Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

More Effective Principals

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

More Effective Principals

Article excerpt

Improving school leadership ranks high on the list of almost every education reformer. Now, after a decade of research on school leadership, the Wallace Foundation has identified five key functions of effective principals:

Effective principals:

*Shape a vision of academic success for all students, based on high standards.

* Create a climate that is hospitable to education.

* Cultivate leadership in others so that teachers and other adults assume their part in realizing the school vision.

* Improve instruction.

* Manage people, data, and processes to foster school improvement.

The study authors, James Harvey and Holly Holland, write that effective principals enable teachers to teach at their best and students to learn at their utmost. Effective principals spend "time in classrooms ... observing and commenting on what's working well and what is not. ... They pursue these strategies despite the preference of many teachers to be left alone."

The authors reported that the least effective principals announced visits to classrooms and rarely gave feedback to teachers; the most effective made numerous unannounced visits and gave helpful feedback. …

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