Education Drivers

Principal Retention Strategies

Retention strategies must address the variables that contribute to principal turnover, including (a) the complexity and hourly demands of the job; (b) the lack of effective initial and ongoing professional development; (c) little or no ongoing professional community, coaching, or one-to-one support; and (d) accountability for school performance with limited authority in critical decisions such as hiring, firing, and budgetary control. Effective retention strategies start with a needs assessment and plan for implementation and monitoring the retention process. The components of such a process consist of (a) enhanced and aggressive outreach and selection strategies that bring in the best candidates, (b) principal preparation that offers relevant curriculum content and significant field experience including direct feedback and coaching, (c) ongoing induction support for new principals with continuing one-to-one coaching from assigned mentors on an ongoing basis, (d) principal peer networks where principals can share strategies and solutions to issues as they arise, and (e) clear accountability frameworks that give principals measurable outcome targets and increased authority for making critical school decisions regarding staff, budgets, and policy.

Publications

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Principal Retention Overview.

This report documents broadly the research that addresses the prevalence of principal turnover, the factors associated with a principal’s decision to leave, the consequences of principal turnover for teaching and learning, and evidence-based strategies for improving principal retention.

Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Principal Retention Overview. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/quality-leadership-principal-retention.

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey. First Look.

This report presents selected findings from the school principal data files of the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS).  It provides the following descriptive information on school principals by school type, student characteristics, and other relevant categories: number, race/ethnicity, age, gender, college degrees, salary, hours worked, focus of work, years experience, and tenure at current school.

Battle, D. (2009). Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2007–08 Schools and Staf ng Survey (NCES 2009-323). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Principal Talent Management According to the Evidence: A Review of the Literature

This literature review aims to provide district leaders with an understanding of the research and best evidence regarding the components of effective principal talent management systems.

American Institutes for Research & George W. Bush Institute’s. (2016). Principal Talent Management According to the Evidence: A Review of the Literature. Retrieved from http://gwbcenter.imgix.net/Resources/gwbi-principal-talent-management-lit-review.pdf

School leadership stability, principal moves, and departures: Evidence from Missouri

The objective of this study is to investigate and characterize principals' backgrounds, individual and school level factors associated with leadership stability, and principal career paths and exit behaviors in Missouri. 

Baker, B. D., Punswick, E., & Belt, C. (2010). School leadership stability, principal moves, and departures: Evidence from Missouri. Educational Administration Quarterly46(4), 523-557.

The Impacts of Principal Turnover

Using statewide data from Missouri and Tennessee, we employ a difference-in-differences model with a matched comparison group to estimate arguably causal effects.

Bartanen, B., Grissom, J. A., & Rogers, L. K. (2019). The impacts of principal turnover. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 41(3), 350–374.

Principal Attrition and Mobility: Results from the 2008-09 Principal Follow-Up Survey. First Look.

In order to inform discussions and decisions among policymakers, researchers, and parents, the 2008-09 Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS) was initiated as a nationally representative sample survey of public, private, and Bureau of Indian Education-funded (BIE) K-12 schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Battle, D. (2010). Principal Attrition and Mobility: Results from the 2008-09 Principal Follow-Up Survey. First Look. NCES 2010-337. National Center for Education Statistics.

Performance incentives for school administrators.

Districts usually implement principal performance pay systems at the urging of state policymakers or as part of grant-funded efforts. This briefing summarizes research about the efficacy of district approaches, describes state laws in place and offers three considerations for state policymaking.

Baxter, A. (n.d.). Performance incentives for school administrators. Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education Board. Retrieved from https://www.ncleg.gov/documentsites/committees/BCCI-6680/Nov 28/2bb_sreb_performance_incentives_handout.pdf

 

Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes

This study examines the detrimental impact of principal turnover, including lower teacher retention and lower student achievement. Particularly hard hit are high poverty schools, which often lose principals at a higher rate as they transition to lower poverty, higher student achievement schools.

Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D., & Loeb, S. (2012). Stepping stones: Principal career paths and school outcomes. Social Science Research, 41(4), 904-919.

Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Summary, First Look

The Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary School Principals in the United States is a subsection of the NCES 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). It provides descriptive statistics on K-12 school principals in areas such as: race, gender, education level, salary, experience, and working conditions.

Bitterman, A., Goldring, R., Gray, L., Broughman, S. (2014).Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States:Results From the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Summary, First Look. IES, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

Principal turnover: Are there different types of principals who move from or leave their schools? A latent class analysis of the 2007–08 schools and staffing survey and the 2008–09 principal follow-up survey.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which there is a typology of principals who depart from their schools in the US using the 2007–2008 Schools and Staffing Survey and the 2008–2009 Principal Follow-up Survey. Prior principal retention research has focused on identifying factors that predict principal turnover; however, this research has not focused on understanding the extent to which there may potentially be different subgroups of principals who depart. 

