Addressing Challenges in Evaluating School Principal Improvement Efforts

Addressing Challenges in Evaluating School Principal Improvement Efforts

Susan Burkhauser
Ashley Pierson
Susan M. Gates
Laura S. Hamilton
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 40
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt1q60md
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  • Book Info
    Addressing Challenges in Evaluating School Principal Improvement Efforts
    Book Description:

    Given the focus on accountability in education, stakeholders are interested in evaluating whether efforts aimed at improving school leadership show results; the key criteria are student outcomes. This report describes challenges that states, districts, and other entities can expect to encounter as they evaluate efforts targeting school leadership as a way to improve student outcomes and offers suggestions for dealing with those challenges.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7724-0
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Effective school leaders are a critical component of what makes a school successful. The role that school principals and other leaders play in improving the performance of schools is a burgeoning field of research. State and district policymakers, as well as other organizations, such as foundations and nonprofits, are emphasizing efforts targeting school leadership as a way to improve student outcomes. Given the focus on accountability in education, policymakers and funders are keenly interested in evaluating whether efforts aimed at improving school leadership result in improved student learning.

    The efforts designed to improve school leadership include a wide range of...

  7. CHAPTER TWO RAND’s Evaluation of the New Leaders Program
    (pp. 5-6)

    New Leaders is dedicated to promoting student achievement by developing outstanding school leaders to serve in urban schools. In support of this objective, New Leaders developed a model, or “theory of action,” of the relationship between effective school leadership and improved student achievement. It then designed and implemented a program based on that model to recruit, train, and support school leaders. The New Leaders organization has partnered with a number of major urban school districts and CMOs to recruit, select, and train principals to serve in high-needs schools. These partners are located in nine different states and in Washington, D.C....

  8. CHAPTER THREE Challenges in Using Outcome Data to Evaluate School Leadership Improvement Efforts
    (pp. 7-24)

    This chapter discusses challenges associated with evaluating efforts to improve school leadership. The statistical models in the New Leaders evaluation enable us to estimate the overall effect of the New Leaders program on selected student outcomes, independent of the effect of a set of control variables. It is this overall, aggregate estimate that informs whether the program is having an effect on the student outcomes.

    The available outcome measures for the evaluation of efforts to improve school leadership typically include students’ scores on state or district assessments, along with other student-level information, such as whether a student graduated or progressed...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusion
    (pp. 25-26)

    Policymakers and funders are increasingly recognizing the central role that principals play in supporting and ensuring high-quality teaching in schools. This realization has piqued interest in efforts to improve the principalship and a desire to evaluate the effectiveness of such efforts.

    Throughout our evaluation of the New Leaders program, we have grappled with a number of conceptual and practical challenges described in this report. We do not provide a neat answer or a single “best practice” that can be applied by all stakeholders in all circumstances.

    The evaluation of efforts that target principals presents unique challenges. The nature of those...

  10. References
    (pp. 27-30)