As state leaders continue to weigh the best use of federal funds to improve education in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, a major new research report from the Learning Policy Institute and The Wallace Foundation underscores the importance of federal, state and district policies. Which encourages the availability and quality of major preparation and professional development programs.
Research has shown that the preparation and professional development that a school principal undertakes not only shapes their effectiveness as a leader, but also involves positive outcomes for teachers and students.
Creating an Effective Principal: What kind of education?, Administered by LPI, synthesizes peer-reviewed scholarships from 2000 to 2021 that address major preparation and development programs. It also examines survey results and statewide policies to ensure that principals have access to high-quality educational opportunities and understands the role of policies in increasing access. The authors of the study are Linda Darling-Hammond, Marjorie E. Wechsler, Stephanie Levine, Melanie Leung-Gagne and Steve Tozer. The report updates a study prior to 2007, Preparing school leaders for a changing world, Led by Darling-Hammond.
“This is a particularly challenging time to be a principal,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, lead researcher and president and CEO of the Institute for Learning Policy. “However, high-quality trained principals feel more equipped to handle the real-world demands of the role and tend to stay longer in their jobs. They are better prepared to meet the needs of different students. This study makes it clear that investing in high-quality principal development has a real meaning not only for principals, but also for the teachers and students in the school they lead. “
For this study, the authors reviewed and synthesized peer-reviewed research from 2000 to 2021 that met the criteria for key preparation and development programs and met the criteria for addressing the successes or shortcomings of principals, teachers and students.
In addition, to understand the extent to which principals have access to high-quality educational opportunities, the authors analyzed survey data from a national sample of national primary school principals and principals affiliated with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, as well as two statewide counties from California and North Carolina.
In the original search:
- High-quality core preparation and development programs can improve principals’ sense of readiness, teacher satisfaction and a sense of retention, and student achievement.
- Common components of high-quality core learning programs include:
- Strict recruitment
- Close the district-university partnership
- Homogeneous structure
- Focus on important topics such as pioneering instruction, change management, human development, building a positive school culture, meeting the needs of different students