Boyce, J., Bowers, A. J. (2016). Principal turnover: Are there different types of principals who move from or leave their schools? A latent class analysis of the 2007–08 schools and staffing survey and the 2008–09 principal follow-up survey. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 15(3), 237–272.

Center on School Turnaround and Improvement.

The Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework (PDF) is a research-based approach to school turnaround — proven to help states, districts, and schools in effectively leading and managing rapid improvement efforts.

Center on School Turnaround and Improvement. (2017). Four domains for rapid school improvement: A systems framework. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Retrieved from http://centeronschoolturnaround.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CST_Four-Domains-Framework-Final.pdf

A Qualitative Case Study of Teacher and School Leaders' Perspectives of Tennessee's Differentiated Pay Plans

The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing school systems’ decisions behind crafting, developing, and revising differentiated pay plans that require districts to abandon the practice of providing only across-the-board salary increases for experience and advanced degrees by adding at least one additional criterion for compensating educators.

Chiang, H., Wellington, A., Hallgren, K., Speroni, C., Herrmann, M., Glazerman, S., & Constantine, J. (2015). Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and impacts of pay-for-performance after two years, Executive Summary (NCEE 2015-4021). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED560156.pdf

Identifying competencies and actions of effective turnaround principals.

This briefing paper addresses the essential competencies and actions of the turnaround principal.

Copeland, G., & Neeley, A. (2013). Identifying competencies and actions of effective turnaround principals. Austin, TX: Southeast Comprehensive Center at SEDL. Retrieved from http://secc.sedl.org/resources/briefs/effective_turnaround_principals/

Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors

This report consists of two parts: a survey of 67 public school systems district staff serving as principal supervisors and on-site analysis of six districts pre-service training and support systems for new principals.

Corcoran, A., et al. (2013). Rethinking Leadership: The Changing Role of Principal Supervisors. The Wallace Foundation.

Implicit performance awards: An empirical analysis of the labor market for public school administrators.

In particular, this paper investigates the extent to which the labor market for school principals may act as a mechanism for providing such incentives.

Cullen, J. B., & Mazzeo, M. J. (2007). Implicit performance awards: An empirical analysis of the labor market for public school administrators. Working paper. Retrieved from: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/mazzeo/htm/txppals_1207.pdf

Accountability for college and career readiness: Developing a new paradigm.

This report recommends an accountability approach that focuses on meaningful learning, enabled by professionally skilled and committed educators, and supported by adequate and appropriate resources, so that all students regardless of background are prepared for both college and career when they graduate from high school.

Darling-Hammond, L., Wilhoit, G., & Pittenger, L. (2014). Accountability for college and career readiness: Developing a new paradigm. Stanford, CA: Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved from https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/accountability-college-and-career-readiness-developing-new-paradigm.pdf

Principal turnover in Illinois public schools, 2001-2008

This report is the second in an IERC series on public school principals in Illinois. This study focuses on principals’ movements during the same period, thereby providing recent information on principal retention and turnover during a time marked by increasing school accountability and public scrutiny of principal effectiveness

DeAngelis, K. J., & White, B. R. (2011). Principal turnover in Illinois public schools, 2001-2008 (IERC 2011-1). Edwardsville, IL: Illinois Education Research Council. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED518191.pdf

 
The principalship at a crossroads: A study of the conditions and concerns of principals.

This study examined the conditions and concerns of principals in Virginia to see what their experiences and perceptions are of the growing shortage in the principalship. Findings suggest that principals do not feel that they have sufficient authority and resources to get the job done and that they are working long hours to fill the gap.

DiPaola, M., & Tschannen-Moran, M. (2003). The principalship at a crossroads: A study of the conditions and concerns of principals. NASSP Bulletin87, 43–65.

Principal Retention Overview.

This report documents broadly the research that addresses the prevalence of principal turnover, the factors associated with a principal’s decision to leave, the consequences of principal turnover for teaching and learning, and evidence-based strategies for improving principal retention.

Donley, J., Detrich, R., States, J., & Keyworth, (2020). Principal Retention Overview. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/quality-leadership-principal-retention.

Policy brief 2018–4: Impact of principal turnover

This brief explores why principal turnover matters and how the effects of this issue are borne out in schools. Specific policy recommendations based on research and aimed at reducing principal turnover are provided.

Edwards, W. L., Quinn, D. J., Fuller, E. J., & Pendola, A. (2018). Policy brief 2018–4: Impact of principal turnover. Charlottesville, VA: University Council for Educational Administration, University of Virginia. Retrieved from http://3fl71l2qoj4l3y6ep2tqpwra.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Policy-Brief-2018-–-4-Impact-of-Principal-Turnover.pdf

 
Administrator career paths and decision processes: Evidence from Delaware

The purpose of this paper is to present qualitative evidence on the processes and forces that shape school administrator career paths.

