The Right Match: A Strong Principal in Every Public School

Education and Literacy

The Right Match: A Strong Principal in Every Public School

This report has one central premise: Keeping great principals starts with hiring the right principal. Even as Chicago fights to retain principals long enough to make student learning and school culture gains more permanent, we must recognize some principal attrition is inevitable.

More than 70,000 students started the 2016-17 school year with a new principal, and at least 60 schools will need a new principal each year for the foreseeable future. The stakes are high: No great public school exists without great leadership. In fact, variation in principal quality accounts for about 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student learning. Yet, more than four out of every 10 public school principals in Chicago leave before they begin their fifth year. To keep great principals, we have to make the right match from the start.

November 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Midwestern) / Illinois / Cook County / Chicago / Lakeview

Chock Full of Data: How School Districts are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Pipelines

Education and Literacy

Chock Full of Data: How School Districts are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Pipelines

At one time, finding an assistant principal for a public school in Denver entailed a search through “a gajillion résumés,” in the words of one local school district administrator. Even then, some ideal candidates likely fell through the cracks. Those days are over, owing to the development by Denver Public Schools of a “leader tracking system,” a database of information about the training, qualifications and performance of principals and aspiring principals.
This Story From the Field examines how Denver and five other school districts have constructed and are using these systems as they seek to better train, hire and support school principals. All six districts are taking part in the Principal Pipeline Initiative, a Wallace Foundation-funded effort to help the school systems develop a large corps of strong school principals and generate lessons for the field.
In addition to aiding district officials in identifying strong principal and assistant principal candidates and matching them to the right schools, the leader tracking systems are helping in efforts to forecast job vacancies, pinpoint principal training topics and spot potential principal mentors. The districts are also beginning to use the systems to share aggregate information about the performance of principals with the preparation programs from which the principals graduated.
The publication makes clear that developing a leader tracking system takes time and effort. It describes, for example, how determining what information to collect, and then finding it, proved to be a key but time-consuming task, not least because essential data could be housed in different niches of the school bureaucracies.

July 2016

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southern) / Florida / Hillsborough County / Tampa;North America / United States (Southern) / North Carolina / Mecklenburg County / Charlotte;North America / United States (Northeastern) / New York / New York County / New York City;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado / Denver County / Denver;North America / United States (Southern) / Georgia / Gwinnett County;North America / United States (Southern) / Maryland / Prince George\'s County

Rethinking the Teacher Pipeline for an Urban Public School System

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy

Rethinking the Teacher Pipeline for an Urban Public School System

Presents a case study of community organizing for school reform by Chicago ACORN: how its coalition of community groups, training programs, teacher unions, and others shaped leadership development, district policy, school capacity, and student outcomes.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois

State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools: Baseline Report 2012-2013

Arts and Culture;Education and Literacy

State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools: Baseline Report 2012-2013

Over the past three decades, countless educational, cultural, and philanthropic leaders have worked tirelessly to improve access to the arts for all students in Chicago Public Schools. Since its inception in 2011, Ingenuity has been working in partnership with these same leaders toward the goal of an arts education for every student in every CPS school. Ingenuity underpins its work by gathering a deep set of data that provides a clear understanding of the specific arts needs of each school and the district as a whole. This report presents findings from the first year of comprehensive data collection, the 2012 -- 13 school year, and sets the baseline against which Ingenuity will annually measure district-wide efforts to expand arts instruction.

Nearly four hundred schools participated in this data collection, which makes this report the most current, comprehensive view of arts education in Chicago. This report also offers an analysis of progress on the CPS Arts Education Plan and shows data related to its implementation in schools. The key to looking at the state of arts in the city's schools is taking a closer look at some of the Plan's high-level goals, which stand out as central to its overall progress.

  • Make the arts a core subject by dedicating 120 minutes of arts instruction per week in elementary schools. (1a)
  • Create a system to track the quantity of elementary-level arts instruction. (5a)
  • Set minimum staffing requirements in the arts at one certified full-time employee per school or an improved ratio. (1d)
  • Require each school to maintain a budget for the arts. (6a)
  • Match at least one community arts partner to every school in collaboration with an arts, or other instructor. (4b)
  • Launch the Creative Schools Certification to establish school and network-level supports to help principals plan for and implement the arts. (3c)
  • Integrate the arts into the school progress report card. (5d)

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Chicago Metropolitan Area

School Funding Systems: Equity, Transparency, Flexibility

Education and Literacy

School Funding Systems: Equity, Transparency, Flexibility

One of a series of guides for school district leaders on optimizing resource allocation, explains how to cut budgets with the least impact on the neediest, shift funds to effective programs and where most needed, and invest stimulus funds in improvements.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

School Turnaround Field Guide

Education and Literacy

School Turnaround Field Guide

Outlines approaches to turning around low-performing schools, lessons from early efforts, gaps to be filled, and critical actions to implement effective practices, create supportive policies and conditions, and build capacity and sustainability at scale.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Going Small: Progress and Challenges of Philadelphia's Small High Schools

Education and Literacy

Going Small: Progress and Challenges of Philadelphia's Small High Schools

Examines the start-up and implementation of Philadelphia's small neighborhood high school creation in 2003-08. Discusses student demographics, engagement and achievement, school climate, educators' visions, the role of partners, and remaining challenges.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia

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