Cover: Preliminary Findings from the New Leaders for New Schools Evaluation

Preliminary Findings from the New Leaders for New Schools Evaluation

Published Apr 29, 2010

by Paco Martorell, Paul Heaton, Susan M. Gates, Laura S. Hamilton

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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.

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

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