A Review of the Literature on Principal Turnover. When it comes to variables that impact student achievement, school principals consistently come up second, behind teachers. They play a critical role in supporting teachers and students to ensure a school’s success. Hiring and maintaining qualified school principals is as important as it is challenging. Yet, principal turnover remains high, impacting the consistency of services and school improvement efforts.
This paper examines research on what we know about the causes and impact of principal turnover. The author is interested in answering three questions: how principal turnover is defined and measured, identifying the causes of turnover, and understanding the consequences of high rates of turnover. The review of the literature shows that there are insufficient numbers and quality of studies on this topic. The current knowledge base consists of case studies and correlational research. The fact there is a shortage of experimental research is not surprising given challenges confronted in implementing research on principal turnover. Because of this, the author was unable to conduct a meta-analysis for this paper. It appears that principal turnover is closely related to student achievement and teacher turnover, but the research is not sufficient to make definitive conclusions at this time. Snodgrass concludes the field needs additional quality studies on this topic.
Citation: Snodgrass Rangel, V. (2018). A review of the literature on principal turnover. Review of Educational Research, 88(1), 87-124.