Professional development, coaching, and school leaders: Two randomized studies

Best Evidence in Brief Index

By Himanshi Sharma, Johns Hopkins University

Benjamin K. Master and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of the Executive Development Program (EDP) and other aligned coaching on developing school leaders. In the study, two randomized controlled trials (RCT) were used to individually test the effects of the EDP program alone and the effects of coaching. The EDP intervention began in June 2016 where the schools and principals in the participating districts were divided into two groups — offered EDP immediately (treatment group) and EDP in 28-31 months (control group). The coaching intervention began in Nov 2016 where the schools and principals were randomly assigned to either receive the offer of coaching (treatment) or no coaching (control). A total of 779 schools from 139 school districts across three states agreed to participate in either or both RCTs.

The studies explored several questions. Of the 301 principals…

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