Farley-Ripple E. N., Raffel, J. A., & Welch, J. C. (2012). Administrator career paths and decision processes: Evidence from Delaware. Journal of Educational Administration50(6), 788–816.

School accountability

This chapter reviews the theory of school-based accountability, describes variations across programs and identifies key features influencing the effectiveness and possible unintended consequences of accountability policies. 

Figlio, D., & Loeb, S. (2011). School accountability. In E. A. Hanushek, S. J. Machin, & L. Woessman (Eds.), Handbooks in economics: Economics of education (Vol. 3, pp. 383–421). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

Restorative justice in U.S. schools: An updated research review.

This report presents information garnered from a comprehensive review of the literature on restorative
justice1 in U.S. schools. The purpose of this review is to capture key issues, describe models of
restorative justice, and summarize results from studies conducted in the field.

Fronius, T., Darling-Hammond, S., Persson, H., Guckenburg, S., Hurley, N., & Petrosino, A. (2019). Restorative justice in U.S. schools: An updated research review. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Retrieved from https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/resource-restorative-justice-in-u-s-schools-an-updated-research-review.pdf

Working conditions and retention of principals in small and mid-sized urban districts.

This chapter analyzes 2011 survey data from a sample of Texas principals who were asked about their perceptions of their working conditions such as: Support and facilities; salary; resources; autonomy to make decisions; testing and accountability pressures; and relationships with supervisors. 

Fuller, E. J., Hollingworth, L., Young, M. D. (2015). Working conditions and retention of principals in small and mid-sized urban districts. In I. E., Sutherland, K. L. Sanzo, & J. P. Scribner (Eds.), Leading small and mid-sized urban school districts (Vol. 22, pp. 41–64). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group. 

Planning for the Future: Leadership development and succession planning in education

This article reviews the research and best practices on succession planning in education as well as in other sectors. The authors illustrate how forward-thinking superintendents can partner with universities and other organizations to address the leadership challenges they face by creating strategic, long-term, leadership growth plans that build leadership capacity and potentially yield significant returns in improved student outcomes.

Fusarelli, B. C., Fusarelli, L. D., & Riddick, F. (2018). Planning for the future: Leadership development and succession planning in education. Journal of Research on Leadership Education13(3), 286–313.

Mobility and turnover among school principals.

This paper uses administrative data from two states covering the school years 1987–1988 to
2000–2001 to examine principal turnover and mobility.

Gates, S., Ringel, J., Santilbanez, L., Guarino, C., Ghosh-Dastidar, B., & Brown, A. (2006). Mobility and turnover among school principals. Economics of Education Review25(3), 289–302. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/24902520/Mobility_and_turnover_among_school_principals

Developing Leaders: The Importance—and the Challenges—of Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs

The role of today's principal is changing, as is the principal workforce. The new generation of principals is younger with less teaching experience, and is more mobile, working more hours, and experiencing more job stress. Understanding how to better prepare new leaders for the role of principal is an urgent policy concern.

George W. Bush Institute, Education Reform Initiative, (2016). Developing Leaders: The Importance—and the Challenges—of Evaluating Principal Preparation Programs. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED570672

Uneven playing field? Assessing the teacher quality gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

This study presents a comprehensive, descriptive analysis of the inequitable distribution of both input and output measures of teacher quality across various indicators of student disadvantage across all school districts in Washington State. 

Goldhaber, D., Lavery, L., & Theobald, R. (2015). Uneven playing field? Assessing the teacher quality gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Educational Researcher44(5), 293–307.

A new role emerges for principal supervisors: Evidence from six districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative

This report presents analyses of data from semistructured interviews with central office personnel, principal supervisors, and principals, as well as data from surveys of supervisors and principals in each of the six PSI districts.

Goldring, E. B., Grissom, J. A., Rubin, M., Rogers, L. K., Neel, M., & Clark, M. A. (2018). A new role emerges for principal supervisors: Evidence from six districts in the Principal Supervisor Initiative. New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/A-New-Role-Emerges-for-Principal-Supervisors.pdf

Making time for instructional leadership, Vol. 1: The evolution of the SAM process.

This report describes the ongoing development and implementation of the SAM® process, which has the goal of increasing the capacity of principals to use time in instructionally focused ways while decreasing time on management tasks. 

Goldring, E., Grissom, J. A., Neumerski, C. M., Murphy, J., Blissett, R., & Porter, A. (2015). Making time for instructional leadership, Vol. 1: The evolution of the SAM process. New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Making-Time-for-Instructional-Leadership-Executive-Summary.pdf

principal attrition and mobility: Results from the 2012–13 principal follow-up survey (NCES 2014-064 rev).

The Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), first conducted in school year 2008-09, is a component of the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The 2012-13 PFS was administered in order to provide attrition rates for principals in K-12 public and private schools. The goal was to assess how many principals in the 2011-12 school year still worked as a principal in the same school in the 2012-13 school year, how many had moved to become a principal in another school, and how many had left the principalship.

