What do principal supervisors do when they support improved teaching and learning in schools?

Our research shows they dedicate their time to helping principals grow as instructional leaders and they provide support for such growth from a teaching stance. Such an approach to principal supervision requires some districts to shed their old expectations of principal supervisors as mainly evaluators of principals or people who handle operations and reinvent the principal supervisor’s role as a main instructional partner to school principals. This page includes reports of our research and tools to help principal supervisors, Chief Academic Officers, and other district leaders use the research to ground principal supervisor performance standards, evaluation, and professional development.

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Press: The Hechinger Report, "How to help principals do a better job? Train their bosses" (2016)

This article from the Hechinger Report highlights how districts are training top officials to better coach and support school leaders, drawing on DL2’s research on principal supervisors.

From Procedures to Partnership: Redesigning Principal Supervision To Help Principals
Lead for High-quality Teaching and (2015)

This report, through a collaboration with the Gates Foundation, analyzes how 11 school systems applied lessons from emerging research and practice to transform their principal supervisor positions to realize significant improvements in teaching and learning districtwide.

Central Office Leadership in Principal Professional Learning Communities: The Practice Beneath the Policy (2014)

This paper examines to what extent the central office administrators who run principal professional learning communities (PPLCs) are actually doing so in ways consistent with the goal of supporting principals’ learning to strengthen their instructional leadership as well as what conditions help or hinder them in the process.

District Central Office Leadership as Teaching: How Central Office Administrators Support Principals’ Development as Instructional Leaders (2012)

This in-depth comparative case study examines the work practices of executive-level central office staff in three districts dedicated to providing instructional leadership support to principals.

Central Office Transformation for District-wide Teaching and Learning Improvement (2010)

This foundational report on central office transformation highlights the importance of learning-focused partnerships between the central office and school principals to deepen principals’ instructional leadership practice.


Principal Supervisor 360

PS360 is a suite of tools for understanding Principal Supervisor practice, including two surveys and observation platform

Instructional Leadership Director Course

Through a series of videos, case examples, and questions, this online course examines the role of and needed support for successful Principal Supervisors, also known as Instructional Leadership Directors (ILDs).

DL2 Principal Supervisor Performance Standards

Research-based performance standards for Principal Supervisors.

DL2 Principal Supervisor Performance Standards Indicators

Indicators for measuring principal supervisors’ performance growth along the DL2 Principal Supervisor Performance Standards (PSPS).


Principal Supervisors Part 1: Research Overview (14:13)

Principal Supervisors Part 2: Research-Based Practices (20:31)

Principal Supervisors Part 3: Moving into the Principal Supervisor Standards (15:40)

Central Office Leadership in Principal Professional Learning Communities (40:41)

When Central Offices Help Principals Grow as Instructional Leaders: The Role of Data (41:50)