...Data available from a handful of states suggest that only about half of beginning principals remain in the same job five years later, and that many leave the principalship altogether when they go.
“I talk to a lot of principals, and it’s becoming more and more rare that you’ll have a principal stay at a school for 15 or 20 years,” Ms. Gillespie said. “Now, you stay three to five years, and you either move to another school or go to the central office. I think it is a problem.”
Whether this apparent churn in the principal’s office signals a problem, progress, or business as usual seems to be a matter for debate, though.
Among tthose who see the turnover as worrisome is University of Texas researcher Ed J. Fuller, who with his colleague Michelle D. Young published new data this month on the retention rates of newly hired principals in Texas.
“We think the job has outgrown the ability of one person to handle it,” said Mr. Fuller, who is a special research associate for the University Council for Educational Administration, an international consortium of research institutions at the university’s main campus in Austin. “Nobody is staying long enough to make connections or shepherd a reform through,” he added.
But another researcher who has studied principals’ career patterns, Susan M. Gates, a senior economist for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based RAND Corp., is less bothered by the turnover she sees. If more principals are leaving schools now, she said, it could be because the nationwide movement to hold educators responsible for their students’ scores on tests is prompting districts and school boards to oust school leaders who are not producing results.
“If you put someone in the principalship and it just doesn’t work out, do you want to keep them there just because it’s good to have low turnover,” she said, “or do you want to get somebody in there who’s good at the job?” ...
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Turnover in principalship focus of research
This from Education Week by way of KSBA: