Research/Policy | Preparing School Leaders for Success

After conducting a multi-year review of New Leaders’ Aspiring Principals program, the RAND Corporation found that New Leaders has a positive, statistically significant impact on student achievement in math and literacy. Further, RAND found that New Leader principals are retained in their roles at higher rates and support higher student attendance rates than their peers. The study also highlights the importance of strong, collaborative district-nonprofit partnerships and it identifies connections between specific competencies aspiring leaders develop during their training and outcomes once on the job—providing important new insights into how we can develop leaders with the skills predictive of later effectiveness. Overall, RAND’s study indicates that New Leaders’ diverse network of leaders—64 percent of Aspiring Principals alumni are people of color—are making consequential improvements to the education of our nation’s neediest students and that New Leaders is supporting the sustainability of effective, research-based leadership practices in school systems across the country. Additional information on RAND’s evaluation of New Leaders can be found here.

“We are extremely gratified to see such strong, research-backed validation of our approach, recent programmatic improvements, and, most important, our impact on children and their schools. As we continue to expand our proven programming to reach leaders at all levels of the system—from teacher leaders to principals and their supervisors—we remain steadfast in our commitment to working hand in hand with our district, state, and charter partners to deliver solutions that meet the most pressing needs of the schools and students we serve.” —Jean Desravines, CEO, New Leaders


Students who attend New Leader schools outperform their peers in math and literacy by statistically significant margins.

Student attendance rates are higher at schools led by New Leaders principals compared to other similar schools.

During their training, Aspiring Principal residents display key leadership competencies predictive of later effectiveness on the job.

Aspiring Principals alumni are hired into principal roles at higher rates by districts, suggesting their training better prepares them for the realities of the principalship on day one.

New Leader principals remain in their roles and in their districts at higher rates than their peers, providing crucial stability for the children and communities they serve and supporting the financial sustainability of districts and charters.

New Leaders builds school districts’ internal capacity to implement and sustain research-based practices.



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