School leadership

Worldwide, hundreds of millions of children reach young adulthood without acquiring even the most basic skills – a phenomenon dubbed “the global learning crisis.” Concurrently, few of the principals who oversee these schools exercise strong management practices, which include setting learning targets, using data to guide instruction, observing classrooms, and providing feedback to teachers.

Recent research by Bloom et al. (2015) suggests there is a link between poor learning and weak principals. The authors collected data on management practices in more than 1,800 secondary schools in eight countries and found higher management quality is strongly associated with better educational outcomes, which points to the vital role principals play in student learning. By comparing school management practices to manufacturing management practices, this study also found managers at manufacturing firms are much better… —