It should go without saying that Texas principals are in a unique position to make a huge impact on the quality of schools and the quality of education the children in them receive. Research suggests, however, that many school leaders haven’t yet achieved the right balance in their job duties to be as effective as they could be.
New research conducted by Dr. Jason Grissom of Vanderbilt University breaks down the behaviors of highly successful principals in order to provide a roadmap to effective leadership. Among his findings:
- Great principals have solid organizational management skills and are not encumbered by taking excessive time to complete administrative tasks like paperwork.
- Strong school heads put an emphasis on, and invest time in, quality instructional leadership. This means they spend a lot of time in the classroom and coaching teachers.
- Most importantly, a principal builds school culture. Through their ability to recruit and develop great teachers and exit those who just aren’t right for the job, principals can make or break a school.
Unfortunately, principal quality is often overlooked in efforts to improve schools. A renewed effort to give flexibility back to school administrators in the upcoming special session promises to bring that conversation to the forefront. Let’s not let the opportunity to throw a lifeline to principals pass us by.