Goldring, R., & Taie, S. (2014). Principal attrition and mobility: Results from the 2012–13 principal follow-up survey (NCES 2014-064 rev). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2014064rev

Principal attrition and mobility: Results from the 2016–17 principal follow-up survey (NCES 2018-066)

This report presents selected findings from the Public School Principal Status Data File of the 2016–17 Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS). The PFS is a nationally representative sample survey of public1 K–12 schools in the 50 states and District of Columbia and was initiated to inform discussions and decisions regarding principal attrition and mobility among policymakers, researchers, and parents.

Goldring, R., & Taie, S. (2018). Principal attrition and mobility: Results from the 2016–17 principal follow-up survey (NCES 2018-066). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018066.pdf

Strategic retention: Principal effectiveness and teacher turnover in multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems

Using multiple measures of teacher and principal effectiveness, the authors document that indeed more effective principals see lower rates of teacher turnover, on average

Grissom, J. A., & Bartanen, B. (2019). Strategic retention: Principal effectiveness and teacher turnover in multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems. American Educational Research Journal56(2), 514–555.

Principal effectiveness and principal turnover.

This study investigate the association between principal effectiveness and principal turnover using longitudinal data from Tennessee, a state that has invested in multiple measures of principal performance through its educator evaluation system.

Grissom, J. A., & Bartanen, B. (2019a). Principal effectiveness and principal turnover. Education Finance and Policy14(3), 355–382. Retrieved from https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.1162/edfp_a_00256

 
Evaluating school principals: Supervisor ratings of principal practice and principal job performance.

Numerous studies investigate high-stakes personnel evaluation systems in education, but nearly all focus on evaluation of teachers. The authors instead examine the evaluation of school principals at scale using data from the first 4 years of implementation of Tennessee’s multiple-measure administrator evaluation system. 

Grissom, J. A., Blissett, R. S. L., & Mitani, H. (2018). Evaluating school principals: Supervisor ratings of principal practice and principal job performance. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis40(3), 446–472.

Using student test scores to measure principal performance.

this article identifies multiple conceptual approaches for capturing the contributions of principals to student test score growth, develops empirical models to reflect these approaches, examines the properties of these models, and compares the results of the models empirically using data from a large urban school district.

Grissom, J. A., Kalogrides, D., & Loeb, S. (2015). Using student test scores to measure principal performance. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis37(1), 3–28.

Assessing the measurement properties of the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale: A meta-analysis of reliability studies

This article seeks to provide a comprehensive and detailed picture of reliability results. More specifically, the authors present a meta-analysis of reliability results derived from 52 data sets derived from 43 independent empirical studies in which the PIMRS had been employed for data collection.

Hallinger, P., Wang, W.-C., & Chen, C.-W. (2013). Assessing the measurement properties of the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale: A meta-analysis of reliability studies. Educational Administration Quarterly49(2), 272–309.

Improving school leadership through support, evaluation, and incentives: The Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program.

The RAND Corporation served as the evaluator of PPIP and examined implementation and outcomes from school years 2007–2008 through 2010–2011. Although the district is likely to continue implementing much of what constitutes PPIP, this report focuses only on the period during which PPIP was being funded by the TIF grant.

Hamilton, L. S., Engberg, J., Steiner, E. D., Nelson, C. A., & Yuan, K. (2012). Improving school leadership through support, evaluation, and incentives: The Pittsburgh Principal Incentive Program. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2012/RAND_MG1223.pdf

The big U-turn: How to bring schools from the brink of doom to stellar success.

How to bring schools from the brink of doom to stellar success.

Hassel, E. A., & Hassel, B. (2009). The big U-turn: How to bring schools from the brink of doom to stellar success. Education Next9(1), 21–27. Retrieved from https://www.educationnext.org/the-big-uturn/

Turnover at the top: Estimating the effects of principal turnover on student, teacher, and school outcomes

Because principal turnover may occur in response to or contemporaneous with a downturn in student achievement, the effect of a turnover is confounded with unobserved school-level factors. We employ a novel identification strategy that blocks each potential source of endogeneity to isolate plausibly causal effects of within- and between-year principal turnover.

Henry, G. T., & Harbatkin, E. (2019). Turnover at the top: Estimating the effects of principal turnover on student, teacher, and school outcomes (EdWorkingPaper 19-95). Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute at Brown University. Retrieved from https://edworkingpapers.com/sites/default/files/ai19-95.pdf

 
School leadership interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act: Evidence review.

This report describes the opportunities for supporting school leadership under ESSA, discusses the standards of evidence under ESSA, and synthesizes the research base with respect to those standards.

