Key Questions

1. What is the role of principals in Chicago? 

2. What are the trends in their backgrounds and identities? 

3. What are the trends in turnover and time usage? 

4. What are the issues that principles find most problematic?  What are the potential solutions to those issues?


This report examines the roles and perceptions of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) principals, drawing upon Consortium surveys and principal interviews.

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 report also offers ideas for future research and policy. 

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