- As she prepares to retire (again), New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña, has a few thoughts to share on finding high-quality school administrators.
- “Invest in your best,” she recommends in a new podcast series from The Wallace Foundation. Fariña’s episode is the first in The Principal Pipeline, which will continue to explore how districts and states are building systems to train, hire and support new school leaders.
- New episodes will be released every other Wednesday featuring principals, district and state leaders, and university officials.
As the role of the school principal has expanded in recent years to focus on instructional leadership as well as managing campus operations, efforts have increased to better define the qualities of effective school leaders and to give future principals as much on-the-job preparation as possible.
A study focusing on data from Texas, for example, showed that a highly effective principal can increase student achievement levels by two to seven months of learning within a school year, and that ineffective principals can lower student performance by the same amount of time.
Experts stress that it’s important to expose aspiring school leaders to a range of responsibilities and scenarios so that they grow more comfortable with the types of decisions they will need to make when they become principals. But as the podcast series will show, preparing principals takes place not only at the school level, but includes university preparation programs, state policy and district leadership.