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National Principals Month Highlights the Tough Job of Leading a School

This year districts and organizations across the US focus on ensuring principals are prepared for the challenges of today’s schools
October 9, 2019 1 Min Read

“T he principal is the most pivotal role in the entire system,” Carmen Fariña, the former chancellor of New York City's school system, said in an episode of The Principal Pipeline podcast. “Having the best principals in New York is a mandate. There's nothing that's more important.”

While there are many ways to work toward advancing learning and running a school, one thing is clear: being a principal is hard work. So every year in October the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) join forces to celebrate principals. This year, National Principals Month is focused on nationwide advocacy to help ensure principals have what they need to meet the challenges that come with leading a school.

To add to the celebration, we’ve put together a list of a few of our landmark and new reports and tools to help districts better support principals in the work they do.

  • The 2004 report, “How Leadership Influences Student Learning” establishes the now widespread idea that leadership is second only to teaching among in-school influences on student success.
  • While this groundbreaking 2019 report from RAND shows how six large school districts that build principal pipelines—a systematic approach to hiring, preparing and supporting leaders—saw notable, statistically significant benefits for student achievement and principal retention.
  • Two series of The Principal Pipeline podcast​ bring you some of the voices of principals, school district leaders, state leaders and others from the six districts that built pipelines.
  • And of course the School Leadership section of our Knowledge Center houses many more reports, videos, presentations and infographics.   
Happy reading and happy National Principals Month!
Principal pipeline graphic
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