In a new report, the National Governors Association (NGA) explores the impact that investments in school leadership development can have on student achievement and school improvement. Promising Practices in Boosting School Leadership Capacity: Principal Academies profiles a number of effective models of school leadership development across several states including NCEE’s National Institute for School Leadership (NISL).

NISL is spotlighted in the report for being deemed evidence-based under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines and having supported more than a dozen state-led school leadership development initiatives. According to the report’s authors, “the combination of effective programming and its capacity-building mode has made NISL’s EDP an attractive lever to address school leadership” for many state education agencies.

The authors analyze the use of what they refer to as “principal academies”, “independent, state run” programs that deliver “high-quality, clinically based professional development”, and conclude that they are effective tools “that governors can add to their policy toolkit to augment preparation and training for aspiring and sitting public school principals.”

The report urges governors to take advantage of the ESSA state planning process and the three percent set-aside of Title II funds to make investments in school leadership development, specifically principal academies.

If you are a state or district official interested in learning more about these partnership models or would like to connect with your counterparts in states highlighted by the NGA report, NISL is happy to assist you.  Please contact Josh Tucker at 202-379-2172 or