“Data are sexy. You might not think so, but I do.”
So begins a “My View” column in the current issue of School Administrator magazine by Nicholas Pelzer, data cheerleader and senior program officer in Wallace’s education leadership unit. What’s the source of Pelzer’s enthusiasm for all things data? He extols the power of information “to aid school districts with one of their most daunting tasks: ensuring an effective principal leads every school.”
Pelzer works with a number of Wallace-supported districts that have developed data systems to, in his words, “strategically manage the flow of talent into the principalship.” He goes on to describe how these systems have assisted with tasks as various as projecting principal vacancies and analyzing school performance trends. They have proved especially valuable in assisting with hiring principals and making suitable matches between them and the schools they oversee, Pelzer says. He also discusses what it takes to set up the systems.
If you want to find out more about data systems to foster effective school leadership, check out this report, Leader Tracking Systems: Turning Data Into Information for School Leadership, and this Wallace account, Chock Full of Data: How School Districts Are Building Leader Tracking Systems to Support Principal Pipelines.