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Effective school leadership is widely seen as a key determinant of student achievement, yet it remains unclear what constitutes an effective principal. To address the need to develop new principals to lead urban schools, the New Leaders for New Schools organization was established with the goal of ensuring high academic achievement for all students by attracting, preparing, and supporting leaders for urban public schools. This working paper presents preliminary findings on the impact of attending a school led by a K-8 school led by a New Leader. Using longitudinal student-level data collected from the six cities in which New Leaders had placed principals by the 2007-08 school year, the authors attempt to estimate the effect of attending a school led by a New Leader using panel data methods to mitigate biases from nonrandom sorting of students and principals to schools. The estimates suggest that there is a positive association between achievement and having a New Leader in his or her second (or higher) year of tenure, while there is a small negative relationship between achievement and attending a school led by a first-year New Leader.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Description of the New Leaders Program

  • Chapter Three

    Data

  • Chapter Four

    Methods

  • Chapter Five

    Results

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    List of Covariates Included in the Models by City

  • Appendix B

    Information on Principals

  • Appendix C

    Analysis of the Importance of Principal Controls

  • Appendix D

    City-Level Estimates

This research has been conducted in RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation, under a contract with New Leaders for New Schools.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

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