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Susan Notes: gh talking: the power of a teacher is what I saw in this study. Leave, and you cost the District, big bucks. The burden is on the Principal to create a culture of learning. The full study is at:
http://www.advocatesfored.org or
you can call Charlotte Advocates for Education at 704-335-0100.

Ohanian Comment: Note the business language: the successful principal is a business entrepreneur; successful principals' decisions are based on data, and so on and so on. They want to examine the principal's role so they can firmly entrench the Broad Foundation model of a non-educator as school CEO.

February 13, 2004

Charlotte Advocates for Education Announces Results of Its Latest Research: The Role of Principal Leadership in Teacher Retention

Charlotte NC Charlotte Advocates for Education has just released its report, The Role of Principal Leadership in Increasing Teacher Retention: Creating a Supportive Environment. Last year approximately 1,230 teachers (16.7% of the teaching force) left Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Each time a teacher leaves, $11,500 is needed to recruit, hire, and provide orientation and professional development for the replacement. Thus in economic terms alone, these 1,230 teachers who left last year equate to $14.2 million. The cost to students is even higher with the lack of stability and the loss of teaching expertise. In economic terms alone, were CMS to reduce the rate from 16.7% to 10%, the staggering $6 million saved could be spent in meaningful ways to improve student achievement. National and local research indicates a teacher's decision to stay at a school largely depends upon the principal and his or her leadership in the school. Therefore Charlotte Advocates for Education (CAE) sought to understand the relationship between principals and teacher retention by studying CMS principals, particularly those in high needs schools, who have been more successful in retaining teachers while also increasing student achievement. CAE has just released findings in the report Role of Principal Leadership in Increasing Teacher Retention: Creating a Supportive Environment. CAE examined twenty successful CMS principals to identify common characteristics and traits, as well as to determine common strategies most of them value and use to retain teachers in their schools. CAE also probed to identify support principals consider as essential to leadership effectiveness.

Key findings in the study include:
All these principals possess innate characteristics typically associated with a successful business entrepreneur. The principals studied have the ability to be a visionary leader who can conceptualize a vision and can take steps necessary to make that vision a reality. They are analytical thinkers and problem-solvers who can make good decisions quickly based upon data. These principals have the confidence and willingness to take a risk, and they have the tenacity to do what it takes to make their schools successful. Thus recruiting and hiring individuals based on excellent education backgrounds alone may not be enough. Certain innate qualities must be present for principals to succeed.

Traditional leadership structure within our schools needs to be re-examined to determine if in fact it is the most effective and efficient structure to meet the needs of teachers and students. The number of roles a principal must play in a school is often daunting. The principal must be the chief executive officer, chief finance officer, chief operating officer, and human resources executive, in addition to being the Chief Education Officer. A single individual may not be able to effectively meet the expectations of all of these roles

Comprehensive, quality principal preparation and continuing professional development are crucial to ensuring quality principals in all our schools. Working together, our institutions of higher education and CMS must deliver programs that properly prepare principals for all their roles while supporting their continuing professional growth. In addition to educational theory, principals require professional preparation to help them succeed with the complex and demanding day-to-day operations of running a school.

The report includes specific recommendations for addressing principal recruitment and hiring, principal preparation and support, as well as the recommendation to re-examine the traditional leadership structure within our schools.

For a complete copy of this report see http://www.advocatesfored.org or call Charlotte Advocates for Education at 704-335-0100. Charlotte Advocates for Education is an independent, community-based organization, comprising business and community leaders that advocate for quality public education for all students. Its mission is to define the issues and advocate for the changes required to permanently improve the quality of public education in Mecklenburg County.

— Charlotte Advocates for Education
The Role of Principal Leadership in Teacher Retention

Feb. 2004


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