Perspective: Building Principal Pipelines

School district officials have faced the urgent task in recent years of ensuring that all schools, not just a lucky few, benefit from sure-footed leadership by professionals who know how to focus on instruction and improve it. The question boils down to this: How can districts develop a pipeline of great school principals?

Research about a Wallace Foundation school leadership initiative provides insights that may offer districts a way forward, as described in this Wallace Perspective. Most important, the research finds that it is possible for districts to put in place the four key parts of a strong principal pipeline: apt standards for principals, high-quality pre-service training, rigorous hiring procedures, and tightly aligned on-the-job performance evaluation and support. Moreover, commencing to build a pipeline can produce several swift benefits for districts and principals alike.