Why should states strengthen autonomy and empower school leaders?
The role and responsibilities of the school principal have grown more complex over the years. Principals are expected to shape the overall academic vision for their school, cultivate a culture of collaboration and excellence, and manage people, data, and processes to enable the school and its students to achieve at high levels.
Yet while it’s clear that principals feel accountable for results, they feel they are lacking the tools and authority to succeed. According to the 29th Annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, principals report that their authority does not match their responsibility:
89%agree they should be accountable for everything that happens to children in their school
43%have control over removing teachers
42%have control over curriculum and instruction
22%have control over finance decisions
As the principal role has evolved and become more demanding, states are recognizing that leaders need a wider array of tools and authority to be successful.