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.
In this paper, we study how providing improved information to principals about teacher effectiveness and encouraging them to use the information in personnel decisions affects the composition of teacher turnovers.
Cullen, J. B., Koedel, C., & Parsons, E. (2016). The compositional effect of rigorous teacher evaluation on workforce quality. Working Paper No. 22805. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from https://www.nber.org/papers/w22805.pdf
This paper offer a number of research findings and action steps drawn from policies and practices that have been shown to be critical to the success of educational reforms at the local, district and state levels.
Research Findings to Support effective Educational policymaking: Evidence& Action Steps for State, District & Local Policymakers. (2009). New York: The Wallace Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Research-Findings-Action-Items-to-Support-Effective-Educational-Policymaking.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
This article explores the relationship between school contextual factors and teacher retention decisions in New York City and finds that school administration by far has the greatest influence on teacher retention.
Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Ing, M., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The influence of school administrators on teacher retention decisions. American Educational Research Journal, 48(2), 303-333.
This study provides new evidence on the importance of school leadership by estimating individual principals’ contributions to growth in student achievement.
Branch, G., Hanushek, E., & Rivkin, S. G. (2013). School leaders matter: measuring the impact of effective principals Education Next, 13.
This small-scale pilot study investigated the role of school principals in the induction of new teachers in Ontario, Canada.
Cherian, F., & Daniel, Y. (2008). Principal Leadership in New Teacher Induction: Becoming Agents of Change. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 3(2), 1-11.
Principals are in a paradoxical position. On one hand, they're called on to use research-based strategies to improve student achievement. On the other, they're increasingly required to micromanage teachers by observing in classrooms and engaging in intensive evaluation. The authors point out that these two positions are at odds with each other.
Dufour, R., & Mattos, M. (2013). How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?. Educational Leadership, 70(7), 34-40.
This study hypothesizes that school working conditions help explain both teacher satisfaction and turnover. In particular, it focuses on the role of effective principals in retaining teachers, particularly in disadvantaged schools with the greatest staffing challenges.
Grissom, J. A. (2011). Can good principals keep teachers in disadvantaged schools? Linking principal effectiveness to teacher satisfaction and turnover in hard-to-staff environments. Teachers College Record, 113(11), 2552-2585.
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 study draws on data combining survey responses from principals, assistant principals, teachers and parents with administrative data to identify which principal skills matter most for school outcomes.
Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating Principal Effectiveness How Perspectives of Parents, Teachers, and Assistant Principals Identify the Central Importance of Managerial Skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091-1123.
This study examines the associations between leadership behaviors and student achievement gains using a unique data source: in-person, full-day observations of principals collected over three school years. The study finds that principals’ time spent broadly on instructional functions does not predict student achievement growth. Time spent on informal classroom walkthroughs negatively predicts student growth, particularly in high schools.
Grissom, J. A., Loeb, S., & Master, B. (2013). Effective instructional time use for school leaders longitudinal evidence from observations of principals. Educational Researcher, 0013189X13510020.
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 study analyzed three urban districts' efforts to improve the instructional quality and performance of their schools. The study also assessed the efforts made in four: (1) promoting the instructional leadership of principals; (2) supporting the professional learning of teachers, in particular through school-based coaching models; (3) specifying curriculum; (4) and promoting data-based decision making for planning and instructional improvement.
Marsh, J. A., Kerr, K. A., Ikemoto, G. S., Darilek, H., Suttorp, M., Zimmer, R. W., & Barney, H. (2005). The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning. RAND Corporation.
This study uses twelve years of administrative data from North Carolina to examine the impact of school principals on school quality. The study finds that principal departures are followed by a decrease in a school’s performance.
Miller, A. (2009). Principal turnover, student achievement and teacher retention. Unpublished manuscript, Princeton University.
Drawing on normative, empirical, and critical literatures, this review explores the role of school administrators in responding to the needs of diverse students. Three administrative tasks are highlighted: fostering new meanings about diversity, promoting inclusive school cultures and instructional programs, and building relationships between schools and communities.
Riehl, C. J. (2000). The principal's role in creating inclusive schools for diverse students: A review of normative, empirical, and critical literature on the practice of educational administration. Review of educational research, 70(1), 55-81.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relative impact of different types of leadership on students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes.
Robinson, V. M., Lloyd, C. A., & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of the differential effects of leadership types. Educational administration quarterly.
This brief describes: (1) The need for more and better principal professional development to improve principal effectiveness, decrease principal turnover, and more equitably distribute successful principals across all schools; (2) The research on the importance of principals and how professional development can improve principals' effectiveness; and (3) Options and examples for leveraging current policies to revisit and refocus efforts concerning principal professional development.
Rowland, C. (2017). Principal Professional Development: New Opportunities for a Renewed State Focus. Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research.
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.