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

Blurring Boundaries: Transforming Place, Policies, and Partnerships for Postsecondary Education Attainment in Metropolitan Areas

Education and Literacy;Race and Ethnicity

Blurring Boundaries: Transforming Place, Policies, and Partnerships for Postsecondary Education Attainment in Metropolitan Areas

By 2020, more than six out of 10 U.S. jobs will require postsecondary training. Despite a slight increase in college attainment nationally in recent years, the fastest-growing minority groups are being left behind. Only 25 and 18 percent of Blacks and Hispanics, respectively, hold at least an associate's degree, compared with 39 percent of Whites. Without substantial increases in educational attainment, particularly for our nation's already underserved groups, the United States will have a difficult time developing a robust economy.

Home to 65 percent of Americans, and a majority of all African Americans and Hispanics (74 and 79 percent, respectively), the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) can play a strong role in developing this nation's workforce. In fact, to reach a national attainment target that meets our workforce needs, more than half of college degrees could be generated from the these cities. The majority of degrees needed among African-American and Hispanic adults could also be produced in MSAs.

Clearly, investing in and organizing around the potential of metropolitan areas is critical, and the stakes have never been higher. Yet the current funding climate requires strategic public and private partnerships to invest in education innovation and human capital development in order to have the most robust impact on sustainable national growth. For this study, the Institute for Higher Education (IHEP) sought to follow up on its previous work examining MSA educational attainment rates by further exploring policies that either inhibit or facilitate degree production, and identifying metropolitan-level, cross-section collaborations that help local leaders contribute to national completion goals.

February 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington;North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Baltimore;North America-United States (Southern)-Tennessee-Shelby County-Memphis;North America-United States (Western)-Nebraska-Douglas County-Omaha

Cultivating Talent through a Principal Pipeline

Education and Literacy;Employment and Labor

Cultivating Talent through a Principal Pipeline

This report, the second in a series, describes early results of Wallace's Principal Pipeline Initiative, a multi-year effort to improve school leadership in six urban school districts. The report describes changes in the six districts' practices to recruit, train and support new principals. It also offers early lessons for other districts considering changes to their own principal pipelines.

December 2013

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

Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What's Real and What's Imagined?

Education and Literacy

Policy Barriers to School Improvement: What's Real and What's Imagined?

Some of the most promising reforms are happening where school leaders are thinking differently about how to get the strongest student outcomes from the limited resources available. But even principals who use their autonomy to aggressively reallocate resources say that persistent district, state, and federal barriers prohibit them from doing more.

What are these barriers? What do they block principals from doing? Is there a way around them?

CRPE researchers probed these questions with principals in three states (NH, CT, MD). These principals cited numerous district, state, and federal barriers standing in the way of school improvement. The barriers, 128 in all, fell into three categories: 1) barriers to instructional innovations, 2) barriers to allocating resources differently, and 3) barriers to improving teacher quality.

Upon investigation, researchers found that principals have far more authority than they think. Only 31% of the barriers cited were "real" -- immovable statutes, policies, or managerial directives that bring the threat of real consequences if broken.

The report recommends educating principals on the authority they already possess, to help them find workarounds to onerous rules. The report also outlines a number of specific state and district policy changes to grant schools the autonomy they need to improve student outcomes.

June 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland, North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Hampshire, North America-United States (Eastern)-Connecticut

Cross-State Analyses of Results of 2012-13 Teaching Empowering Leading and Learning (TELL) Survey Research Report

Education and Literacy

Cross-State Analyses of Results of 2012-13 Teaching Empowering Leading and Learning (TELL) Survey Research Report

New Teacher Center worked collaboratively with nine state coalitions - including governors, state education agencies, teacher associations, stakeholder groups and practitioners - to implement the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) survey statewide in nine states from the spring of 2012 to the spring of 2103. The TELL survey is a full-population survey of school-based licensed educators designed to report the perceptions about the presence of teaching and learning conditions that research has shown increase student learning and teacher retention.

The conditions assessed in the TELL survey include:

  • Time
  • Facilities and Resources
  • Professional Development
  • School Leadership
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Instructional Practices and Support
  • Managing Student Conduct
  • Community Support and Involvement
  • New Teacher Support (for teachers in their first three years in the profession)

This report compares the results of the TELL survey at the state level across the country, providing an additional contextual lens for interpreting the results from each participating state to better understand their own findings.

September 2013

Geographic Focus: North America-United States;North America-United States (Western)-Colorado;North America-United States (Southern)-Tennessee;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio;North America-United States (Southern)-North Carolina;North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland;North America-United States (Southern)-Kentucky;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Vermont;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Massachusetts;North America-United States (Northeastern)-Delaware

Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

Education and Literacy;Peace and Conflict

Promising Practices in Veterans' Education: Outcomes and Recommendations from the Success for Veterans Award Grants

This is an evaluation of the Success for Veterans Awards program, and includes reports from 20 grantees.

October 2011

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Missouri-Platte County-Parkville;North America-United States (Midwestern)-Wisconsin-Dane County-Madison;North America-United States (New York Metropolitan Area);North America-United States (Northeastern)-Maine-Kennebec County-Augusta;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New Jersey-Bergen County;North America-United States (Northeastern)-New York-Onandaga County;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Clackamas County;North America-United States (Northwestern)-Oregon-Lane County-Eugene;North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Prince George;North America-United States (Southern)-South Carolina;North America-United States (Western)-California-Fresno County-Fresno;North America-United States (Western)-California-Los Angeles County;North America-United States (Western)-California-Sacramento County-Sacramento;North America-United States (Western)-California-San Diego County-Chula Vista;North America-United States (Western)-California-Santa Cruz County;North America-United States (Western)-Colorado-Larimer County-Fort Collins

A Library They Deserve: The Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project

Education and Literacy

A Library They Deserve: The Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has partnered with Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) to complete a series of reports examining the implementation and impact of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project (Library Project). This report on the first year of the project examines the experiences of the principals, librarians, teachers, and students at the three schools that received new libraries. Also, teachers' and students' perceptions of their school library were compared across the Library Project and comparison schools. Findings of the report include: (1) all three schools with a new library viewed them as inviting, attractive, and well-resourced spaces; (2) a knowledgeable, skilled, and motivated library staff is essential to maximizing the potential of these new libraries; (3) librarians and teachers need additional professional development to best integrate the library technology into instruction; and (4) the community partnerships initiated through this project are adding significant resources to the education of students in these schools. The implications for the school district and future efforts are discussed.

January 2014

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland-Baltimore

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