January 9, 2019

Where do Philadelphia principals go when they leave schools?

Conventional wisdom says many educators get their first principal job in Philadelphia, and then leave for better-resourced schools in the suburbs.

But Penn GSE’s Matthew Steinberg says that’s wrong. He told WHYY that when Philadelphia principals leave a school, they are more likely to either take another job in Philadelphia or leave public education.

That was one of the findings in a new report from the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium by Steinberg and Haisheng Yang that assessed principal mobility in Philadelphia’s traditional public and charter schools. Steinberg and Yang looked at trends between 2007-2008 and 2015-2016. 

Among their other findings: 

  • Principal mobility is greater in the city's charter schools than in its traditional public schools.
  • Principal mobility in Philadelphia's traditional public schools is comparable to other urban Pennsylvania districts but greater than the statewide average. 
  • Mobile principals in Philadelphia are concentrated in schools that serve higher-poverty, lower-achieving, and minority students.  

Read the full WHYY piece here.

Read the PERC report here.


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