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ERIC Number: ED545231
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 49
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Lacking Leaders: The Challenges of Principal Recruitment, Selection, and Placement
Doyle, Daniela; Locke, Gillian
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Principals are vitally important. But ever-rising accountability standards, limited authority over key decisions, and mediocre pay make the job more and more demanding and less and less attractive to talented leaders. At a time when schools need high-quality leaders more than ever, the grueling nature of the job makes it a tough sell, and principals tend to come and go. But are school systems doing all they can to meet these challenges head-on? Or are some making a difficult recruitment and selection job impossible, through bureaucratic procedures, unrealistic calendars, too little outreach, and inappropriate placements? How can districts hire many more talented leaders and place them where they're most needed? This report unveils some of the mystery behind principal hiring by taking an in-depth look at practices in five urban districts. To do this, the authors interviewed district staff and newly hired principals, surveyed principal candidates, and analyzed a range of qualitative and quantitative data related to districts' hiring practices. The authors offer six recommendations to any district looking to improve their recruiting procedures: (1) Make the job a lot more appealing; (2) Pay great leaders what they are worth; (3) Take an active approach to principal recruitment; (4) Evaluate candidates against the competencies and skills that successful principals are known to possess; (5) Design the placement process to match schools' needs with candidates' strengths; and (6) Continually evaluate hiring efforts. An appendix presents the methodology used in this study. [The foreword to this report was written by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Amber M. Northern.]
Thomas B. Fordham Institute. 1701 K Street NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: America Achieves; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Joyce Foundation; Kern Family Foundation; Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Institute