“As decision-making shifts away from the federal government, it is more important than ever that our nation’s schools be led by individuals who possess the skills and technical prowess to design and adopt school improvement strategies that truly make a difference for kids.”
U.S. Senate Education Committee Testimony
Beyond the Ripple Effect
When you talk to school leaders, many times they express that they wanted to become education leaders to “make a difference” – and being a leader allows them to increase the number of lives that they can impact. Theoretically, the higher you go up the chain, the broader the impact. Great leaders recognize that building the capacity of their district and building staff, can increase the impact exponentially as they increase the good thinking and build trust, transparency and support in both directions. It’s more than the ripple effect, it ensures that those ripples do not lose energy as they move away from central leadership.
So why does that happen?
There is substantial research evidence that shows that school leaders are a powerful driver of student outcomes.
According to New Leaders and Key Findings of Rand Studies
- Everything that happens in schools — setting high expectations for students, helping teachers grow and improve their practice, engaging families and communities, everything — depends upon the caliber of our nation’s 90,000 principals.
- The principal is responsible for 25% of a school’s influence on student learning.
- 97% of teachers list school leadership as essential or very important for their career choices — more than any other factor.
- The student achievement at a school led by a high-performing principal is 20% higher than with an average-performing principal
So, how can districts/states capitalize on this data?
Quite simply -Invest in Leadership- their own and that of those who work with them:
- Learn and apply proven methods for utilizing data effectively to identify true cause of the problems they face, prioritize actions, make clear, defensible decisions.
- Ensure that your school leaders have the same tools and skills needed to be included in district decision making and problem solving as well as effectively include those with the statistically highest impact (teachers) in the decision-making and problem solving at their level.
Using a common language and proven processes can help leaders achieve the goal of making a positive difference in the lives and maximize their potential impact across the community. How will you invest in your leadership?