Schools are increasingly adopting programs and practices to build social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Policymakers can benefit from understanding the educator perspective: how they feel about SEL, what they're doing to promote it, and what resources they need.
Hiring good principals is one of the most important things a district can do for its students, second only to hiring good teachers. Students whose schools participated in a principal pipeline initiative outperformed their peers by six percentage points on reading tests and nearly three points in math.
Districts that try to place an effective leader in every school could reap educational benefits in the classroom. Giving a teacher a good boss also could be a powerful element in a broader strategy to recruit and retain highly effective educators.
The nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education has shone a spotlight on charter schools. While charters could become an important part of a great education system, this burst of attention poses a risk that other issues will be ignored.
The Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and districts with new chances to invest in school leadership. A review of interventions can serve as a starting point to enact relevant solutions and build the evidence base for what works.
Until recently, little was known about how much support principals in the United States receive to be effective “instructional leaders.” A national survey shows that mentors and supervisors do provide feedback focused on principals' role in teaching and learning, but the amount varies.
There is evidence that having strong school leaders is instrumental for improving the quality of teaching. But resource constraints and pressure to spend money directly on students have left interventions focused on principals largely overlooked. However, the new Every Student Succeeds Act may be changing the script.
Principals are second only to teachers as the most important school factor affecting student achievement, but their contributions are often underappreciated. They establish a vision that motivates the entire community, build a school culture that supports student learning, ensure resources are used effectively, and engage with the community.
If students are to learn the skills they need to succeed in tomorrow's competitive world, educators may need to rethink yesterday's teaching practices. That's the rationale behind teaching 21st century skills, which include high-order abilities like teamwork and critical thinking.
It's fair to say the program turned out to be an important step for the district in the context of its overall reform plan considering how important high-quality school leadership is for improving teaching and learning, write Laura Hamilton and John Engberg.