Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes
This study examines the detrimental impact of principal turnover, including lower teacher retention and lower student achievement. Particularly hard hit are high poverty schools, which often lose principals at a higher rate as they transition to lower poverty, higher student achievement schools.
Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., & Loeb, S. (2012). Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes. Social Science Research, 41(4), 904-919.
Triangulating Principal Effectiveness: How Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Assistant Principals Identify the Central Importance of Managerial Skills
This study draws on data combining survey responses from principals, assistant principals, teachers and parents with administrative data to identify which principal skills matter most for school outcomes.
Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating Principal Effectiveness How Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Assistant Principals Identify the Central Importance of Managerial Skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091-1123.
Effective Instructional Time Use for School Leaders: Longitudinal Evidence From Observations of Principals
This study examines the associations between leadership behaviors and student achievement gains using a unique data source: in-person, full-day observations of principals collected over three school years. The study finds that principals’ time spent broadly on instructional functions does not predict student achievement growth. Time spent on informal classroom walkthroughs negatively predicts student growth, particularly in high schools.
Grissom, J. A., Loeb, S., & Master, B. (2013). Effective instructional time use for school leaders longitudinal evidence from observations of principals. Educational Researcher, 0013189X13510020.
The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning
This study analyzed three urban districts' efforts to improve the instructional quality and performance of their schools. The study also assessed the efforts made in four: (1) promoting the instructional leadership of principals; (2) supporting the professional learning of teachers, in particular through school-based coaching models; (3) specifying curriculum; (4) and promoting data-based decision making for planning and instructional improvement.
Marsh, J. A., Kerr, K. A., Ikemoto, G. S., Darilek, H., Suttorp, M., Zimmer, R. W., & Barney, H. (2005). The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning. RAND Corporation.
The Impact of Leadership On Student Outcomes: an Analysis Of The Differential Effects Of Leadership Types
The purpose of this study is to examine the relative impact of different types of leadership on students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes.
Robinson, V. M., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational administration quarterly.
The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions
This article explores the relationship between school contextual factors and teacher retention decisions in New York City and finds that school administration by far has the greatest influence on teacher retention.
Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Ing, M., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 303-333.
Estimating the Effect of Leaders on Public Sector Productivity: The Case of School Principals
This paper looks at key elements effective school principal leadership and the impact of principal mobility on student achievement.
Branch, G. F., Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2012). Estimating the effect of leaders on public sector productivity: The case of school principals (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.
School Principals and School Performance
This paper uses data from New York City to estimate how the characteristics of school principals relate to school performance, as measured by students' standardized exam scores and other outcomes. There is little evidence of any relationship between school performance and principal education and pre-principal work experience, but some evidence that experience as an assistant principal at the principal's current school is associated with higher performance among inexperienced principals.
Clark, D., Martorell, P., & Rockoff, J. (2009). School Principals and School Performance. Working Paper 38. National Center for Analysis of longitudinal data in Education research.
The School Principal As Leader: Guiding Schools To Better Teaching And Learning
This Wallace paper summarizes a decade of the foundation’s research in school leadership to identify five critical roles for school principals to be effective.
Harvey, J., et al. (2013). The School Principal As Leader: Guiding Schools To Better Teaching And Learning. The Wallace Foundation.
Learning from Leadership Project: Review of research How leadership influences student learning
This report examines the evidence on: How leadership matters and how important those effects are in promoting the learning of all children.
Leithwood, K., Seashore Louis, K., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). Review of research: How leadership influences student learning.
Principal Preferences and the Uneven Distribution of Principals Across Schools
The authors use longitudinal data from one large school district to investigate the distribution of principals across schools. They find that schools serving many low-income, non-White, and low-achieving students have principals who have less experience and less education and who attended less selective colleges. This distribution of principals is partially driven by the initial match of first-time principals to schools, and it is exacerbated by systematic attrition and transfer away from these schools.
Loeb, S., Kalogrides, D., & Horng, E. L. (2010). Principal preferences and the uneven distribution of principals across schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32(2), 205-229.
Principal Turnover, Student Achievement and Teacher Retention
This study uses twelve years of administrative data from North Carolina to examine the impact of school principals on school quality. The study finds that principal departures are followed by a decrease in a school’s performance. The following two years after a principal departs reveals increased teacher turnover and additional slippage in a school’s performance. It is only after this period that schools begin to return to pre-turnover levels.
Miller, A. (2009). Principal turnover, student achievement and teacher retention. Unpublished manuscript, Princeton University.
MAKING SENSE OF LEADING SCHOOLS A Study of the School Principalship
The purpose of this paper is to identify common roles played by principals, how these roles differ across types of schools, and finally, how effectively are preparation programs training principals in these roles.
Portin, B., Schneider, P., DeArmond, M., & Gundlach, L. (2003). Making sense of leading schools. A National Study of the Principalship. Center of Reinventing Public Education. Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. University of Washington. Seattle, WA.
Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning: Final Report of Research Findings
This report examines the evidence and analyses to substantiate the claim that leadership and principals in particular have a significant impact on students and schools.
Seashore, K., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K., & Anderson, S. (2010). Investigating the links to improved student learning: Final report of research findings.
Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning
The purpose of this paper is to discuss findings from Learning from Leadership. This study was designed to identify and describe successful educational leadership and to explain how such leadership can yield improvements in student learning.
Wahlstrom, K. L., Louis, K. S., Leithwood, K., & Anderson, S. E. (2010). Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning. The Informed Educator Series. Educational Research Service.
Balanced Leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement
This paper provides a review and quantitative analysis of 30 years of research into the impact of leadership on schooling.
Waters, T., Marzano, R. J., & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement (pp. 1-19). Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.