Editor's note: This is the sixth and final post in our latest blog series by John Chubb, "Building a Better Leader: Lessons from New Principal Leadership Development Programs." See here, here, here, here, and here for prior posts.
This week I summarize what policymakers can learn from alternative leadership development models—and how these programs, and others like them, can be improved upon.
1. States should measure the added value of school principals and of leadership development programs. For all of the commonalities among the exemplar programs examined here, the evidence is a long way from definitive. It is merely the best that can be gleaned from the data now available. Leadership programs could—and should—do a much better job of tracking their graduates to improve their own offerings. But a proper analysis of principal effectiveness requires achievement data and background information on individual students and teachers in the schools that new principals lead. The states make the rules for what data school districts report and what indicators are derived from those data. Leadership programs cannot estimate the effectiveness of their graduates without state cooperation.
Policymakers should therefore require state departments of education to begin estimating the added value that principals bring to their...