(From Vanderbilt University) A major new research review released last week paints a detailed picture of how effective school affect student learning and other outcomes, concluding that school leaders are even more important than previously believed and that investments in successful strategies to better prepare and support them have a very large payoff. Drawing on 20 years of research and 219 studies, the report’s authors argue that principals have a far more expansive effect on students because their impact is schoolwide, while the teacher’s effect may be limited to their class. “Indeed, it is difficult to envision an investment in K–12 education with a higher ceiling on its potential return than improving school leadership,” the authors noted.
The new report also looks at the demographics of the profession over time. More women and more people of color have entered the profession, with women making up 54 percent of school leaders, according to federal data. That’s up from 25 percent in 1988, according to the report. But that growing diversity has not kept pace with the demographics of students in public schools, where non-white students are now the majority.
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