A new report released by The Wallace Foundation, The Making of the Principal: Five Key Lessons in Leadership Training, distills insights from school leadership projects and major research studies supported by the foundation since 2000. The report notes that although notable progress has been made in revamping how principals are prepared for their jobs, much more remains to be done to improve university-based principal training programs – long criticized as weak and unselective – and to ensure that novice principals receive effective professional development.
“If we want to meet our goals for improving our public schools, we must strengthen the training programs that prepare our principals to lead,” said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at Wallace. “Research shows that effective principals are essential to turning around troubled schools, and among in-school factors are second only to teaching in their influence on student achievement. Investing in their preparation and support is a cost-effective school improvement strategy.”
The publication is the latest in a series of Wallace Perspectives, occasional reports that mine foundation-supported projects and research for insights to help solve difficult problems in education. The Making of the Principal draws on lessons from Wallace-supported scholarship by leading researchers at a number of UCEA institutions, including Vanderbilt University, the University of Washington, and the University of Minnesota. The new Perspective concludes that five lessons for enhancing principal training.
This report and other materials can be downloaded for free from The Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org.