In 2014, the Wallace Foundation launched a four-year, $24-million-dollar program called the Principal Supervisor Initiative (PSI). It was designed to help six urban districts transition from roles for principal supervisors that focused on administration, operations, and compliance to roles that focused on developing and supporting principals’ instructional leadership skills—which in turn could improve teacher instruction and student achievement.
The participating districts were Baltimore Public Schools, Broward County Public Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Des Moines Public Schools, Long Beach Unified School District, and Minneapolis Public Schools.
In July, the foundation published the first of three reports documenting implementation efforts and the effects of PSI. It examines efforts to implement PSI’s five core components from August 2014 through the spring of 2017 and is based on surveys of supervisors and principals, artifacts like job descriptions and training agendas, and data from semi-structured interviews with central office personnel, supervisors, and principals.
The first component involved revising the job description of a principal supervisor to focus on supporting instructional leadership rather than compliance. Three districts—Baltimore, Broward, and Cleveland—had already begun significant revisions to the supervisor role prior to their involvement with PSI. The remaining districts started their revisions in conjunction with PSI. All...