The Wrong Way to Help Principals

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Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC2.0
Media Outlet: U.S. News & World Report

Melissa Tooley wrote for U.S. News & World Report about how rolling back federal regulations won't help to relieve overburdened school principals:

On the eve of October's National Principals Month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke to members of a national school principals organization, telling them that principals should be able to "spend more time focusing on the people, not on the paperwork."

DeVos is right to point out how increased expectations for what students should leave school able to know and do have made it critical for principals to focus more on supporting students, in large part by supporting improvements in teaching. But despite mounting expectations for principals to train their attention on these new demands, principals' traditional responsibilities of building management and other administrative tasks have not yielded.


Melissa Tooley is the director of Educator Quality with New America's Education Policy program. She is a member of the PreK-12 team, where she provides research and analysis on PreK-12 policies and practices that impact teaching quality and school leadership.