Leading News - The Latest in School Leadership

March 7, 2017 • Volume #1: On Leadership

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Leading News highlights recent news about school leadership. To submit works for consideration in future editions of Leading News, please email info@nisl.org.

Key Features of Effective Principal Learning
Learning Policy Inst
The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) has a new report taking a close look at the components of effective principal preparation and professional development programs. The report analyzes programs that make positive impacts on schools, students and teachers and highlights four key “building blocks” of effective principal preparation and development: applied learning, cohorts and networks for collegial learning, partnerships between districts and programs, and a focus on instruction, organizations and using data.  Read the full report at LPI’s website.

State Leadership Development Policies
The National Association of State Boards of Education (NABSE) and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) partner in a new report examining school leadership development policies and practices across all 50 states. The analysis shows the extent to which policies vary across the states and the disparities in emphasis and resources placed on principal professional learning.

What it Takes to Be a Principal
Ed-week logo
Education Week takes a deep dive into what it means to be a principal in the United States today and how states, districts, higher education, and some alternative programs prepare principals for the job in light of changing expectations of what principals must be able to do. The special report also looks at how teachers view principals, what their “ideal” leader looks like, and what effective leadership means to them.

Data Collection and Reporting Under ESSA
Chiefs for Change logo
Chiefs for Change released a policy paper exploring how district and state leaders can use the new spending requirements under ESSA for data collection and reporting systems that increase equity and excellence across schools. According to the authors, challenges for districts may include how to accurately report school-level spending, how to interpret school-level spending, and how to place school spending into the context of an equity and excellence strategy.

Leadership Interventions Under ESSA
RAND logo
Following the release of evidentiary standards by the U.S. Department of Education that states should use to choose programs for funding under Title II of ESSA, RAND Corporation studied existing interventions that meet the various USDOE levels of evidence across funding categories. There are six types of school leadership activities identified in Title II that funds can be used for. RAND analyzed Professional Learning programs for school leaders to determine which of the programs met the USDOE standards of evidence. NISL was the sole program for sitting principals that not only met the ESSA criteria for evidence but also demonstrated a positive impact on student achievement, according to the report’s authors. Follow this link for more information on the NISL Executive Development Program identified in the RAND report.

Leadership Programs With Rigorous Studies Showing Efficacy
GWB Institute logo
A study by the George W. Bush Institute reviewed 11 studies of school leadership improvement programs which had gone through rigorous evaluations to determine if they meet the federal What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards of effectiveness. The report examined six types of school leadership programs: working environment, preparation, recruitment and selection initiatives, professional learning programs, performance evaluation systems, and compensation initiatives. According to the report, only two of the six programs that had been rigorously studied meet WWC standards and show positive impacts on student achievement: one is the NISL Executive Development Program.

Other Studies of Interest to School Leaders:

Measuring School Quality and Student Success Under ESSA
The Center for American PCAP logorogress released a report that explores less-commonly used indicators for measuring school quality and student success under ESSA. ESSA allows states to broaden their vision of accountability and use new measures of student success and the report examines how school climate, social and emotional learning, and resource equity can inform accountability. The report’s authors make several recommendations for states working within this broader vision of accountability including ensuring the use of a variety of valid, reliable and actionable indicators in revamped accountability systems.

Implementing College and Career Ready Standards
C-SAIL logo
The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL) looks at successes and challenges that states have faced in implementing college and career-ready academic standards in a series of reports that examine how college and career readiness standards are implemented, whether student learning improved, and what instructional tools measure and support implementation. The reports examine college and career readiness standards in Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Kentucky with a particular focus on how these states’ efforts dealt with students with disabilities and English language learners.