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Take Five for...

Reflecting About
Ways to End the
Principal Shortage


"Each year, the gap between the principal's salary and the teacher's salary narrows. I know salary does not make a good leader, much less a great leader, but teachers with leadership ability see the long hours and the extent of the principal's job and opt for other avenues of leadership." (Betty Peltier)

The principal shortage might be a good thing: "It's nice to be in demand for a change. We are the CEOs of our buildings. We run million-dollar schools, with hundreds of staff and thousands of students, parents, and community members." Principals ought to be compensated more like the CEOs they are! (Tony Pallija)

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Future school administrators should have the opportunity "to step into assistant or associate positions in which they can work closely for a year with a school administration team in order to gain insight and knowledge about their chosen field." (Tim Messick)

Currently, principals are accountable for involving their staff as stakeholders, keeping them informed, engaging them in creative thinking, and holding them responsible for implementing the vision. Time is provided for teaching, but there is no time to accomplish those group tasks. Reworking the school day so teachers work an eight-hour day would create time to do that. (Lyn McCarty)

Set staff-to-administrator ratios. We often hear about the benefits of smaller class size, especially in the early grades. How about school-size standards for administrators? A pupil-to-administrator ratio, or a staff-to-administrator ratio, would be helpful. (Jon Romeo)

Take Five more to read this entire article from Education World's "Principal Files" series:
"The Principal Shortage -- What Can Schools Do to Attract a New Generation of School Leaders?"
(Education World -- November 1, 2000)