Herman, R., Gates, S. M., Arifkhanova, A., Barrett, M., Bega, A., Chavez-Herrerias, E. R., … Wrabel, S. L. (2017). School leadership interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act: Evidence review. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1500/RR1550-3/RAND_RR1550-3.pdf

Trends in Public and Private School Principal Demographics and Qualifications: 1987 - 88 to 2011 - 12

This report provides descriptive information on traditional public, charter, and private school principals over the period of 1987-88 through 2011-12. It includes comparative data on number of principals, gender, race/ethnicity, age, advance degrees, principal experience, teaching experience, salaries, hours worked, focus of work, experience and tenure at current schools, etc.

Hill, J., Ottem, R., & DeRoche, J. (2016). Trends in Public and Private School Principal Demographics and Qualifications: 1987-88 to 2011-12. Stats in Brief. NCES 2016-189. National Center for Education Statistics.

Autonomy and school improvement: What do we know and where do we go from here?

New “autonomy initiatives” aim to increase schools’ decision-making authority as a strategy to leverage school improvement. These policies build on lessons of previous reforms such as site-based management in ways that bode well for their success. However, how are these policies actually faring in implementation? The authors addressed that question with a comprehensive research review.

Honig, M. I., & Rainey, L. R. (2012). Autonomy and school improvement: What do we know and where do we go from here? Education Policy26(3), 465–495.

Principal preferences and the unequal distribution of principals across schools.

In this study the authors use longitudinal data from one large school district – Miami-Dade County Public Schools, to investigate the distribution of principals across schools.

Horng, E., Kalogrides, D., Loeb, S. (2009). Principal preferences and the unequal distribution of principals across schools. Working Paper 38. Washington, DC: National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER). Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/33311/1001442-Principal-Preferences-and-the-Unequal-Distribution-of-Principals-across-Schools.PDF 

You can only lead if someone follows: The role of teachers’ assessment of principal quality in principal turnover. Working Paper 69.

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the relationship between principal effectiveness (which we capture with a principal quality measure) and turnover. Specifically, we assess whether higher quality principals are more or less likely to leave their schools in New York City (NYC) as well as at the national level.

Husain, A. N., Miller, L. C., & Player, D. W. (2019). You can only lead if someone follows: The role of teachers’ assessment of principal quality in principal turnover. Working Paper 69. Charlottesville, VA: EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia. Retrieved from https://curry.virginia.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/epw/69_Teacher_Assessed_Principal_Quality_and_Turnover.pdf

Exploring the causal impact of the McREL Balanced Leadership Program on leadership, principal efficacy, instructional climate, educator turnover, and student achievement.

This study uses a randomized design to assess the impact of the Balanced Leadership program on principal leadership, instructional climate, principal efficacy, staff turnover, and student achievement in a sample of rural northern Michigan schools.

Jacob, R., Goddard, R., Kim, M., Miller, R., & Goddard, Y. (2015). Exploring the causal impact of the McREL Balanced Leadership Program on leadership, principal efficacy, instructional climate, educator turnover, and student achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis37(3), 314–332. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1003.6694&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Understanding and addressing principal turnover: A review of the research.

To understand why excessive turnover exists, researchers have investigated the relationship between principal turnover and various features of the principalship; which principals are most likely to leave; and which schools are more vulnerable to principal turnover

Levin, S., & Bradley, K. (2019). Understanding and addressing principal turnover: A review of the research. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved from https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/NASSP_LPI_Principal_Turnover_Research_Review_REPORT.pdf

Leadership coaching in an induction program for novice principals: A 3-year study

This article presents results from a study of leadership coaches who worked with novice principals in a university-based induction program for a 3-year period.

Lochmiller, C. R. (2014). Leadership coaching in an induction program for novice principals: A 3-year study. Journal of Research on Leadership Education9(1), 59–84.

Retention, attrition, and mobility among teachers and administrators in West Virginia

This report provides descriptive information about retention, attrition, and mobility among teachers and administrators that can be used to inform policy and program decisionmaking in West Virginia.

Lochmiller, C. R., Adachi, E., Chesnut, C. E., & Johnson, J. (2016). Retention, attrition, and mobility among teachers and administrators in West Virginia (REL 2016-161). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED568148.pdf

 

Principal Preferences and the Uneven Distribution of Principals Across Schools

The authors use longitudinal data from one large school district to investigate the distribution of principals across schools. They find that schools serving many low-income, non-White, and low-achieving students have principals who have less experience and less education and who attended less selective colleges. This distribution of principals is partially driven by the initial match of first-time principals to schools, and it is exacerbated by systematic attrition and transfer away from these schools.

Loeb, S., Kalogrides, D., & Horng, E. L. (2010). Principal preferences and the uneven distribution of principals across schools. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 32(2), 205-229.

School leadership that works: From research to results. 

Building on the analysis that was first reported in School Leadership That Works, the authors of Balanced Leadership identify the 21 responsibilities associated with effective leadership and show how they relate to three overarching responsibilities

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Investing in leadership: The district’s role in managing principal turnover.

This article presents the results of research into the impact of principal turnover on schools, and the ability of schools to mitigate the negative effects of frequent turnover by distributing leadership in the schools. 

