How Do Principals Affect Students and Schools? A New Synthesis and Its Implications

In the past two decades, the role of the principal has garnered greater attention as education policy has focused increasingly on the importance of the adoption of standards for students learning, having every student succeed, and the challenge of achieving equity.

At the same time, the evidence base on principals has become markedly stronger, bolstered by state-level data systems and new methods. Learn about the findings from a new, comprehensive study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation – How Principals Affect Students and Schools: A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research – that offers more precise evidence on the impact of principals on student achievement and other factors, and identifies three skills and four behaviors by principals that are linked to benefits for students and schools.

Join us for the release of the new synthesis on Tuesday, February 16, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.

The lead researchers – Jason Grissom, Patricia and Rhodes Hart professor, Vanderbilt University; Anna Egalite, associate professor, North Carolina State University; and Constance Lindsay, assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – will share highlights from this study.

A team of panelists – Carissa Moffat Miller, chief executive officer of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, Hal Smith, senior vice president of the National Urban League, and Mónica Byrne-Jiménez, executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration – will reflect on the implications of the findings, with Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, as moderator.

Register Now!

Chat2Learn: ISBE Launches a New Parent Text Program for Preschool Families

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is partnering with the University of Chicago Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab to bring a new parent text program called Chat2Learn to preschool families at no cost. Chat2Learn is based on research and promotes a habit of everyday learning that improves children’s school readiness. The program delivers text messages to parents to prompt guided conversations about math, literacy, and social-emotional learning with their children at home. 

The Chat2Learn program starts every Sunday, so sign up today! The program has ongoing open enrollment, so families can continue to enroll throughout the first half of 2021. The program messages start the Sunday after families enroll and go through the end of June 2021. However, it is encouraged to sign up early in order to take advantage of the whole program! If there are any questions about Chat2Learn, contact Shannon Gedo at the BIP Lab at  

Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program

The State of Illinois estimates that at least 4,000 new K-12 teachers will be hired to fill vacancies for the 2020-21 school year. Many of these teachers did not have the chance to complete their clinical training because of COVID-19. However, teacher candidates who were eligible for this exemption already underwent extensive coursework, pre-clinical fieldwork experiences, and a licensure content test.

These new teachers and others who are new to the profession will be expected to help students’ recover from learning loss and the social-emotional toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while mastering digital teaching and learning technologies. Illinois’ students experienced at least one-quarter of remote learning last school year;
and as of September 14, 2020, nearly two-thirds of Illinois’ students are beginning the new school year remotely. Teachers also must be prepared for intermittent transitions between remote and in-person instruction as the school year progresses. In both settings, teachers will be expected to provide much needed social-emotional support and manage challenging circumstances for their students. New teachers need more support than ever before.

IEA and IFT Offer Comprehensive Professional Support
To support beginning teachers in these challenging circumstances, the Illinois State Board of Education engaged the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers to design a comprehensive program that will offer every participating district’s new teachers wraparound professional support including:
• Virtual instructional coach trained to provide support to beginning teachers regarding effective practices for online instruction, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices;
• Trained and certified building mentor with the sole responsibility to make the teacher feel welcomed, supported and connected in their new school;
• Access to robust virtual coaching platform with a comprehensive online library of instructional resources, including effective-practice videos, and software tools that help teachers analyze examples of each other’s teaching and provide feedback and support to one another; and
• Support and feedback through one-on-one and small group virtual coaching sessions organized around Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Clusters.

ISBE partnered with IEA and IFT through a $6.5 million grant, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

For more information, email:
Illinois Education Association contact:
Illinois Federation of Teachers contact: