Cities Struggle with Principal Retention

by Mariah Cone
Thursday, November 20, 2014

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According to a GFBrandenburg's Blog on July 17, 2013 – the District of Columbia has a major problem of principal churn.  According to Brandenburg’s research a full 64.6% of DC principals were in their first three years of the principalship.  New figures cited in a live Making the Grade report on KPFW in DC, identified that this year principals for 19% of DCPS schools were newly hired, a figure that is more than twice the national average for principal hires.  Brandenburg titles his piece:  Teacher and Administrative Churn – It’s not a Bug, It’s a Feature of Education Deform in DC and Elsewhere.  Sadly the School Leaders Network has found that it is a trend that must be addressed to prevent continuing and dire consequences for school children nationally.

Other cities with major principal retention issues include Charlotte-Mecklenburg, where principals were hired for more than a quarter of their schools this year, more than triple that national average.

Denver has revolving door problems in specific schools, Colorado’s Chalkbeat found that 34 of their 185 schools had three or more principals since 2010.  These schools serve the highest needs students.  The consequences of this rate of turnover are drops in student achievement, instable school cultures, and higher rates of teacher turnover.

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