Six Districts Begin the Principal Pipeline Initiative

Published in: Building a Stronger Principalship, Vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., July 2013), 74 p

Posted on RAND.org on July 01, 2013

by Brenda J. Turnbull, Derek L. Riley, Erikson R. Arcaira, Leslie M. Anderson, Jaclyn R. MacFarlane

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This first report of an ongoing evaluation of The Wallace Foundation's Principal Pipeline Initiative describes the six participating school districts' plans and activities during the first year of their grants. The evaluation, conducted by Policy Studies Associates and the RAND Corporation, is intended to inform policy makers and practitioners about the process of carrying out new policies and practices for school leadership and about the results of investments in the Principal Pipeline Initiative. This report is based on collection and analysis of qualitative data, including the districts' proposals, work plans, and progress reports and semi-structured interviews in spring 2012 with 91 administrators employed by districts and their partner institutions. Leaders in all districts report wanting to enlarge their pools of strong applicants for principal positions and to identify and cultivate leadership talent as early as possible in educators' careers. Districts are actively working on all required pipeline components: (1) with stakeholder participation, they have developed standards and identified competencies for principals, which they plan to use to guide principal training, hiring, evaluation, and support; (2) they are initiating or strengthening partnerships with university training programs; (3) for hiring, they have standard performance tasks and are developing systems to capture data on candidates' experience; (4) they have diagnostic evaluation tools and are working to build the capacity of principal supervisors and mentors to support principals' skill development. In addition, all are also bolstering district-run training programs for graduates of university training programs who aspire to become principals.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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