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Improving School Leadership Through Support, Evaluation, and Incentives

Improving School Leadership Through Support, Evaluation, and Incentives: The Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program

Laura S. Hamilton
John Engberg
Elizabeth D. Steiner
Catherine Awsumb Nelson
Kun Yuan
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 152
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  • Book Info
    Improving School Leadership Through Support, Evaluation, and Incentives
    Book Description:

    This report examines Pittsburgh Public Schools' implementation and outcomes of the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program from school years 2007-2008 through 2010-2011, how principals and other school staff have responded to the reforms, and what outcomes accompanied program implementation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7634-2
    Subjects: History, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The quality of leadership provided by a school’s principal is widely regarded as an important contributor to the quality of teaching and learning in the school (Hallinger and Heck, 1996; Knapp et al., 2003; Leithwood et al., 2004; Lachat and Smith, 2005; Darling-Hammond et al., 2007; Grissom and Loeb, 2009). As school districts across the United States seek to improve the performance of their schools, the preparation and effectiveness of principals are key considerations, and states and districts have adopted policies that are intended to improve principal recruitment, professional development, and evaluation (Augustine et al., 2009). These efforts accelerated in...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Data Sources and Analytic Approach
    (pp. 11-22)

    The evaluation is organized around a TOA that depicts the PPIP interventions, the intended outcomes, and the mechanisms through which the interventions are expected to influence the outcomes. We worked with district staff to clarify the interventions, intended outcomes, and mechanisms and used this information to develop the TOA, which is described in detail in Chapter Three. There are several benefits to using a TOA to frame the evaluation:

    PPIP was one of the few TIF grants in the 2006–2007 funding round that focused on performance-based compensation for principals, and it has attracted attention from local and national media...

  11. CHAPTER THREE District Context and Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program Theory of Action
    (pp. 23-42)

    The evaluation included an effort to elucidate the district’s implicit TOA for PPIP. This TOA describes the outcomes the district was trying to achieve and the mechanisms through which it expected the program to achieve those outcomes. Following the CIPP model (described in Chapter Two), the TOA provides a framework for understanding the context in which PPIP was implemented, the inputs (the program elements that constitute the intervention), the process of how the program elements were implemented, and ultimately, the product, or the success of the program according to its goals.

    The CIPP model emphasizes that an understanding of the...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Capacity-Building Interventions
    (pp. 43-56)

    In this chapter, we discuss principals’ responses to the capacity-building interventions that PPS adopted to support principals as part of PPIP. We examine the three categories of interventions depicted in the TOA: professional development, evaluation and feedback, and incentives.

    As discussed in Chapter Three, PPS provided a variety of professional-development opportunities to principals. These included formal, workshop-style professional development, such as the summer Leadership Academies, as well as less formal professional learning experiences, such as the interactions that principals had with their assistant superintendents. Because these supports are likely to be critical to the success of PPIP, our surveys and...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Principals’ Leadership Practices, Principals’ Skills, and School-and Classroom-Level Responses to the Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program
    (pp. 57-70)

    As outlined in the program’s TOA described in Chapter Three, PPIP is meant to achieve its goals by providing capacity-building interventions to build principals’ skills and by shifting the focus of principals’ time and attention in ways that lead to improved instruction and student achievement. This chapter describes how principals’ practices and skills changed over the course of PPIP implementation, and it explores ways in which those changes in principals appear to be influencing instruction and learning in their schools.

    The professional development and other PPIP supports, as well as the design of the Administrators’ Performance Standard Rubric, were intended...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Principals’ Performance on Rubric and Achievement Measures
    (pp. 71-88)

    As discussed in Chapter Three, PPIP includes two compensation components: an increment of up to $2,000 that is added to principals’ base salary and a bonus of up to $10,000. The amount of increment in base salary depends on a principal’s performance on the evaluation rubric, his or her tenure as a PPS principal, and the AYP status of his or her school. The bonus amount is based on his or her school’s performance on the achievement measures in a given school year and, starting in year 3, the high-need status of his or her school. This chapter presents descriptive...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Student Achievement Trends
    (pp. 89-104)

    The primary objective of PPIP is to improve school leadership as a means of raising student achievement across the district. In this chapter, we present findings related to student achievement and achievement gaps through year 4 of the initiative, with the goal of understanding how achievement changed throughout the course of PPIP. It is important to remember that many reforms occurred simultaneously in PPS and that changes in factors outside the district’s control could also have influenced achievement trends. Therefore, caution should be used when attributing any causal impact of PPIP on achievement.

    Achievement growth as measured by the SPI-2...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT Key Findings and Recommendations
    (pp. 105-118)

    Although it is not possible to determine with certainty the extent to which PPIP achieved the district’s objectives in terms of its effects on teaching and learning, the evaluation did produce several findings that can help us understand how the reform worked in PPS, and that can inform other efforts to develop and adopt new principal evaluation and compensation systems. In this chapter, we summarize the main findings from the evaluation, which are organized according to the research questions listed in Chapter One. We then provide recommendations to guide the development and implementation of similar reforms.

    what Is the District's...

  17. References
    (pp. 119-124)