NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School Principals Face New Demands

October 4, 2000

Education experts report that the role public school principals play has gotten more demanding and more complex in recent years. In fact, there is a shortage of qualified teachers willing to apply for the job of principal: half of school superintendents responding to a 1998 survey claimed they had a shortage of qualified candidates for positions as principals.

  • Sixty percent of superintendents who reported a shortage said the problem was insufficient pay compared with responsibilities.
  • One-third said the job was too stressful, while 27 percent said the job required too much time.
  • Difficulties satisfying parents and societal problems also played a role.

In a 1998 survey, one-third of principals cited unsatisfactory student performance as their major concern in terms of job security, with 21 percent saying their major concern was failure of their school to meet local standards. And 42 percent were split equally between conflicts with teachers, superintendents or parents s their major concern.

Source: Valerie Strauss, "Independence, Ability to Inspire Needed at Helm," Washington Post, October 3, 2000.


Browse more articles on Education Issues