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.
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
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 Quarterly, 46(4), 523-557.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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/
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.
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
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
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
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 Bulletin, 87, 43–65.
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.
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
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 Administration, 50(6), 788–816.
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.
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
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 Journal, 56(2), 514–555.
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.
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.
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 Research, 88(1), 87-124.
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 2015–16 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.