Report: More Illinois Principals Younger, Female
Byline: Barbara Rodriguez Associated Press
More women are principals at Illinois schools and principals' average ages have dropped over the last decade because baby boomers are retiring, according to a report released Monday by the Illinois Education Research Council.
The age drop means more job turnover, with fewer principals keeping their positions for six years or more, the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville-based independent research group's new report found.
From 2001 to 2008 principals under age 40 doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent.
Principals are either nearing retirement age or are just beginning their careers as school leaders, the report found. That turnover means more mobility, with 28 percent of first-time principals remaining in their initial jobs for at least six years -- a 10 percent drop from a decade ago.
"Turnover in general is difficult," said Brad White, a senior researcher on the council's "The Principal Report: The State of School Leadership in Illinois." "Overall, since experience as a principal does seem to matter, having a whole set of new principals can be a bad thing. But there are ways to cope with that."
The report surveyed one in five public school principals from the 2010-2011 school year.
The report analyzed demographic and employment trends among more than 7,000 school principals between 2001 and 2008. …