Mascall, B., & Leithwood, K. (2010). Investing in leadership: The district’s role in managing principal turnover. Leadership and Policy in Schools9(4), 367–383.

Principal turnover and student achievement.

Using twelve years of administrative data from North Carolina public schools, this paper explores the relationship between principal turnover and student achievement. 

Miller, A. (2013). Principal turnover and student achievement. Economics of Education Review, 36, 60–72.

Principals’ working conditions, job stress, and turnover behaviors under NCLB accountability pressure.

This study investigates the effect of NCLB sanctions on principals’ working conditions, job stress, and turnover behaviors using a nationally representative sample of principals and detailed school-level assessment/AYP data systematically collected from each state education agency.

Mitani, H. (2018). Principals’ working conditions, job stress, and turnover behaviors under NCLB accountability pressure. Educational Administration Quarterly, 54(5), 822-862.

Principal Shortage

To highlight principal shortage trends, examine school leader recruitment issues, and offer policy recommendations for improving school leader recruitment efforts at the federal, state, and local level.

National Association of Secondary School Principals. (2017). Principal shortage. Reston, VA: Author. Retrieved from https://www.nassp.org/policy-advocacy-center/nassp-position-statements/principal-shortage/

Professional compensation for principals.

In discussions to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other federal initiatives such as Race to the Top and the ESEA flexibility waivers, legislators have focused on the impact educators have on improving student achievement

National Association of Secondary School Principals. (2020). Professional compensation for principals. Reston, VA: Author. Retrieved from https://www.nassp.org/policy-advocacy-center/nassp-position-statements/professional-compensation-for-principals/?SSO=true

 
Principal turnover: Upheaval and uncertainty in charter schools?

Informed by literature on labor market and school choice, this study aims to examine the dynamics of principal career movements in charter schools by comparing principal turnover rates and patterns between charter schools and traditional public schools.

Ni, Y., Sun, M., & Rorrer, A. (2015). Principal turnover: Upheaval and uncertainty in charter schools? Educational Administration Quarterly51(3), 409–437.

Collective leadership: Principals’ decision influence and the supportive or inhibiting decision influence of other stakeholders.

Using the collective leadership framework, this study examines (a) how principals perceive their own influence and that of other key stakeholders in various school decisions and (b) how principals’ perceived influences of other stakeholders are associated with their own influence.

Ni, Y., Yan, R., & Pounder, D. (2018). Collective leadership: Principals’ decision influence and the supportive or inhibiting decision influence of other stakeholders. Educational Administration Quarterly54(2), 216–248. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318790312_Collective_Leadership_Principals%27_Decision_Influence_and_the_Supportive_or_Inhibiting_Decision_Influence_of_Other_Stakeholders

 

The impact of the NISL Executive Development Program on school performance in Massachusetts: Cohort 2 results.

School leaders are increasingly being asked, whether by rhetoric or policy, to measurably improve student achievement. The resultant need to assist school leaders in their ability to improve teaching and learning for all students in their schools led to the establishment of the National Institute of School Leadership's (NISL's) Executive Development Program. 

Nunnery, A. J., Ross, S. M., Chappell, S., Pribesh, S., & Hoag-Carhart, E. (2011). The impact of the NISL Executive Development Program on school performance in Massachusetts: Cohort 2 results. Norfolk, VA: Old Dominion University, Center for Educational Partnerships. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531042.pdf

Effects of the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program on school performance in Pennsylvania: 2006-2010 pilot cohort results.

This study examined the impact of EDP on student achievement in Pennsylvania schools
from 2006-2010. It updates and extends a prior evaluation (Nunnery, Ross, & Yen, 2010a) study
of this same cohort from 2006-2009.

Nunnery, A. J., Yen, C., & Ross, S. M. (2010). Effects of the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program on school performance in Pennsylvania: 2006-2010 pilot cohort results. Norfolk, VA: Old Dominion University, Center for Educational Partnerships. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531043.pdf

A report on principal turnover in the Chicago public schools

This report presents findings of a study conducted in the fall of 1994 by the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Planning of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Researchers examined demographic data on CPS principals from personnel records, analyzed results of a 1992 survey of Chicago principals, and constructed an administrative history of all schools since 1987-88

Oberman, G. L. (1996). A report on principal turnover in the Chicago public schools (ERIC No. ED410655). Chicago, IL: Chicago Public Schools Department of Research, Evaluation, and Planning.

Why do principals change schools? A multivariate analysis of principal retention.

This study uses multivariate analysis of a large panel dataset to examine the determinants of principal retention (and, thus, the determinants of attracting a principal away from her current position)

Papa, F. C., Jr. (2007). Why do principals change schools? A multivariate analysis of principal retention. Leadership and Policy in Schools6(2), 267–290.

Principal stability and the rural divide.

