Sustaining a Principal Pipeline

Sustaining a Principal Pipeline

Two years after the end of  funding, an initiative launched in 2011 to build a "principal pipeline" in six large school districts is having a lasting effect in cultivating an effective corps of principals, a report commissioned by the foundation from finds. The report,  (52 pages, PDF), found that the vision for and policies and procedures of the pipeline remain intact and valued, demonstrating their "staying power." While all districts implemented four common elements — clearly stated job standards; strong pre-service training for future principals based on those standards; procedures designed to ensure that highly qualified professionals are hired and matched to the right schools; and sufficient on-the-job supports and appropriate performance evaluations, especially those new to the principalship — they also tailored program content to the district's specific context, and new principals were more likely than in previous years to say their pre-service training through pipeline-informed programs emphasized leadership for school improvement and instructional leadership. At the same time, the districts recognized the need to improve the way administrators spot talent and  to better coordinate the work of principal supervisors, whose jobs have taken on heightened importance in lending principals support, with the work of district leader development offices.