Our thanks to Dr. Ellen Goldring, Professor and Department Chair of Leadership, Policy & organizations at the Vanderbilt Peabody School of Education for presenting on this week’s The Intersection: A Biweekly Education Policy Conversation. Dr. Goldring joined us to discuss her recent report A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors which covers the implementation of the first three years of the Principal Supervisor Initiative. The Initiative was launched in 2014 across six large school districts and the report documents how the role of the principal supervisor has changed to focus more on supporting principals and less on operations.
Principal Supervisor Initiative | With support from the Wallace Foundation, six districts are participating in the Principal Supervisor Initiative (PSI) to improve the performance of principal supervisors and the principals they oversee. The four-year initiative launched in 2014; Vanderbilt University and Mathematica have produced the first in a 3-part series of reports about the evidence and impact of the districts’ PSI work. The six districts are: Baltimore City, MD; Broward County, FL; Cleveland, OH; Des Moines, IA; Long Beach, CA; and Minneapolis, MN.
Districts Made Progress on 5 Core Components | As noted in interviews, surveys, site visits, and documents, districts have made progress in the following five core components of principal supervisors:
1. Revising supervisors’ job descriptions to focus on instructional leadership
2. Reducing supervisors’ span of control
3. Training supervisors and developing their capacity to support principals
4. Developing apprentice programs to identify and train new supervisors (succession planning)
5. Strengthening central offices to support and sustain these changes
Productive Relationships and Enhanced School Support | Principals reported more productive relationships with their supervisors of the course of the past four years. It was also noted that schools received enhanced support through changes to the principal supervisor role and central office redesign. More information on the impacts from PSI will be reported on in the upcoming reports in the Summer and Fall of 2019.
For more on our conversation with Dr. Goldring, check out the full webinar below!
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