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Measuring the Effectiveness of Principal Pipelines

Episode 9: Lead researchers behind a groundbreaking study of the effectiveness of principal pipelines discuss the research design.
July 31, 2019
School Leadership Adult Learning
Host & Guests

Host: Lucas Held, Director of Communications for The Wallace Foundation


  • Susan Gates, senior economist with RAND and co-principal investigator of Principal Pipelines: A Feasible, Affordable, and Effective Way for Districts to Improve Schools
  • Elizabeth Ty Wilde, senior research officer at The Wallace Foundation

How was it that RAND reliably measured across more than 1,000 schools whether principal pipelines delivered benefits for student achievement and principal retention? Gates and Wilde discuss how they overcame the unique challenges they faced in identifying a feasible research strategy and how researchers determined the improvements were in fact due to the pipeline initiative.


It's not a shiny new thing. It's really taking a step back and saying, it is a core district function to ensure that every school has an effective principal.

— Susan Gates

About the Series

The Principal Pipeline Podcast features principals, district and state leaders, and university officials who have developed strong principal pipelines and are eager to share their lessons learned with the broader field.

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