County (Georgia)
Hillsborough County (Florida)
New York City
Prince George's County (Maryland)
Beginning in 2011, Wallace is providing $75 million to six pipeline districts over ten years to develop aligned systems of principal development:
Beginning in 2014, Wallace is providing:
A total of $4 million to the current pipeline districts to increase the number of principal supervisors they have;
About $3 million each to six new districts to increase the number of principal supervisors and coaches for principals
About $1.5 million each to Tulsa and Washington, D.C., to also add to the number of principal supervisors. These are considered "plus two" rather than full members of the effort
They will all be part of a principal supervision professional learning community

Long Beach (California)
Des Moines (Iowa)
Broward County (Florida)
Minneapolis
Cleveland
DeKalb County (Georgia)
The Six Districts Participating in the Principal Supervision Grant
University Council of Educational Administration
A consortium of higher education institutions "committed to advancing and preparing educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children."
What Does the Research Say About Leadership?
Who Else Has Begun Focusing on School Leadership as an Important Lever of Improvement?
Who Are The Major Players in
School Leadership?

The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) has built a network of principal training programs.  The network currently includes 28 programs in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The programs meet AREL’s nine program standards for principal preparation, design, and evaluation. 

EXEMPLARY PROGRAMS
Exemplary programs have a track record of success and are among the best principal training programs in the country. They are collecting data that can be used to improve principal training and share it with programs in the AREL network.
AREL exemplary programs include:
• Gwinnett County Public Schools, Quality-Plus Leadership Academy and Aspiring Principal Program: Suwanee, Georgia
• KIPP: School Leadership Programs, Headquartered in San Francisco, California
• New Leaders: Headquartered in New York City, New York
• New York City Leadership Academy: Headquartered in New York City, New York
• University of Illinois Chicago, Ed.D. Program in Urban Education Leadership: Chicago, Illinois

Diane Scricca, former principal, Elmont Memorial High School

1. Shaping a vision of academic success for all students,
one based on high standards;
2. Creating a climate hospitable to education in order
that safety, a cooperative spirit, and other foundations
of fruitful interaction prevail;
3. Cultivating leadership in others so that teachers and
other adults assume their part in realizing the school
vision;
4. Improving instruction to enable teachers to teach at
their best and students to learn at their utmost; and
5. Managing people, data and processes to foster school
improvement
What did the Wallace Foundation find when it
tried to answer that question?
Are there other levers?
What lines of work makes sense of Ed Trust to undertake?
Where can we add value?
Full transcript