Findings from an Evaluation of KIPP School Leadership Programs
- Based on their survey responses, former KIPP school leadership program participants expressed satisfaction with the programs and generally reported that they were able to apply the lessons of the programs in their own settings.
- The respondents also expressed a desire for more follow-up opportunities with their cohort, improved diversity and equity training, and more support developing talent, managing resources, and cultivating a strong organizational culture.
- Outcomes in Successor Prep schools—including principal tenure, student achievement, student retention, and teacher retention—generally appeared similar to outcomes in other KIPP schools, although we cannot rule out substantial differences.
- The instrument KIPP uses to identify candidates for the Fisher Fellowship program is reliable. However, three of the 34 items had relatively low levels of one type of reliability.
This evaluation of the KIPP school leadership programs, funded by a grant from the Supporting Effective Educator Development program in the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, aims to support sustained implementation of effective programs to prepare and support school leaders. KIPP administers three school leadership programs examined in this evaluation: (1) the Successor Prep program, which prepares new principals to lead existing schools; (2) the Fisher Fellowship program, which prepares new principals to lead new KIPP schools; and (3) the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship (KLDF) program, which disseminates effective school leadership development strategies outside of KIPP.
In addition to supporting KIPP to improve the design of the KIPP school leadership programs, the evaluation findings can guide the replication of effective tools and strategies that increase the number of highly effective principals among other charter and traditional public schools as well as across the principal preparation field. To understand how KIPP school leadership programs support the development of effective school leaders, this evaluation (1) conducted a descriptive analysis of results from surveys that we designed and administered to former program participants, (2) compared outcomes for teachers and students in schools that received Successor Prep principals to those for other similar KIPP schools in a comparison group, and (3) examined properties of the instrument KIPP uses to select participants for the Fisher Fellowship program, including its reliability.