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What Do We Know About the Importance of Principals for Student Achievement?
Principals are widely seen as a key influence on the educational environment in the schools they lead. Despite belief in the importance of principals, research has only recently focused on the import of principals for student success while taking advantage of longitudinal student-level data to address empirical challenges. To this end, several studies consider the overall effectiveness of principals as measured by value-added; this metric suggests that principals do influence student test scores, but the estimated magnitude of the influence is sensitive to statistical modeling choices. Other research suggests positive associations between principals’ time use, organizational management skills, and experience and student test achievement. Principal quality also appears to play an important role in teacher turnover and differential retention of effective teachers. That said, many empirical challenges remain, and there is relatively little research on the effects of principals on student test achievement and other student outcomes or whether principal effectiveness is associated with the path to the principalship (e.g., prior schooling experiences or training).
CALDER Policy Brief No. 10-0918-1
Citation: Kristian Holden (2018). What Do We Know About the Importance of Principals for Student Achievement?. CALDER Policy Brief No. 10