Administrator Effectiveness

Administrators -- those who have budgetary, strategic, and supervisory responsibilities -- are key stakeholders in comprehensive P-3 approaches. Administrators set organizational vision and priorities, establish budget and human capital resource allocations, and create a sense of teamwork and supportive accountability for results. With supervisory responsibilities for teachers and coaches, administrators also provide leadership for rigorous and developmentally appropriate instructional practices and environments.

P-3 Framework Goal:  Administrators (e.g., district superintendents, school principals, early childhood directors, school board members) actively create a culture and organizational structures that ensure the quality of P-3 learning.

The following resources highlight and support the importance of administrator effectiveness in comprehensive P-3 approaches:

Framework in Action

Publication Date: Mar 2018
Authors:
Kristie Kauerz, Katie Kuhl
Synopsis:

The Framework in Action series explands on the Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Approaches (Kauerz & Coffman 2013). This brief focuses on the Administrator Effectiveness bucket of the Framework and provides brief research reviews, practical strategies, and guidance for creating meaningful and tangible change in communities. 

District-Level Perspectives

Publication Date: Mar 2011
Authors:
Cynthia Rice, Vincent Costanza
Synopsis:

In the Fall of 2009, New Jersey's PreK-3rd Leadership Training Series provided over 200 district administrators and early care providers with an opportunity to become more effective early learning supervisors, mentors, advocates, and leaders. The series provided attendees with research-based strategies and techniques that would enable them to identify and implement high-quality PreK-3rd grade programs in their districts; assisted administrators in evaluating their existing early childhood programs; and developed participants as knowledgeable PreK-3rd grade advocates. 

Publication Date: Sep 2010
Authors:
Geoff Marietta
Synopsis:

This brief highlights the leadership of three superintendents from very different districts -- Montgomery County Public Schools, MD; Bremerton School District, WA; and Nooksack Valley School District, WA -- who led comprehensive efforts to integrate early learning with the K-12 system to create integrated PreK-3rd grade approaches. Each of these leaders began with simple and focused visions for improving early learning within their districts; supported joint professional development partnerships between their districts and nearby early learning providers; and established clear, measurable targets that linked teaching and learning in PreK to outcomes in grade three and beyond.

School-Level Perspectives

Publication Date: Apr 2011
Authors:
Sara Mead
Synopsis:
This brief looks at what principals can do to build high-quality PreK-3rd grade experiences for young children and how policymakers can eliminate existing barriers and better support them to do so. The author outlines the need to improve existing principal preparation programs; foster strategies that develop effective PreK-3rd grade leaders; and update accountability systems to include incentives for principals to build solid instructional foundations for students in the early elementary school years. 
Publication Date: Oct 2010
Authors:
Richard Lambert, Bobbie Rowland, Heather Taylor, Cindy Wheeler
Synopsis:

This manual is a practical guide specifically created for principals, administrators, teachers, and others directly involved in providing high-quality preschool and Kindergarten programs in both public and nonpublic settings. The manual provides key principles of early childhood education, resources for evaluators, and samples of "watch fors" in early childhood classrooms that align with standards. Although the content is specific to North Carolina's teacher evaluation system, this resource provides broad insights and strategies for administrators in other states, as well. 

Policy Briefs

Publication Date: May 2016
Authors:
Laura Bornfreund, Abbie Lieberman
Synopsis:

In the final brief of a six-part series on elementary school principals from New America's Education Policy Program, authors Laura Bornfreund and Abbie Lieberman present four actions for states and school districts to better support elementary school principals. They conclude that: states should incorporate early childhood education into principal preparation programs; states and school districts should provide ongoing professional learning opportunities related to early education; states and school districts should invest in opportunities to bring elementary school principals and early learning center directors together; and that states should take advantage of ESSA funds to support this work. 

Publication Date: May 2016
Authors:
Abbie Lieberman
Synopsis:

To effectively oversee PreK through 3rd grade teachers and classrooms, principals need to have an understanding of child development and how young children learn. In this brief author Abbie Lieberman concludes that by incorporating early childhood content into preparation programs for new principals, and by providing ongoing professional development for existing principals, policymakers could help to ensure that elementary school leaders are able to identify and encourage developmentally-appropriate instruction and make personnel decisions that value the needs of young learners. 

Publication Date: May 2016
Authors:
Aaron Loewenberg
Synopsis:

In this policy brief from New America, author Aaron Loewenberg explains that in order for elementary school principals to be effective early education leaders, they must establish a PreK-3rd grade culture and continuum within their schools; build relationships with families and other community early education providers; and ensure effective, developmentally-appropriate teaching and assessment within their schools. Loewenberg also concludes that in order to ensure that principals are knowledgeable about the unique nature of early education, more states should make early childhood education part of the preparation for prospective principals.  

Publication Date: Jun 2016
Authors:
Shayna Cook
Synopsis:

This brief presents the argument that while staffing and hiring decisions are complex and tradeoffs need to be considered, principals should be careful not to undervalue the early elementary grades, inclusive of PreK, because the foundational skills built in these years are imperative to students' future success in school and in life.

Publication Date: Jan 2014
Authors:
National Association of Elementary School Principals
Synopsis:

This guide supports principals to create and support connections between the worlds of birth-to-five and K-12 and to help them implement developmentally-appropriate teaching and learning practices to ensure successful PreK-3rd grade continuums in their schools. For the policymaker, this guide provides a research base that demonstrates the enormous dividends children gain through investments in early education from age 3 to grade three.