Effective school principals are associated with better outcomes for students and schools, and states play a role in fostering an environment that develops and supports effective principals. The authors of this report examine how seven states are using state-level policy levers to improve the quality of school principals. Each of the states is part of The Wallace Foundation's University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), which launched in 2016 and brings together a university-based principal preparation program with school districts and state partners in each state to support the development of effective principals.

In examining state efforts, the authors focus on seven policy levers that states can use to improve school leadership—standards, recruiting, approval and oversight of principal preparation programs, licensing, professional development, evaluation, and leader tracking systems—and identify cross-state themes and generalizable lessons.

Key Findings
(Gates, Susan M., Ashley Woo, Lea Xenakis, Elaine Lin Wang, Rebecca Herman, Megan Andrew, and Ivy Todd, Using State-Level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality: Lessons from Seven States Partnering with Principal Preparation Programs and Districts, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-A413-1, 2020. As of November 17, 2020: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA413-1.html)