Resolution 2— Enhance Principal Recruitment and Training, Improve Retention Rates Among Principals and Reduce Principal Turnover

WHEREAS, public school principals play a critical role in developing effective schools and improving student achievement; and 

WHEREAS, research has shown that principal turnover can be disruptive to school progress, result in higher teacher turnover and impact the success of students; and 

WHEREAS, there has been a long-recognized need for a stronger “principal pipeline” to focus on the recruitment and retention of talented school leaders; and 

WHEREAS, the national average tenure of principals in their school is only four years; and 

WHEREAS, principal turnover is on the rise in recent years for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to increasing concerns around school safety, an uptick in disruptive behavior among students, the highly politicized nature of education, attacks over curricula, teacher shortages, poor working conditions, insufficient salaries and a lack of adequate resources; and 

WHEREAS, the pandemic has drastically impacted the role of a principal and exacerbated the crises, challenges and job-related stressors principals face daily, as many have lost staff, parents and students to COVID-19, some have faced direct threats in response to the implementation of pandemic-related procedures and protocols, and others have increasing concerns about their own mental health and that of their students and staff; and 

WHEREAS, in a nationally representative survey conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in the fall of 2021, more than 60% of principals reported they were having a harder time doing their job than ever before, and nearly four in 10 principals reported they expected to leave their job within the next three years; and 

WHEREAS, research has revealed that male principals are more likely to be hired and promoted than female principals, and so dedicated efforts are needed to recruit and retain school leaders that reflect the diverse populations they often serve; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need for a systematic approach to build capacity within the existing pool of experienced administrators, and provide them with the encouragement, support and resources necessary to become and remain effective principals; 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators commits to partnering with local chapters, their school districts and accredited higher education programs to identify, mentor and train assistant principals, school supervisors and other educators to become principals.