Friday, January 27, 2012

Competing pressures put strain on school principals

This from the Ventura County Star:

Principals are facing shrinking budgets and mounting responsibilities to lead teachers and keep schools running — creating competing pressures that may make the job untenable, a study has found.

Principals reported working 60 and sometimes 70 hours a week. As budget cuts thinned the ranks of support staff, they juggled roles as teachers, community liaisons, nurses, athletic directors, crisis managers and budget gurus.

"The consensus was that even if a principal can do each of several things well, it is tremendously difficult to do them all well at the same time," according to the recently released report from the Center for the Future of Teaching & Learning at WestEd, a San Francisco-based nonprofit group.

As part of its research, the group surveyed 600-plus principals throughout California and followed up with phone interviews with principals, veteran teachers and other administrators. A third of principals said a lack of time created barriers to improving teacher quality.

Meanwhile, the state has an increasingly veteran teacher workforce and a relatively inexperienced corps of principals, the study states. Half of the state's principals have been in the job for five or fewer years, based on survey results. Half have been at their schools for three or fewer years...

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