School Leadership Hot Topics

On School Leadership Hot Topics, nationally recognized education experts share their knowledge and insights on strategies and promising practices for advancing school leadership policies and priorities at the gubernatorial and state level. For additional information and resources on principals and school leaders, please visit the Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center.

Episode 1: Principal Pipelines

In this episode, Dr. Jackie Wilson, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware School of Education, shares her expertise and insights on the value of school leadership and strategies that governors and state policymakers can draw on to support the development and growth of principals and school leaders.  Dr. Wilson is also the director of the Delaware Academy for School Leadership and the executive director of the National Policy Board for Educational Administration.  For more information on building effective principal pipelines, please read the new RAND Corporation report, Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools.

Episode 2: Learning Policy Institute

In this episode, Learning Policy Institute leaders discuss new reports on principal turnover; the impact of principal leadership and support on teacher shortages; and ways that states are using the Every Student Succeeds Act to develop and support principals and school leaders. The episode features Jessica Cardichon, director of federal policy and director of the Washington, D.C., office, and Stephanie Levin, research manager, speaking with Seth Gerson, NGA Education program director for K-12 initiatives.

Episode 3: New Leaders

In this episode, Sarah Rosenberg, senior director of policy for New Leaders, discusses research on the impact and key attributes of effective principals, and ways in which governors and states are moving forward in this area, including through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Episode 4: Dr. Steve Tozer On Principal Preparation

In this episode, Dr. Steve Tozer of the University of Illinois-Chicago shares his insights on how governors and states can improve principal preparation and development; lessons learned from his work in Illinois and around the country to develop effective principals and school leaders; and an overview of current models of innovative university principal preparation partnerships. For more information on university principal preparation partnerships, please read the Wallace Foundation’s recent report, Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs: Partners Collaborate For Change.

Episode 5: Deven Scott Of The Education Commission Of The States

In this episode, state relations strategist for the Education Commission of the States (ECS), Deven Scott, discusses ECS’s School Leadership Policy Primer for Policymakers, including levers the commission identified for advancing school leadership in states and examples of states that are elevating this work across the nation.

Episode 6: Dr. Paul Manna On Using ESSA To Help Prepare Principals

In this episode, Dr. Paul Manna of the College of William and Mary shares his insights on how governors and states can strengthen their preparation, development and support systems for school principals, including through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Episode 7: Dr. Cortney Rowland On Principal Professional Development

In this episode, Dr. Cortney Rowland, the senior technical assistant consultant at the American Institutes for Research, shares the primary findings of her 2017 report, Principal Professional Development: New Opportunities for a Renewed State Focus. She also discusses the levers that governors and state policymakers can use to not only develop a strong pipeline of effective school leaders, but also continue to build upon the capacity of sitting principals.

Episode 8: Jason Dougal On International Examplars

In this episode of the NGA Education School Leadership Hot Topics podcast, Jason Dougal, the chief executive officer of the National Institute for School Leadership and executive vice president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, discusses strategies for developing and supporting principals and school leaders. He also spotlights exemplars in principal development from high-performing education systems around the world.

Episode 9: Dr. Paul Manna on State Policy Levers to Support Principal Pipelines

In this episode, Dr. Paul Manna of William and Mary shares findings from his new report, How Can State Policy Support Local School Districts as They Develop Comprehensive and Aligned Principal Pipelines? He discusses strategies for Governors to leverage state-level policy to support local school districts in developing school principal pipelines building on his findings from the 2015 report, Developing Excellent School Principals to Advance Teaching and Learning: Considerations for State Policy.

Episode 10: Dr. Constance Lindsay on Policy Levers for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse, High-Quality Educator Workforce

In this episode, Dr. Constance Lindsay of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education shares findings from a February 2021 report, How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research. She discusses the foundational skills and behaviors that diverse, high-quality principals demonstrate, resulting in positive outcomes for students, teachers, and schools. Dr. Lindsay also highlighted some exemplars from districts and states across the country, including the Equity-Centered Pipeline Initiative supported by the Wallace Foundation. 

Related Resources

School Leadership Under ESSA: State Highlights

State Highlight: Louisiana’s Efforts To Develop And Support School Leaders