Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems

Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems

Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems

Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems

Synopsis

This study documents actions of Wallace Foundation grantees to create more-cohesive policies and initiatives to improve instructional leadership in schools; describes how states and districts have worked together to forge such policies and initiatives; and examines the hypothesis that cohesive systems improve school leadership. Such efforts appear to be a promising approach to developing school principals engaged in improving instruction.

Excerpt

Recent research has identified the importance of school leadership in improving outcomes for schools and their students. For the past nine years, The Wallace Foundation has been providing funding and technical assistance to state and district grantees to help them work together to create a “cohesive leadership system” of policies and initiatives to improve educational leadership. The Foundation commissioned the RAND Corporation to document what its grantees have done with this support, to describe the strategies they have used to develop cohesive systems, and to examine the theory that more-cohesive systems improve school leadership.

This monograph is intended primarily for those who are concerned with improving school leadership, including state education agencies, chief state school officers, professional standards boards, postsecondary education governing bodies, professional associations, and leaders of public schools and districts. It may also be of interest to other policymakers and practitioners who wish to strengthen the collaboration between state and district education officials to improve public education.

This study was conducted by RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Corporation. The work was supported by The Wallace Foundation, which for two decades has been dedicated to enabling institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. The Foundation carries out its mission by funding the development and testing of new ideas, capturing and sharing lessons from these endeavors, and commissioning related independent research. It currently works chiefly in three areas: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement, enhancing out-of-school-time learning opportunities, and building appreciation of and demand for the arts.

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