tags: Principal Churn

Thursday, November 20, 2014
by Mariah Cone

“Churn: The High Cost of Principal Turnover” was the central topic for discussion at a convening of principals from National Blue Ribbon Schools on November 10th, 2014 headed by Jill Levine at the U.S. Department of Education.  According to principals there, the central office serves as a major barrier to effective principal work, a problem that must be mediated. #nbrs2014.

In public response to our social media campaign, our followers comment:

“I love all the information you share. I have had 6 different principals over my career and 3 were in the first 5 years. I do see a connection with what you are saying and important impacts that made with longevity of principals.” (Teacher, Washington State)

“It's time to recognize the complexity and intensity of the jobs of both teachers and school administrators and provide the support and resources necessary for them to excel and thrive in what they do (rather than slowly unravel from the stress) and thus be willing to stay as a result.” (Former principal, LAUSD)

“[Churn] Brings up valid points including the necessity of strong leadership that is over an extended period of time in order for a school to be effective.” (Teacher, LAUSD)

“School communities and district administrators need to listen carefully to Mariah Cone and the results of her study.” (Teacher Leader in Principal Credential Program, California).

“Need to think about ongoing systemic support for principals. Coaching & mentorship should be continuous thru a principals career.” (Associate Director, NASSP)

Thursday, November 20, 2014
by Mariah Cone

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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