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WASHINGTON—Effective principals are critical in building a culture of high-quality teaching and learning, according to a new paper released today by the National Governors Association (NGA).

School principals manage the staff and help build the school community. Their quality affects every aspect of learning, from the strength of the teachers to the health of the school environment. As state leaders continue to raise expectations by implementing college- and career-ready standards and other reforms, governors and state policymakers can make decisions to support developing high-quality principals.

Improving Educational Outcomes: How State Policy Can Support School Principals as Instructional Leaders examines actions governors and state policymakers can take to focus on improving principals’ training, maintaining their ongoing professional development and better evaluating their performance.

“Principals serve as linchpins to our schools’ and communities’ success,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. “Governors are well-positioned to ensure their training, development and performance is supported when crafting our education policy agendas.”

Governors and policymakers can employ a variety of strategies to support principals’ and schools’ success, including:

  • Providing guidance and resources for designing and implementing performance-evaluation systems that reflect higher education standards;
  • Preparing and certifying the next generation of principals to enable them to lead schools in which all students can meet the higher standards; and
  • Identifying and tracking key measures of educational performance and making strategic changes when those measurements indicate lagging performance.

To learn more about the NGA Center for Best Practices Education Division, please visit http://www.nga.org/cms/center/edu.