Principals’ Perspectives on Policy: What Education Leaders Seek Through Policy

The third brief in the Leaders We Need Now research series identifies five themes that affect the future of the principal profession—and why policymakers need to prioritize them now.

Themes

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Improve Principal Pipelines and Workforce Incentives: Principals voiced concerns about sustaining the principal pipeline and succession planning, and the need for policymakers to improve financial incentives to recruit and retain top educators.

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Rethink Testing and Accountability: Principals want policymakers to consider a broader range of factors for school performance, beyond testing, and minimize testing requirements.

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Consult Administrators on Principal and Teacher Preparation and Professional Development (PD): Noting a disconnect between academic coursework and actual practices, principals emphasized the need for on-the-job coaching and principal PD and that they should be consulted when determining PD topics.

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Honor, Recognize, and Listen to Principals: Principals want policymakers to better recognize them for the hard work through increased efforts like school visits to understand what school leaders go through on a daily basis before they make policy decisions and enact new legislation.

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Boost Funding and Resources: Though grateful for recent increases in federal funding, principals report feeling anxious because the manner in which the funding was released doesn’t support long-term reform to address many challenges, including recruiting and retaining school-based mental health professionals.

The Principal’s Role in Changing Education Policy

Use this resource as a starting point to engage with legislators and district leaders on important policy issues affecting schools.

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