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

Districts Taking Charge of the Principal Pipeline

Education and Literacy

Districts Taking Charge of the Principal Pipeline

Six urban school districts received support from The Wallace Foundation to address the critical challenge of supplying schools with effective principals. The experiences of these districts may point the way to steps other districts might take toward this same goal. Since 2011, the districts have participated in the Principal Pipeline Initiative, which set forth a comprehensive strategy for strengthening school leadership in four interrelated domains of district policy and practice:

  1. Leader standards to which sites align job descriptions, preparation, selection, evaluation, and support.
  2. Preservice preparation that includes selective admissions to high-quality programs.
  3. Selective hiring, and placement based on a match between the candidate and the school.
  4. On-the-job evaluation and support addressing the capacity to improve teaching and learning, with support focused on needs identified by evaluation.

The initiative also brought the expectation that district policies and practices related to school leaders would build the district's capacity to advance its educational priorities.

The evaluation of the Principal Pipeline Initiative has a dual purpose: to analyze the processes of implementing the required components in the participating districts from 2011 through 2015; and then to assess the results achieved in schools led by principals whose experiences in standards-based preparation, hiring, evaluation, and support have been consistent with the initiative's requirements. This report addresses implementation of all components of the initiative as of 2014, viewing implementation in the context of districts' aims, constraints, and capacity.

January 2015

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

Colorado Trust 2010 Annual Report

Community and Economic Development;Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Colorado Trust 2010 Annual Report

Contains mission statement, message from the board chair and the president, program information, twenty-fifth anniversary grantee profiles, grant guidelines, 2010 grantees list, financial statements, and lists of board members and staff.

May 2011

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Western) / Colorado

Daniels Fund 2010 Annual Report

Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy;Substance Abuse and Recovery

Daniels Fund 2010 Annual Report

Contains board chair and president's message; 2010 highlights; program information, with a focus on education; grants summaries and grantee profiles from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; financial summary; and list of board members.

June 2011

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southwestern) / New Mexico;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado;North America / United States (Western) / Utah;North America / United States (Western) / Wyoming

Daniels Fund - 2008 Annual Report

Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy;Substance Abuse and Recovery

Daniels Fund - 2008 Annual Report

Contains board chair and president's message, 2008 highlights, program information, grants list, grantee profiles, financial summary, and list of board members.

July 2009

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southwestern) / New Mexico;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado;North America / United States (Western) / Utah;North America / United States (Western) / Wyoming

Daniels Fund - 2009 Annual Report

Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy;Substance Abuse and Recovery

Daniels Fund - 2009 Annual Report

Contains board chair and president's message, 2000-09 timeline and highlights, program information, grantee profiles, grants summary, financial summary, and list of board members.

August 2010

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southwestern) / New Mexico;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado;North America / United States (Western) / Utah;North America / United States (Western) / Wyoming

Daniels Fund - 2007 Annual Report

Education and Literacy;Nonprofits and Philanthropy;Substance Abuse and Recovery

Daniels Fund - 2007 Annual Report

Contains board chair and president's message, program information, grants list, grantee profiles, financial statements, and list of board members.

August 2008

Geographic Focus: North America / United States (Southwestern) / New Mexico;North America / United States (Western) / Colorado;North America / United States (Western) / Utah;North America / United States (Western) / Wyoming

Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

Education and Literacy, Government Reform

Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

Examines the student characteristics and effects of charter schools on students' test-score gains, high school graduation and college attainment rates, and test scores in nearby traditional public schools. Includes policy and research recommendations.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago, North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Denver County-Denver, North America-United States (Southern)-Florida, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin-Milwaukee County-Milwaukee, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio, North America-United States (Northeastern)-Pennsylvania-Philadelphia County-Philadelphia, North America-United States (Western)-California-San Diego County-San Diego, North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas

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