The following opinion piece recently published in the New York Times discusses the importance of principals in our schools. It seems obvious, but, as the article points out, policymakers focus on so many other aspects to fix broken schools, such as curriculum, teachers, standardized testing, class size, charter schools, and even buildings. There is much more talk about holding teachers accountable than principals. Principals can make a big difference in schools. They are the leaders who set the tone for the entire building.
"To be clear, teachers matter enormously. Rigorous research has found that high-performing teachers don’t only help their students do better on the standardized tests everyone loves to hate; their students also graduate from college at a higher rate and earn more money as adults.
"Great teachers, quite simply, change lives. On the other end of the spectrum, struggling teachers do not get enough support, and it’s too hard to fire those who fail to improve.
"Principals are so important because they offer one of the most effective means to improve teaching."