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Five Key Skills for Effective School Principals

The New York-based Wallace Foundation has distilled a decade's worth of research and work funding leadership projects in 24 states into five "key functions" that effective principals must have. Those functions include shaping a vision of academic success for all students; creating a climate hospitable to education; cultivating leadership in others; improving instruction and managing people, data and processes to foster-school improvement.

The foundation goes into further detail on these effective practices in a report released this week. The report is intended to be the first in a series of documents on good school leadership and how it can be supported at the district and state level.

For example, in the area of cultivating leadership, the report notes that "effective principals studied by the University of Washington urged teachers to work with one another and with the administration on a variety of activities, including 'developing and aligning curriculum, instructional practices, and assessments; problem solving; and participating in peer observations."

The Wallace Foundation provides grant support to coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning for Education Week. It also sponsored a webinar I hosted recently on best practices in evaluating principals; the free archive is available here.

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