School districts and states must work together to recruit and keep great principals.
Like any organization, the leader matters. The same goes for a school building. An excellent principal can have significant impact on teachers and school-wide student achievement. Because of this, school districts should prioritize recruiting, selecting, and keeping great principals.
We encourage school districts to:
- Adopt and publicly share principal standards and expectations
- Adopt a strategic, comprehensive approach for talent management for principals of schools that includes early career training and support
- Identify and follow through on each principal’s career development
- Implement a fair evaluation system tied to student achievement
- Provide ongoing professional development that meets each principal’s individual needs
- Develop a fair compensation and incentives system to retain the best and brightest principals
Beyond this, principals need autonomy to do their job well, such as staffing, budgeting, professional development, and scheduling. Lastly, the school district should create a transparent process for holding itself accountable to its plan to recruit, develop, and support effective, great principals.