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Leveraging Principals to Support High-Quality Instruction

**Grissom, J. A., Egalite, A. J., & Lindsay, C. A. (2021). How principals affect students and schools: A systematic synthesis of two decades of research. The Wallace Foundation.

This report summarizes what researchers have learned about the connection between school leadership and student learning in the United States since 2000. The report confirms and updates the body of research that suggests principals are the second most influential factor in student success after teachers, and the authors’ methods attempt to measure the size of principals’ impact on student achievement, teacher satisfaction and retention, student attendance, and reductions in exclusionary discipline. They conclude that the impact of an effective principal has likely been understated in previous research. 

For the purposes of our meeting, please read the executive summary on pages xi–xviii. The full report can be found at

Campoli, A., Darling-Hammond, L., Pololsky, A., & Levin, S. (2022). Principal learning opportunities and school outcomes: Evidence from California. Learning Policy Institute.

This research brief highlights the importance of effective professional development for principals and its impact on school conditions and student learning. A study of 462 California principals demonstrates that high-quality preservice and in-service for principals is linked to stronger teacher retention, and that overall access to professional development is associated with an increase in student achievement in both English language arts and Mathematics. For more details on the study, the full report can be found at

Aguilar, E. (2011, August 22). The science behind adult learning: Understanding the science behind adult learning is important for professional development success. Edutopia.

The article discusses how district leaders can use the latest research in adult learning to provide their educators with effective professional development. Some key principles include that learners need to have some control over the learning process, a belief that the objectives are realistic and relevant, and direct, concrete experiences for applying what they learn. EGUSD has not used this article specifically but has turned to the work of this author when designing professional development for their educators.1

1 This paragraph was originally drafted by ChatGPT and subsequently revised by Collaborative staff.

**This document is a priority reading.