Study: Schools with principals from New Leaders program show higher student learning gains

Principals trained and supported by New Leaders — a New York City-based nonprofit — are contributing to higher student achievement and staying in their jobs longer than those hired through other preparation programs, a new RAND Corp. study shows.Students attending K-8 schools that have had a New Leaders principal for at least three years score at least 3% higher in math and roughly 2% higher in English language arts (ELA) than students with school leaders prepared in other ways. After two years, graduates of New Leaders’ Aspiring Principals program — a one-year residency that includes at least another year of induction support and coaching — were more likely than other newly hired principals to still be at their schools. After three years, however, the difference between the two groups was not significant. The evaluation, which focuses on results collected from eight urban school districts as well as charter schools in Washington, is a follow up to an earlier report in 2014, which also found positive results.This time, the researchers, with a federal Investing in Innovation grant, examined the impact of changes New Leaders has made to the program since 2012, such as incorporating specific leadership actions and standard assignments for all candidates. New Leaders also now works with district officials who supervise principals so they can better support administrators who come through the program.

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