School & District Management

What’s Keeping Principals Up at Night?

By Denisa R. Superville — April 05, 2018 2 min read
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Among the nation’s K-12 principals, getting enough money for schools is their top concern.

More than half of all principals—52 percent—said that adequate funding was the most important concern for them, according to survey data published this week by MCH Strategic Data. Another 28 percent ranked funding as a very important concern.

After funding, principals’ most important concerns are teacher morale (38 percent); attendance (33 percent); aligning assessments to standards (32 percent); behavior issues in children (31 percent); bullying (18 percent); and class size (16 percent).

In addition to the 38 percent of principals who ranked teacher morale as most important, 35 percent also said it was a very important concern.

As the economy has improved, principals said they are seeing less anxiety among parents and families. But they also had new concerns related to managing change, their students’ ability to access the internet outside of school, and students’ mental health, according to MCH Strategic Data.

The survey of more than 1,000 principals from across the country was conducted in January. It also included questions on the Every Student Succeeds Act and technology.

When it comes to technology, teachers appear to have more sway in deciding what apps are used in classrooms. The vast majority of principals—88.2 percent—said teachers decide what apps will be used.

And when it comes to researching what new products and services they will use in their buildings, principals are more likely to head to a company’s website to get more information. They use the district and word of mouth as secondary sources.

Some other takeaways:

  • Every Student Succeeds Act. 65 percent of principals said they had a good understanding of how the new federal education law will affect their schools. That’s a 9 percent increase over last year’s response.
  • Higher standards. About 60 percent of principals said they were “less concerned” about the move to more rigorous standards. Twenty percent said they were more concerned.
  • Technology purchases. 67 percent of principals anticipated purchasing hardware (iPads and 3D Printers, for example) for students this year, a nearly 19 percent jump from last year. Forty-seven percent said that their purchases will be for curriculum, and 32 percent said that their technology purchases will be for online assessments.

You can check out the report here.

Image source: K-12 Principals’ Assessment of Education: 2018 Edition by MCH Strategic Data

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.