Leader Capacity



Each speaker participates in the Principal Pipeline Initiative. Their brief but substantive comments demonstrate how each deployed the six lessons to heighten district support for effective leadership.

From Left to Right: Pamela Shetley, Office of Talent Development Director for Prince George's County School District; Sandra Lochhead-Price, Director of Leadership Pathways for Denver County Public Schools; Tricia McManus, Management Training Supervisor for Hillsboro County Public Schools.


      Lesson One: Develop a Common Understanding of the Role of School Leader

      The school leader role shifts and evolves over time. education stakeholders must understand these responsibilities and how they shape leader effectiveness.

      Audio comments from Pamela Shetley

      Lesson Two: Design Standards to Address Leadership Needs of Individual District Contexts.

      Found in the ISLLC standards are several practices that foster effective leadership; administrators must tailor these standards to assure leader expectations are appropriate and align with capabilities.

      Audio comments from Sandra Lochhead-Price

      Lesson Three: Follow a Well-Conceived and Collaborative Process to Develop/ Adapt Standards and Keep them Relevant.

      States must reference national principal standards to assure their school leader concept matches professional standards. Districts must reference state standards to assure principal expectations are sustained despite contextual changes. This increases the likelihood that all education stakeholders share a common vision for school leaders.

      Audio comments from Pamela Shetley

      Lesson Four: Ensure Leadership Standards Drive Each Component of the Leadership Pipeline.

      If professional standards drive every facet of the leadership career continuum, then those involved in the pipeline will clearly understand how to foster and support effective leadership.

      Audio comments from Tricia McManus

      Lesson Five: Individualize Evaluation and Support for School Leader Professional Growth and Development.

      A granular level of support equips school leaders with the knowledge and skillset that is required to thrive in the district context.

      Audio comments from Sandra Lochhead-Price

      Lesson Six: Focus the Work of Principal Supervisors on Development and Evaluation.

      Principal supervisors are key because they evaluate principals. The responsibilities for supervisors must be clear and well-understood, so their feedback can plausibly inform school leaders about development needs.

      Audio comments from Pamela Shetley


      Enhancing Capacity for Standards-Based Leadership Evaluation, addresses important dimensions of the educational leadership career pipeline that ensure effective evaluation. Based on a review of the standards and evaluation work of large urban and metropolitan districts across the country, the report shares six key lessons and their implications for enhancing standards-based leadership evaluation work.

      Each lesson validates the need for a strong, ongoing, and reciprocal relationship between the state and district in order to build, implement, and maintain strong evaluation and support systems that will result in the highest levels of effective leadership, rigorous instruction, and student learning.


      In 2011, the Wallace Foundation launched the Principal Pipeline Initiative in six urban school districts. In addition to student achievement outcomes, the foundation seeks data about what is needed to support principals across the career continuum, especially leaders who serve high needs areas, and whether districts can create pipelines that produce a large number of highly-qualified principals. Click on the reports below to view resources from the project:

      (1) Six Districts Begin the Principal Pipeline Initiative

              (2) Districts Matter: Cultivating the Principals Urban School Need

      (3) Cultivating Talent Through a Principal Pipeline













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