Chicago’s Fight to Keep Top Principals

Chicago is losing its best school leaders. Four out of every ten of the city’s top public school principals tell us they plan to leave in the next three years. History says we should take them seriously; that number is consistent with the number of principals who did leave in the last three years.

Rapid principal turnover has real implications for all of us – especially our students. Principal departures are associated with declining student achievement, which can persist for up to two years.1 Like leaders in all industries, principals are also uniquely influential in the retention or turnover of their best team members. Even through times of transition or resource reduction, great principals keep great teachers.2 This benefits students, schools and communities.

So how can we ensure great principals stay longer?

1. Get out of their way.

2. Help them leverage the tools they already have.

3. Support their individual development.

4. Challenge them to stay.

Read the full report to learn more about these strategies, to discover who Chicago’s principals are, and to hear from great principals about why they lead in Chicago.