Thursday, September 20, 2018

Mini-post: question about principals

After today’s post, a local board member sent me the following question from a constituent: “What has changed in the last 30 years requiring more asst. principals today than when I was in high school?” 

KASB doesn't have specific data back 30 years easily accessible, but we can dig deep if needed. We have Kansas staff data back to 1997, or 20 years, rather than 30. 

In 1997, Kansas had 1,673.5 principals and assistant principals and 466,368, or 278.7 students per principal/AP. 

In 2018, Kansas had 1,792.7 P/APs and 495,356 students, or 276.3 students per principal/AP. 
In other words, we have more principals because we have more students - the ratio has changed very little in 20 years. 

However, there are several other reasons for more principals (and other administrators): 

  • Schools have added many more teachers, paras, aides, and other positions working with students. Principals help supervise, evaluate and lead other staff members in the school building. 
  • Expectations for school leaders have changed. We expected more students to be successful; that means changing the way school operate. Principals have to be instructional leaders, not just facility managers. 
  • There are much greater concerns about non-academic issues facing students, from building security to bullying and suicide prevention, and effective discipline. These tasks usually fall to principals. 

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