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Supporting a Strong, Stable Principal Workforce


While teacher shortages continue to be a critical issue in the United States, a lesser known but equally important shortage is also hampering the country’s efforts to provide quality educational opportunities for students — principal shortages. Nationally, nearly one in five principals leave their schools each year and the average tenure of a principal is about four years. These numbers are higher in the under-resourced schools that tend to serve the highest populations of students of color and students from low-income families.

While teachers have the highest in-school impact on student success, principals are a close second. Their importance of the principal’s role, reasons they leave, and policy implications for principal retention and effectiveness are explained in the new report, “Supporting a Strong, Stable Principal Workforce: Why it Matters and What Can Be Done.” The report is the third in a series conducted by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

This report and associated brief summarize results from LPI and NASSP’s national principal survey and focus groups, which delve deeply into the five focus areas that emerged from initial research and suggests policy strategies to increase principal retention.

In the webinar above, which was recorded May 14 and hosted by NASSP and LPI, panelists delve into the causes of principal turnover, the impacts of turnover on teachers and students, strategies that district and school leaders can implement to increase principal retention, and federal and state policy opportunities to support those strategies.

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