WASHINGTON—Effective school leadership and access to high-quality early education are two of the most important determinants of educational outcomes, according to a new paper released today by the National Governors Association (NGA).

School principals affect both teacher and student performance and play an important role in turning around troubled schools. High-quality education from pre-kindergarten through 3rd (P-3rd) grade builds foundational academic and social-emotional knowledge and skills that prepare students for long-term success.

Leading for Early Success: Building School Principals’ Capacity to Lead High-Quality Early Education describes how governors can build effective school leadership to promote high-quality P-3rd education and specifies state policy strategies to accomplish this goal.

“Principals play a critical role in the education of all our students, and we must work to ensure they are prepared and supported,” said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. “In Illinois, we revised our principal certification process so that school leaders get the training they need to provide students every opportunity for success. Governors across the nation can do the same by taking important measures to make sure their principals are the best of the best.”

Governors are taking action to better prepare and support principals as instructional leaders. As part of those reforms, state leaders have an opportunity to build elementary school principals’ capacity to promote high-quality early education. Specifically, state leaders can:

  • Redefine  measures through improved state leader standards and licensure requirements;
  • Develop more stringent state accreditation criteria for principal preparation programs; and
  • Support professional development opportunities for existing principals on how to promote quality P-3rd grade instruction.

To learn more, please visit http://www.nga.org/cms/center/edu.