Wallace Foundation-Funded Toolkit Offers Support for Principals

Wallace Foundation-Funded Toolkit Offers Support for Principals

The has issued a new toolkit designed to help principals and principal supervisors improve teaching and learning in every school in their district.

Commissioned by the , the includes three guides: Readiness Assessment: Finding Your Starting Points for Central Office Transformation, which is designed to help districts generate discussion and identify priorities for the transformation process; Creating Your Theory of Action for Districtwide Teaching and Learning Improvement, which helps ensure that central office transformation plans are grounded in a clear analysis of what is — and  isn’t — working for students; and Principal Instructional Leadership: Evidence-Gathering Tool for Instructional Leadership Directors, which offers principal supervisors guidance with respect to assessing principals’ instructional leadership, clarifying what counts as evidence for instructional leadership, and creating systems for collecting and organizing evidence for assessment.

The tools are designed to help school districts “transform their central offices, turning them into true teaching and learning support systems,” said Max Silverman, associate director of the Center for Educational Leadership. “Our experience partnering with school districts tells us that districts need these tools to better develop leaders, particularly principal supervisors, an ever-evolving position. These tools will help district leaders take necessary actions from assessing readiness to implementing real changes in their central offices.”

The Wallace Foundation also announced a grant to the UW to create a performance management system to assess principal supervisors. Expected to be completed in 2014, the new system will generate data that helps districts improve principal supervisors’ performance and practice, including feedback from principals, peer principal supervisors, and self-evaluations. The District Leadership Design Lab will draw on advice from CEL and other experts in developing the system.

“There is a growing recognition that principals’ supervisors are vital to helping principals succeed as instructional leaders,” said Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at the Wallace Foundation. “The issue is: How can these supervisors be focused more on coaching and professional learning and less on compliance with regulations.”

"New Guides for School Districts to Better Support Principals as Instructional Leaders" Wallace Foundation Press Release 11/19/2013.