Operating in the Dark

Operating in the Dark

The United States faces a shortage of high-quality school leaders at a time when it is more apparent than ever that principals are key to attracting and retaining teacher talent and driving the improvement of student learning.

While districts hire principals, states control the entry point to the principalship, overseeing the preparation and licensure of school leaders. Yet, to date, there has been no one central repository of information on state policies impacting principal preparation, licensure, tenure, and data collection to monitor the outcomes of those policies.

The Bush Institute's new report, Operating in the Dark: What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership, is a first-of-its-kind compilation of state-reported data on how the 50 states and the District of Columbia are using their authority to increase the supply of high-quality principals.

Please join us for a presentation of the study's findings and a panel discussion, moderated by Fordham's Chester E. Finn, Jr., on how states can strengthen the rigor of the principal preparation program approval process and establish licensure requirements that validate and confirm that principals are indeed ready for the job and effective once employed as school leaders. The panelists will also discuss the role of the states in collecting data on principal effectiveness once school leaders are on the job and using that data to increase the supply of high-quality principals available for hire.