This article examines the unique features of the rural school context and how these features are associated with the stability of principals in these schools

Pendola, A., & Fuller, E. J. (2018). Principal stability and the rural divide. Journal of Research in Rural Education34(1), 1–20.

The influence of salary in attracting and retaining school leaders.

This article examines the salary trajectory of teachers as they move up the career ladder into leadership positions.

Pijanowski, J. C., & Brady, K. P. (2009). The influence of salary in attracting and retaining school leaders. Education and Urban Society42(1), 25–41.

An examination of the movement of educators across and within three Midwest Region states (REL 2017-185).

REL Midwest conducted a study on the mobility of teachers and administrators in public schools within and between Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The study was supported by representatives of the state education agency in each state. This study is the first to examine educator mobility using the same methodology across these three states.

Podgursky, M., Ehlert, M., Lindsay, J., & Wan, Y. (2016). An examination of the movement of educators across and within three Midwest Region states (REL 2017-185). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Education Laboratory Midwest, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED570453.pdf

A review of the literature on principal turnover.

The purpose of this review is to take stock of what we have learned about the sources and consequences of principal turnover, and to identify what gaps remain.

Rangel, V. S. (2018). A review of the literature on principal turnover. Review of Educational Research88(1), 87–124. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319965164_A_Review_of_the_Literature_on_Principal_Turnover

A Review of the Literature on Principal Turnover.

This paper examines research on what we know about the causes and impact of principal turnover.

Snodgrass Rangel, V. (2018). A review of the literature on principal turnover. Review of Educational Research88(1), 87-124.

Does greater autonomy improve school performance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis In Chicago.

This paper provides evidence on how school leaders used their new autonomy and its impact on school performance. 

Steinberg, M. P. (2014).  Does greater autonomy improve school performance?  Evidence from a regression discontinuity analysis In Chicago.  Education Finance and Policy, 9(1), 1-35.

Predicting high school graduation and dropout for at-risk students: A multilevel approach to measure school effectiveness.

This paper predicts high school graduation and dropout for at-risk students in one of the largest school districts in the United States using the 2007-2010 Florida high school graduation cohort.

Subedi, B. R., & Howard, M. (2013). Predicting high school graduation and dropout for at-risk students: A multilevel approach to measure school effectiveness. Advances in Education2(1), 11–17.

Work environments and labor markets: Explaining principal turnover gap between charter schools and traditional public schools.

To contribute to the limited empirical literature on the principal labor market, this study explores the reasons for the disparity of turnover rates between charter school principals and their counterparts in traditional public schools (TPSs).

Sun, M., & Ni, Y. (2016). Work environments and labor markets: Explaining principal turnover gap between charter schools and traditional public schools. Educational Administration Quarterly52(1), 144–183.

6 districts invested in principals and saw dramatic gains. Dozens more will try to do the same.

The Wallace Foundation, which invested tens of millions of dollars into strengthening the ranks of school leaders in those districts, is trying to answer that question. Over the next several months, the foundation will take the knowledge and lessons learned in its “principal pipeline” districts to 90 more school systems in 31 states.

Superville, D. R. (2020). 6 districts invested in principals and saw dramatic gains. Dozens more will try to do the same. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2020/02/10/6-districts-invested-in-principals-and-saw.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news2&M=59040207&U=553060&UUID=9bc4fda5086bf85fdf82fb5f1a2a674c

Supporting principals’ learning: Key features of effective programs.

Effective preparation and professional development programs build the capacity of principals to lead across their full range of responsibilities, fostering school environments where adults and students thrive. Research points to several key building blocks of strong preparation and development programs. 

Sutcher, L., Podolsky, A., & Espinoza, D. (2017). Supporting principals’ learning: Key features of effective programs. Retrieved from https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/product-files/Supporting_Principals_Learning_REPORT.pdf

Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 2015-16 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look

The National Teacher and Principal Survey is completed every four years soliciting descriptive information from principals and teachers across the 50 states. A few highlights include: Sixty percent of school principals have been at their schools for three years or less. 

Taie, S., and Goldring, R. (2017). Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Principals in the United States: Results From the 201516 National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look (NCES 2017-070). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved [date] from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017070.

Understanding school principal attrition and mobility through hierarchical generalized linear modeling

Despite a growing body of turnover literature, much remains unknown about the factors predicting career transitional behaviors of school principals. To bridge this gap, we examined variations in principal, school, and district characteristics influencing administrator leaver and mover behaviors, using Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling. 

Tekleselassie, A. A., & Choi, J. (2019). Understanding school principal attrition and mobility through hierarchical generalized linear modeling. Educational Policy, 1–47.

Career mobility and departure intentions among school principals in the United States: Incentives and disincentives

Despite concerns about turnover among administrators, conditions that influence career longevity intentions of school principals are less known. To address this gap in the literature, we conducted a three-level Generalized Multilevel Model to estimate variations in school and district characteristics impacting principals’ career departure and mobility intentions, based on data from the School and Staffing Survey.

