TregoED Blog

Side Effects of the Principal Pipeline

Don’t you love the pharmaceutical commercials these days, the drug relieves pain, but there is a long, long list of dreadful side effects that goes by in a flash.  Not all side effects, however, are bad.  I cannot imagine that the side effects of sharing leadership skills with anyone can be anything but positive.  The benefits of creating a principal pipeline goes well beyond hiring, retaining and supporting effective leaders, all of those trained, whether promoted to leadership positions or not, now have the skills to approach any problems they face in their current positions. Now that is a side-effect that everyone should strive for!

Leaders will be able to….

Good leadership training should provide leaders with the skills to work collaboratively to address the common tasks that leaders must be able to do:

  • Make transparent and data-driven decisions
  • Address complex problems
  • Identify root cause and solve problems
  • Implement programs successfully

Side Effects

Given a step-by-step process or strategy allows you to approach the problems that you face with a clear and transparent approach.  The benefits of providing principals and school leaders with these strategies, has been documented by the Wallace Foundation, “School leadership is second only to teaching among school influences on student success.”  The investment, according to the RAND Corporation, is cost effective because principals “can be powerful multipliers of effective teaching and leadership practices in schools.”   While the goal of the principal’s pipeline may be to ensure a continuous supply of effective leaders, the side effects of creating a systematic way of problem solving and decision making in a district are invaluable:

  • Higher-quality solutions and outcomes
  • Better handling of conflict and involvement of others
  • Greater commitment and buy-in from stakeholders
  • More effective use of money, time and other resources
  • Increased team leadership capacity
  • Improved climate with greater transparency and trust
  • Provides a visible record of thinking
  • Increased Board and community confidence in result

ESSA is giving states and districts the opportunity to bring these skills to their districts by providing funds for professional learning separate from funds for teachers.  States are now permitted to use three percent of Title II Part A funds to “develop better systems of support and a pipeline of principals who are prepared for the profession.”

Research supports it and funds are available – what other positive side effects could a principal pipeline create in your district?