Analyses and evaluation brief writing are underway.
July 2014 – January 2020
Mathematica Policy Research
American Institutes for Research
Social Policy Research Associates
Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides funding to improve the quality and effectiveness of educators. The program includes a broad array of allowable activities for principals and teachers such as intensive professional development. Helping principals improve their leadership practices is one way to improve instruction and student achievement. This evaluation assesses one approach to supporting principals' instructional leadership — primarily through principals conducting structured observations of teachers' classroom instruction and providing targeted feedback based on those observations.
Within 10 districts, the study team randomly assigned a total of 100 elementary schools to receive the professional development program or not. All principals continued to have access to any regular, district-provided professional development. The University of Washington's Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) was competitively selected and provided the professional development program during the 2015–16 and 2016–17 school years. The professional development supported principals' instructional leadership — primarily through principals conducting structured observations of teachers' classroom instruction and providing targeted feedback based on those observations.
Data collection in both years of implementation includes: information about the professional development delivered and experienced by the principals participating in the intervention; teacher and principal surveys and periodic logs of principal daily activities to document intermediate outcomes such as principal behaviors and school climate; and administrative records to document teacher retention and student outcomes — such as achievement, behavior, and attendance.
The study report, titled The Effects of a Principal Professional Development Program Focused on Instructional Leadership, was released in October 2019.
An evaluation brief on principal time use is expected in 2020 and will be announced on https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/.