Qualities of Effective Principals

Qualities of Effective Principals

Qualities of Effective Principals

Qualities of Effective Principals


What does it take to be a good school principal? No two principals work in exactly the same way, but research shows that effective principals do focus on a core set of factors that are critical to fostering success for all students. In Qualities of Effective Principals, James H. Stronge, Holly B. Richard, and Nancy Catano delineate these factors and show principals how to successfully balance the needs and priorities of their school and continuously develop and refine their leadership skills. Throughout the book, the authors provide readers with helpful tools and extensive research that will help them to

•Develop a blueprint for sustained school leadership

•Create an effective school climate for learning

•Select, support, and retain high-quality teachers and staff

•Assess instructional high quality

•Build a foundation for organizational management

•Create, maintain, and strengthen community relationships

•Make contributions to the professional educational community

•Define their critical role in student achievement

This book also includes practical skills checklists, quality indicators and red flags for effective leadership, and an extensive annotated bibliography. Qualities of Effective Principals is an excellent resource for both experienced and new principals committed to developing and leading strong schools that help all students succeed.


Do principals factor into student success? In Qualities of Effective Principals, we answer this question with a resounding YES! In fact, among school factors, the effect of principals is considered second only to that of teachers in facilitating student learning (Leithwood, Seashore Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). Highly effective principals are considered “the key to initiating, implementing, and sustaining school success” (Tucker & Codding, 2002, p. 253) and “imperative to high student achievement” (Anthes, 2005, p. 1). Consequently, principals are expected to promote and develop the school vision, empowering stakeholders to build and maintain the conditions necessary for the success of all students.

The nature of the principal’s role has changed significantly in the past two decades, from primarily managerial to that of management and leadership (Lashway, 2002b; Murphy, 2003; Shellard, 2003; Tucker & Codding, 2002). Despite the recent emphasis on instructional leadership, principals continue to be responsible for traditional duties such as facility management, budgeting, school safety, and student discipline—tasks that continue to absorb a considerable amount of their time (Doyle & Rice, 2002; Lashway, 2002b; Tirozzi & Ferrandino, 2001).

Due to the increasing number of responsibilities required of principals, it is not surprising to find that long hours are spent on the job. Elementary school principals work an average of 62 hours per week (Groff, 2001), while middle and high school principals spend successively greater amounts of time on the job (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2003). Although it is generally agreed that the principals’ role has evolved in recent years, there is no clear . . .

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