Analyzes quantitative data confirming that education leadership has a strong impact on student achievement, as measured by test scores, largely in shaping a school's "professional community" where teachers work together to improve classroom instruction.
- Observation: When principals and teachers share leadership, teachers' working relationships with one another are stronger and student achievement is higher.
- Observation: District support for shared leadership fosters the development of professional communities, creating synergy where teachers work together to improve their skills and employ instructional practices that are linked to improved student learning.
- Observation: In districts where levels of student learning are high, district leaders are more likely to emphasize goals and initiatives that reach beyond minimum state expectations for student performance, and teachers and principals pay attention to multiple measures of student success.
- Observation: All states have more rural than urban districts and experience strains that differences in student demographic characteristics place on the provision of educational support services; therefore, state policy makers must consider that one size does not fit all when considering how to support school and district leaders in meeting new accountability challenges.