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The Impact Effective Principals Have on Education

3 Min Read

It’s a fact: good principals have a positive effect on their environment — from their school, to their district and throughout the entire community. Unfortunately, studies show there are not enough high-quality educational leaders to meet this growing field. Successful principals are developed through the hands-on mentoring they receive from transformational leaders – leaders who understand how to identify, assess and resolve the critical challenges faced in today’s evolving educational climate.

Impact on Teachers

  • 85 percent of teachers think their principal is doing an excellent or pretty good job.
  • This was just 73 percent in 1986.

Teachers who rate their principals as excellent are more likely to report:

  • Increased collaboration time: 40 percent of those with excellent principals, compared to 24 percent for others.
  • Opportunities for professional development: 42 percent of teachers with excellent principals, as opposed to 28 percent of others.
  • 69 percent of surveyed teachers with effective principals felt it was important to put in their best effort; Only 38 percent of teachers with unhelpful or ineffective principals felt the same.
  • 55 percent of teachers with helpful principals report high levels of cooperation and collaboration among staff, compared to just 20 percent who felt their principals offered little to no help.

Impact on Students

Fewer Behavioral Incidents

Upon implementing positive behavioral interventions and support, schools saw a dramatic decrease in students sent to the principal—56 percent fewer, an average of 2.5 students per day from 5.7 students per day.

Higher Test Scores

  • Effective principals alone account for 25 percent of a school’s impact on student performance gains. Teachers account for another 33 percent.
  • In one Texas study, having an effective principal was equivalent to 2 to 7 months of additional learning per year.

Impact on Schools

  • High-achieving schools are 50 percent more likely to have the same principal for more than six years.
  • Shortage of principals means the least effective switch schools instead of leaving the system.
  • This is 71 percent more likely in high poverty districts.

The Impact You Can Make: Great Leaders are Needed

  • 89,700 principal job openings are projected by 2020, with a ten percent projected demand growth over ten years.
  • Nearly three-fourths of superintendents report at least some shortage of qualified candidates.
  • 8.7 applicants applied for principal vacancies in 2008—41 percent fewer than 15 years prior. Of those applicants, only 4.9 met the minimum interview criteria. Of those hired, just one in five meet all expectations. With the right education, you’ll have all the qualifications (and beyond) for the principal job you want.

Be the positive change teachers and students at your school need. Get started on the path to becoming a principal.

Queens University of Charlotte’s online Master’s in Education Leadership prepares you for North Carolina principal licensure while offering mentorship from dedicated, accomplished leaders, putting you on the path to success.

Request more information about Queens’ online Master of Arts in Educational Leadership today and take the first step toward becoming an effective school administrator.



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