Supporting Principals’ Learning: Key Features of Effective Programs

Supporting Principals’ Learning: Key Features of Effective Programs
February 28, 2017 Stuart Foundation

Schoolwide improvement requires strong school leadership. In response to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), communities across the country are redesigning their education systems by raising academic standards, adopting new curricula, and investing in high-quality teachers. Communities are also considering how best to address the academic, social, and emotional needs of students. Schools serving the most vulnerable students are especially interested in addressing the often high rates of teacher turnover that can hurt student achievement.

This paper summarizes the elements of high-quality principal preparation and professional development programs that have been associated with positive school outcomes, ranging from student achievement, to staff and student perceptions of school climate, to principal efficacy and retention. To illustrate how these elements work together to develop strong principals, the paper also includes descriptions of four programs that have been found to produce effective principals.

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