Developing School Leadership At Scale: Experimental Evidence from Schools for Marginalized Communities in India

Last registered on August 12, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Developing School Leadership At Scale: Experimental Evidence from Schools for Marginalized Communities in India
Initial registration date
August 12, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 12, 2021, 2:19 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Oregon State University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Center for Global Development
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Schools with better management practices are associated with higher student learning. But there is limited experimental evidence on the causal effect of improving school management practices on achievement, especially in developing countries. Existing efforts are often limited due to low adoption of the management practices by school leaders, potentially due to training programs that lack follow-up and a structure of accountability. We will conduct a randomized evaluation of a large-scale school leadership training program in India. We will randomly assign nearly 400 public schools in Telangana, India to 1) a control group (C), 2) leadership workshops (T1), 3) workshops plus individualized coaching (T2). We will evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of each treatment on school leader management practices and student outcomes. Our study will add to the literature by estimating the causal effect of an intensive training program (T1), and the marginal effect of individualized follow-up (T2), on improving school management practices, and subsequently student learning.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Crawfurd, Lee, Todd Pugatch and Ketki Sheth. 2021. "Developing School Leadership At Scale: Experimental Evidence from Schools for Marginalized Communities in India." AEA RCT Registry. August 12.
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Experimental Details


The intervention consists of:

School Leader Training Treatment (T1): School leaders will be invited to a leadership training program. The program consists of a series of workshops over three years to develop five key skills (strategic, instructional, human resource, community, and operational leadership). School leaders participate in seven workshops (five online, two in-person; 28 total hours) per year to build their knowledge and skills. These workshops culminate in the school leader developing a “school improvement and development plan,” similar to many school leader training programs. Interspersing workshops throughout the three-year program facilitates monitoring and continued support of participating school leaders.

School Leader Training and Coaching Treatment (T2): In addition to the school leader training workshops, school leaders also receive individualized coaching. Coaching consists of seven individual coaching visits (five online, two in-person; one after each workshop; 21 total hours) to help implement elements of the leadership development program. The coaching aims to provide individualized attention to assist the school leader in implementing the five key skills and their school improvement plan.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
student learning
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
student test scores: language, mathematics

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
school management practices
teaching practices
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
school management practices: domains defined in Development World Management Survey; use of corporal punishment
teaching practices: time on task, active instruction, teacher attendance

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This is a cluster randomized control trial, with the school as the unit of treatment. We will randomly assign schools in our sample to one of the following three groups:
1. Control (C): No leadership training or coaching (i.e., business as usual).
2. School Leader Training Treatment (T1).
3. School Leader Training and Coaching Treatment (T2).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
380 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
30 students/school = 11,400 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1. Control (C): 140 schools
2. School Leader Training Treatment (T1): 140 schools
3. School Leader Training and Coaching Treatment (T2): 100 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
student outcomes: MDE = 0.19 (assumptions: 30 students/cluster, 140 clusters (schools) per arm, pairwise comparison of treatment arms, units=standard deviations, sd=1, power=80%, size=5%, ICC=0.3) school-level outcomes (management practices): MDE = 0.27 (assumptions: 1 observation/school, 140 clusters (schools) per arm, pairwise comparison of treatment arms, units=standard deviations, residual sd=0.8, power=80%, size=5%)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Institute for Financial Management and Research
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number