Tekleselassie, A. A., & Villarreal, P., III. (2011). Career mobility and departure intentions among school principals in the United States: Incentives and disincentives. Leadership and Policy in Schools10(3), 251–293. Retrieved from https://education.ufl.edu/villarreal/files/2011/10/Leadership-and-Policy-Villarreal.pdf

The impact of principal movement and school achievement on principal salaries.

This study examines whether principals' movements and school achievement are associated with their salaries.

Tran, H., & Buckman, D. G. (2017). The impact of principal movement and school achievement on principal salaries. Leadership and Policy in Schools16(1), 106–129.

The cost of replacing South Carolina high school principals.

The purpose of this study is to examine the costs of replacing high school principals. 

Tran, H., McCormick, J., & Nguyen, T. T. (2018). The cost of replacing South Carolina high school principals. Management in Education32(3), 109–118. 

Districts taking charge of the principal pipeline. Building a stronger principalship: Volume 3

The third in a series of reports evaluating a multi-year Wallace initiative documents ways in which six districts are working to improve school leadership districtwide. 

Turnbull, B. J., Riley, D. L., & MacFarlane, J. R. (2015). Districts taking charge of the principal pipelineBuilding a stronger principalship: Volume 3. Washington, DC: Policy Studies Associates. Retrieved from https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/documents/building-a-stronger-principalship-vol3-districts-taking-charge.pdf    

The impact of replacing principals on student achievement in DC public schools.

The authors measure the impact of replacing these principals on school-wide student achievement by measuring the changes in achievement that occurred when principals were replaced, and comparing these changes to achievement in comparison schools within DCPS that kept the same principal

Walsh, E., & Dotter, D. (2019). The impact of replacing principals on student achievement in DC public schools. Education Finance and Policy, 1–53.

The influence of working conditions on principal turnover in K-12 public schools.

During the past two decades, principal turnover issues have raised nationwide concerns about leadership stability and student performance. With national data from National Center for Education Statistics, this study examines how principal working conditions influence the probability of different types of principal turnover (mover, promoted, demoted, leaver, and retired).

Yan, R. (2020). The influence of working conditions on principal turnover in K-12 public schools. Educational Administration Quarterly56(1), 89–122.

Estimating the Effect of Leaders on Public Sector Productivity: The Case of School Principals
This paper looks at key elements effective school principal leadership and the impact of principal mobility on student achievement.
Branch, G. F., Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2012). Estimating the effect of leaders on public sector productivity: The case of school principals (No. w17803). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Do Local-Level Principal Preparation Programs Prevent Principal Turnover
This study applies multinomial logistic regression to a sample of 5,000 public school principals from the 2008-2009 National Schools and Staffing Principal Follow-up Survey. It examines the impact of school- or district-level principal pre-service training programs on three possible principal turnover outcomes: principals staying in the same school, moving to become principal of another school, or leaving the principal profession.
McKibben, S. (2013) Do Local-Level Principal Preparation Programs Prevent Principal Turnover?. The Public Purpose, Vol. XI
The Principal As Human Capital Manager: Lessons From The Private Sector
This chapter looks to the experience of the private sector for lessons on how to improve principal’s leadership and management performance.
Milanowski, A., & Kimball, S. (2010). The principal as human capital manager: Lessons from the private sector. Teaching talent: A visionary framework for human capital in education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Retrieved Dec, 16, 2010.
The Making of the Principal-Five Lessons in Leadership Training
This Wallace Perspective plumbs foundation research and work in school leadership to identify five lessons for better training, including: more selective admission to training programs, a focus on instructional leadership and mentoring for new principals.
Mitgang, L. (2012). The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training. Perspective. Wallace Foundation.
Principal Longevity, Leadership Behaviors, and Student Academic Achievement
Utilizing Pearson’s correlation and other forms of data analysis, the researcher explored relationships between principal longevity, leadership behaviors, and student academic achievement in this study. Additionally, the study considered the degree to which leadership behavior ratings seem to be associated with student academic achievement. The researcher found positive correlations among all three variables, with the strongest correlation being between principal longevity and student academic achievement. The only correlation that was found to be statistically significant was between principal longevity and student academic achievement.
Swearingen, J. M. (2014). Principal Longevity, Leadership Behaviors, and Student Academic Achievement.
Leadership for student learning: Reinventing the principalship
This paper makes the argument that current models for school principal leadership and management must be reexamined in light the complexity of the responsibilities that are required of principals. New models must revolve around leadership for learning and management strategies that rely on outsourcing and team leadership and a reliance on principal assessment, accountability, and data collection.
Usdan, M., McCloud, B., & Podmostko, M. (2000). Leadership for student learning: Reinventing the principalship. Institute For Educational Leadership, 1, 24.
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The Education Commission of the States

The Education Commission of the States was created by states in order to track state policy trends, translate academic research, provide unbiased advice and create opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another.

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