A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors: Evidence from Six Districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative

A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors: Evidence from Six Districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative

A four-year initiative to focus the role of principal supervisors on supporting and developing principals with the goal of improving instruction is showing promising early outcomes, a report from the Wallace Foundation finds. The report, A New Role Emerges for Principal Supervisors: Evidence from Six Districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative (89 pages, PDF), evaluated results from the first three years of the Principal Supervisor Initiative and concluded that the six participating urban school districts demonstrated the feasibility of making substantial changes to the principal supervisor role across all five focus areas: redefining the job to focus on instructional leadership, lowering the average number of principals supervisors oversee, training supervisors and developing their capacity to support principals, developing systems to identify and train aspiring supervisors, and strengthening central offices to support and sustain changes in the principal supervisor’s role. The report also highlights lessons learned and challenges in the ongoing work of making substantial, meaningful changes to the supervisor’s role, including the need to develop a shared definition of instructional leadership, striking a balance between supervisors’ time spent at the central office and in schools, and developing internal capacity to provide high-quality, job-embedded training and support.