The NYC Leadership Academy is a learning organization; one that not only designs and delivers effective leadership development programs, but that constantly strives to improve these programs. One way to achieve this objective is through rigorous internal program evaluation and the feedback from those with whom we collaborate. Katie Drucker, NYCLA’s Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, leads her team in this critical effort and her work informs refinements to our programs.

Katie recently led a roundtable discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research with more than 1,400 participants. Katie presented a newly developed NYCLA tool, the Leadership Behavior Survey (LBS), an instrument our organization uses to gauge the impact of coaching on principal behavior in our nationwide coaching programs. There is general acceptance in the field about the value of leadership coaching, however there are few established methods to capture the short- and long-term impact of the coaching relationship. The LBS represents an opportunity to garner this learning through behavior-based reporting by both the principal and his or her coach.

The LBS includes 52 behavior categories organized around the eight leadership dimensions, which NYCLA has identified as central to the success of early-career principals – dimensions used to ground the coaching work. Principals and their coaches rate the frequency with which the principals exhibit each behavior – once at the beginning of the coaching work and once at the end. This is fundamentally different than NYCLA’s previous approach, which simply asked participants to rate their growth in each of the eight leadership dimensions generally, without relying on specific behaviors. By rooting self-evaluation in observable behaviors, principals are better able to objectively rate themselves. Additionally, coaches can ground their conversations in concrete learning and to work with the principal to plan future improvements.

The tool was highly regarded by roundtable participants, who recognized its power to strengthen coaching and mentoring program evaluation and continuous improvement.  For more information on Katie’s presentation or how the LBS could be applicable in your work, please contact NYCLA at