How Experienced Is Your Kid's Principal? New Texas Data Gives You a Peek

Principals at public schools average nearly 20 years of experience in Texas and have been on the job in their current districts for about 12 years.Urban schools - like Dallas and Fort Worth - tended to have the most experienced leaders while charter schools had the most inexperienced.That’s according to a new annual report from the Texas Education Agency, which for the first time is requiring administrators to report that data to state officials to give parents - and the public - better insight into who’s running their public schools.Studies have long suggested that principals play one of the biggest roles in student success because they drive so many decisions at schools. Advocates say consistent campus leadership is key. Principals can significantly impact the overall environment of a school, which could either attract good teachers or drive them away.But few studies have been able to take a deep look into just how much impact principal longevity has on an school because such tenure data wasn’t routinely tracked.“Principals are like the head coach,” said Archie McAfee, executive director for the Texas Association of Secondary Schools Principals. “If they get enough ‘W’s, they are celebrated and get credit for the wins. But if they don’t, they get booted. ...Now we’ll be able to look at principal tenure alongside test scores to see what trends there are with principals and school improvement.”  Continue reading...

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