- How did state education organizations contribute to UPPI?
- How can state policymakers help improve principal preparation programs?
The job of the school principal has become much more complex and demanding over the past several decades. Many university-based principal preparation programs — which prepare the majority of school principals — have struggled with how to make the fundamental changes needed to prepare principals for today's schools. To test a path forward, The Wallace Foundation provided grants to seven universities and their partners to redesign their principal preparation programs in line with research-supported practices. This targeted report shares findings from the RAND Corporation's five-year study of The Wallace Foundation's University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), with an emphasis on findings for state policymakers.
- State education agencies used policy levers in varied ways to promote principal preparation program redesign.
- Coherence across policies — grounded in leader standards — emerged as a best practice.
- States mainly aimed to support rather than mandate change.
- States contributed to a culture of collaboration across the principal preparation system.
- State organizations leveraged their authority to support program-district partnerships.
- Promote coherence by applying clear state leader standards, and by providing information and resources that promote the implementation and use of standards.
- When using mandates that affect principal preparation programs, states should ensure that they are evidence-based and come with the support needed for the program to achieve the mandated change.
This study was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and undertaken by RAND Education and Labor.
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