A review of state policies on principal professional development


  • Keith Davis Saint Louis University
  • Deborah Rogers Saint Louis University
  • Martin Harrigan Saint Louis University




principal, school administrator, professional development, policy analysis


Although principal professional development (PPD) has been proven to improve school performance at various levels, professional development (PD) for teachers receives more time, resources, and attention at both district and state level. When PPD is provided it often does not meet research-based recommendations. The literature was reviewed and five criteria areas with multiple indicators for effective PPD outlined; these were subsequently revised and validated by experts in the field. The PPD certification policies of each U.S. state that made this information publicly accessible was examined through Department of Education websites, with clarification by phone when necessary. This study revealed that only one state met all indicators, and that most states did not have comprehensive, research-based PPD policies. Given the significant effect school leadership has on student achievement and school improvement, further research on PPD implementation should be prioritized.


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Author Biographies

Keith Davis, Saint Louis University


Dr. Davis is currently the principal of Blalack Middle School in Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District. His research interests include culturally-relevant pedagogy, restorative practices, effective educational strategies for urban education, critical thinking, and closing the achievement gap.

Deborah Rogers, Saint Louis University

Dr. Deborah Rogers is currently the principal of Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis Public Schools in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Rogers believes in the possibility of all children, and engages stakeholders to provide the opportunity for personal and academic growth for every student.

Martin Harrigan, Saint Louis University

Dr. Martin Michael Harrigan is currently the Dean of Academics and Innovation at Leland and Gray Middle High School in southwest Vermont. His teacher certifications include K-12 ESL, 5-9 Mathematics, 6-12 English Language Arts, 6-12 Social Studies and K-12 Counseling.




How to Cite

Davis, K., Rogers, D., & Harrigan, M. (2020). A review of state policies on principal professional development. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 24. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.4421