The Work of Chicago Public Schools' Principals

December, 2008
Sara Ray Stoelinga, with Holly Hart and David Schalliol
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This report examines the roles and perceptions of Chicago Public Schools’ principals, drawing upon Consortium surveys and principal interviews. Consortium Senior Analyst Sara Ray Stoelinga is the lead author of this report. She was assisted by Holly Hart and David Schalliol. 

Key findings in the research reveal that principal turnover is a pressing issue for the district, with roughly half of CPS principals being in their first four years on the job. Over time, new and experienced principals at both elementary and high schools have identified the same top challenges to improving their schools: pressure to raise test scores quickly, recruiting and hiring teachers, social problems in the school community, difficulty removing ineffective teachers, and working with parents perceived to be apathetic.

Overall, the report focuses on critical trends related to principal background and work issues, which includes time use and other challenges principals identify as most problematic. The author also offers ideas for future research and policy. 

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