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ERIC Number: ED570674
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
What Districts Know--and Need to Know--about Their Principals
George W. Bush Institute, Education Reform Initiative
Research on school leadership has highlighted the impact principals have on student achievement through their influence on classroom instruction, organizational conditions, community support, and setting the teaching and learning conditions in schools. However, there is limited rigorous quantitative research on the best district policies and practices for principal preparation, the selection and recruitment of effective principal candidates, effective principal career development and management, and the retention of the most effective principals. Despite this gap in clear evidence on best practices, districts are responsible for finding, supporting, and keeping effective principals for their schools. State agencies play a key role in ensuring principals are adequately prepared through their regulation of preparation programs and licensure policies. Many states are undertaking efforts to improve data systems to capture more information about teachers and school leaders, which can help begin to answer outstanding questions about the effectiveness of different policies and practices. Districts should also take steps to ensure that they have the data necessary to answer important questions about how to identify, develop, and retain great principals. This report highlights limitations of district-level data on principals encountered during data collection for a study on principal preparation programs. This report also describes the importance of improving the accuracy and availability of these data to explore questions about how to find, support, and keep the best leaders, and includes highlights from three districts that have developed comprehensive leader tracking systems. Included are guiding questions and a checklist of data elements for districts to consider in addressing key questions to support finding, supporting, and keeping the best leaders.
George W. Bush Institute, Education Reform Initiative. 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75205. Tel: 214-200-4300; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: George W. Bush Presidential Center, George W. Bush Institute; American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED573082