Are Principals the Secret to Improving Education?

The New York Times recently published an article suggesting that the best way to fix schools is to increase our focus on principals. The article celebrated Gregory Jones, principal of Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago, under whose leadership the school’s graduation rate increased from 74% in 2012 to 85% in 2016. The Times explained that in debates about how to improve our education system, most of the focus falls on curriculum, school type (public, private, charter), and teachers, overlooking the influence of principals.

  Gregory Jones, principal of Kenwood Academy High School. Joshua Lott for the New York Times.

Gregory Jones, principal of Kenwood Academy High School. Joshua Lott for the New York Times.

The article points out that the importance of principals is beginning to get more attention, mentioning a 2015 federal education law that increases emphasis on developing principals. According to The Times, principals are one of the most effective ways to improve teaching, and attracting, keeping, and developing teachers is easier when the school has a good principal.

At Elevate Teachers, we’re always happy to see educators like Gregory Jones getting attention. We agree that principals are crucial to our schools and deserve our support as much as teachers do, though we don’t want to put the responsibility for improving education in our country solely on one group of people.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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