School leaders benefit from ongoing support. In our research study, Still in the Game: How Coaching Keeps Leaders in Schools and Making Progress, the NYC Leadership Academy found that school leaders who have been working with a leadership coach for at least five years:
- Remained in their schools more than twice as long the national average principal tenure in a school. In New York City, four out of ten new principals leave their first school within five years; in our study, all of the principals stayed in their first school for more than five years.
- Improved their ability to supervise staff, distribute leadership, communicate, and lead with resilience.
- Avoided complacency. After their schools made some initial progress, the principals in this study did not just coast. They worked with their coach to continue to make improvements at their schools.
- Benefited from coaching thanks to the trusting relationships they were able to develop over time with their coaches.
Despite these benefits, currently only about half of principals nationwide are engaged in mentoring and coaching as part of their professional development, and that support is typically reserved for first-year principals or leaders in need of remediation.
In addition to our research paper, we have also published an accompanying policy brief with eight recommendations of policy shifts that school, district, and state educational leaders can make to provide needed ongoing leadership coaching for their school leaders.
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