Effective principals are a key contributor to the success of schools, teachers, and ultimately students. To support principals in their important role, there is a pressing need to invest in building and sustaining strong preparation programs nationwide.
Since 2004, the Quality Measures Center for Program Assessment and Technical Assistance at EDC (QM Center) has championed and supported excellence in the preparation of school principals. Building upon the seminal contributions of Quality Measures’ founder, Cheryl King, the QM Center engages principal preparation program faculty and their district and state partners in conducting evidence-based self-assessments of program quality. Quality Measures tools and protocols are continually updated to reflect current research and best practice and to support self-study teams’ reflection, dialogue, and identification of opportunities for improvement.
The QM Center's work revolves around a detailed research-based vision for high-quality, equity-centered principal preparation, articulated through the Quality Measures Principal Preparation Program Self-Study Toolkit. The QM Center does the following:
- Design rubrics and protocols to support self-assessment of principal preparation programs and partnership effectiveness
- Facilitate in-depth self-assessment by principal preparation program teams to identify programmatic strengths and areas for improvement using QM tools and protocols
- Provide ongoing training and support to a growing cadre of peer facilitators who guide those self-assessments
- Collect, interpret, and share improvement data with clients
- Provide technical assistance to programs that use QM data to develop targeted improvement strategies and interventions
- Collaborate with state-level leaders to:
- Build and facilitate local learning communities of principal preparation program providers and their partner school districts
- Identify lessons for state policy and practice
- Build and curate an online catalog of programs’ evidence of effective practices
- To date, over 95 principal preparation programs have participated in an EDC-facilitated QM self-study process at least once.
- Across 19 states, more than 60 school districts have participated in the QM self-study process.
- To date, five state education agencies have implemented learning cohorts of program providers and their partners to champion and sustain continuous program improvement statewide.
- Since 2020, EDC has facilitated the QM self-study process with a growing number of Texas-based cohorts of principal preparation program teams. Texas participants are using the cohort experience to identify common program strengths and leverage opportunities for cross-institutional sharing.
- The RAND report Using State-level Policy Levers to Promote Principal Quality: Lessons from Seven States Partnering with Principal Preparation Programs and Districts highlights QM as a key resource for ongoing program improvement.
- The RAND report Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs: Partners Collaborate for Change spotlights EDC’s QM role in supporting the program assessment and partnership building efforts of seven universities funded by The Wallace Foundation’s $47 million University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI).
- “Principal Preparation: A Roadmap for Reform,” Episode 3 of the Wallace Foundation’s 2019 video series, highlights how UPPI teams have used EDC’s QM to guide them in assessing program quality as part of their continuous improvement strategy.
- Testimonials from 35 participating principal preparation programs involved in an EDC-facilitated professional learning community are featured in this short EDC video case study: The Power of the Professional Learning Community.