Magazine article Techniques

In Hiring Principals, Schools Face Another Struggle

Magazine article Techniques

In Hiring Principals, Schools Face Another Struggle

Article excerpt

School officials across the nation are finding a shallow applicant pool for principal positions. A survey released last year by the two national associations for principals found that of 403 randomly selected districts, about half were experiencing a shortage in qualified applicants for principals.

The main reason behind the shortage appears to be financial. There is a narrow difference between the salaries of veteran teachers and entry-level principals. Veteran teachers are most often considered for open principal positions, but many feel that becoming a principal essentially means more responsibility, time and stress for a small increase in pay. This is a reasonable analysis, says John Lammel, an associate director at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

"The principal's role today, especially with school improvement initiatives, requires involving more people and dealing with more issues to be able to implement change--more so than teaching," Lammel says. "And then you add on school violence, standards and test scores and it becomes a monumental task. The job has expanded a great deal in the past few years. …

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