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Standards Unveiled for Improving Principal Pipeline

From guest blogger Alyssa Morones

As a way to help spark ideas for boosting the quality of school leadership in districts across the nation, the Wallace Foundation compiled and released the revised principal pipeline standards developed by its six grant-recipient districts. Each district developed its new standards between August 2011 and June 2013.

In the text, the New York City-based Wallace Foundation notes that a 2004 report from the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto found that "there are virtually no documented instances of troubled schools being turned around without intervention by a powerful leader."

What's more, as states continue to overhaul their teacher evaluation systems and begin to implement the common-core standards, strong leadership in schools becomes even more important, according to the report.

The six urban districts received support from the Wallace Foundation's five-year-long Principal Pipeline Initiative, launched in August 2011. They were chosen based on their previous efforts to groom strong principals. These districts were: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; Denver; Gwinnett County, Ga.; Hillsborough County, Fla.; New York City, and Prince George's County, Md. (The Wallace Foundation also supports coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning in Education Week.)

The revised standards detailed in the report incorporate reforms in the four key areas of the principal pipeline that the foundation identified: rigorous job requirements, high-quality training, selective hiring, and on-the-job evaluation and support.

An evaluation released earlier this year found that, since the start of the initiative, all six districts had exercised increased control and consumer power over their principal-training methods. They had also all made efforts toward improving all four key areas of their principal pipelines.

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