Supporting the School Principal’s Changing Role


Many people think of the school principal as a building leader, in charge of schedules, budgets, community and family relationships, student safety, and a slew of other management tasks. But recent shifts in education—more rigorous academic standards, a focus on improving individual teachers’ practice, and a growing population of students who need additional supports—are changing this. We increasingly expect principals to also excel as “instructional leaders” who actively guide curriculum and instruction and provide feedback and coaching to teachers.

The most recent reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act, explicitly identifies new ways states and districts can leverage federal funds to support strong school principals. But what does it take for a principal to be successful, not only as a building leader, but as an instructional leader? 

Join New America’s Education Policy Program to debate this question and explore unique approaches states and districts are using to support school principals as instructional leaders. 

A light breakfast will be served beginning at 9:30 a.m. 


Opening Remarks: 

Elena Silva 
Director, PreK-12, Education Policy Program, New America 

Key Takeaways From Recent Research on State and District Efforts to Motivate and to Support Principals as Instructional Leaders: 

Roxanne Garza 
Policy Analyst, PreK-12 Educator Quality, Education Policy Program, New America 

Panel: State and Local Approaches to Build Principals' Instructional Leadership Capacity:

Dr. Martha Bruckner 
Executive Director, Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium, University of Nebraska-Omaha 
Former Superintendent, Council Bluffs Community School District 

Michael J. Coty 
Principal Development and Evaluation Specialist, Division of School Support, Minnesota Department of Education 

Jessica McLoughlin 
Project Manager, Office of Educator and Systems Support, Texas Education Agency 

Scott Thompson 
Deputy Chief for Innovation and School Design, District of Columbia Public Schools 

Melissa Tooley 
Director, PreK-12 Educator Quality, Education Policy Program, New America