Summary of Results
The National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) piloted its Executive Development Program in 2004 and began full implementation in 2005. This document summarizes the key results that have been captured through June of 2009.
Improved Student Achievement
State of Massachusetts (132 urban schools): The State launched a statewide implementation of NISL in 2006. By the summer of 2008, the first group of school leaders completed their training. The State hired an independent evaluation firm to measure the impact of the training on the 132 schools that participated in the first group. They found that the NISL-trained schools increased proficiency faster than non-NISL schools – an average of 3.7 percentage points in English and 2.7 percentage points in mathematics. Principals that were more aggressive at implementing NISL concepts got even better results – 5.7 percentage points in ELA and 4.3 in mathematics – as seen in the following graph. (The Meristem Group 2009)
Duval County, FL (123,000 students, 45% poverty, and 60% minority): NISL trained 100% of the middle and high school principals in this school district. A study conducted in the year after training was completed found that student achievement had improved “dramatically,” allowing the district to catch up to comparison groups. The study also found that schools with NISL-trained principals raised proficiency faster than did comparison groups and faster than the statewide average. The study also found that schools with NISL-trained principals were closing the achievement gap more than comparison schools were. In addition, schools led by a NISL trained-principal raised proficiency faster and closed gaps more than comparison schools in 62% of the middle schools and 83% of the high schools. (The Broad Foundation 2006)
Chambersburg, PA (8,500 students, 29% poverty, and 20% minority): This district had failed to make AYP six years in a row. In 2007, the district decided to send all of its school and district leaders through the NISL Executive Development Program. The district made AYP in 2008 and 2009, allowing it to leave corrective action. (Pennsylvania State Education Department)
Carrollton-Farmer’s Branch School District, TX (26,000 students, 51% poverty, and 74% minority): The training of the first cohort of principals was completed in 2007. The district’s accountability rating at that time was “acceptable.” In 2008, the accountability rating for the district rose to “recognized,” ranking its student achievement in the top 30% of all Texas districts. The deputy superintendent has stated that NISL’s training was a major reason for the improved rating. (Texas State Department of Education)
Other Positive Outcomes
State of Massachusetts (295 urban schools): An independent study was performed of the first three groups that participated in the statewide NISL implementation. It found that most school administrators reported significant time use changes after NISL training (e.g. spending more time in classrooms or discussing student work). This increased focus on instruction by the principals and assistant principals was confirmed in a survey of their district supervisors. The evaluator concluded that these results “provided consistent and compelling evidence that NISL participation succeeded in changing administrators’ allocation of their time to place greater emphasis on student instruction and related activities. (The Meristem Group 2009)
State of Massachusetts (295 urban schools): The same study found that most principals reported improvements in school operations after attending the NISL Program – improvement in math instruction (76%), English language arts instruction (74%), staff morale (64%), school culture (64%), and use of data (86%). (The Meristem Group 2009)
State of Massachusetts (295 urban schools): The same study found that over 80% of participants rated the NISL Program as higher quality, value and relevance than comparable professional development programs they had attended previously.
All implementation sites: Participants in the NISL program are asked to complete a short evaluation either at the end of a day of training or at the end of a unit (usually 2 days of training). Over 5,000 of these evaluations have been completed so far during our work with districts across 14 states. The results are summarized below (in percentages):
|Evaluation Statement||Agree||Somewhat Agree||Somewhat Disagree||Disagree|
|1. I was challenged with the program content.||79||18||2||0|
|2. The content of the topic was comprehensive.||83||16||1||0|
|3. The instructors facilitated effective sessions that advanced my learning.||83||15||2||0|
|4. I will be able to use what I have learned back in my school/district.||85||14||1||0|
|5. The interactive classroom activities helped me to discuss, practice, and apply the content of the program.||83||15||2||0|
|6. The computer-based activities prepared me for the content covered in class.||75||21||2||1|
|7. The videos illustrated and/or added relevant insight to the topics discussed.||84||14||1||0|
|8. The required pre-readings enhanced my understanding of the materials covered in class.||84||15||1||0|
|9. The printed instructional materials were easy to understand and use.||89||10||1||0|
|10. Overall, the program met my expectations.||87||11||2||0|
- 1. The Broad Foundation (2006): Assessment of NISL in Duvall County.
- 2. The Meristem Group (2009): Evaluation Report on Massachusetts Implementation of the NISL Program.
Read more about how the NISL program has been successful in Massachusetts.