An examination of the effectiveness of a principal leadership screening program on teacher perception and teacher retention

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The school principal is accountable for an environment conducive to learning. Qualified leaders improve student learning and affect the perceptions of members of the organization and their intention to stay. The responsibilities for school success and the shortage of applicants make it imperative that qualified principals are recruited and hired. Effective screening programs can ensure the candidates selected are prepared for leadership positions. Teachers' perceptions of their principal's leadership are related to job satisfaction, job resignation, and transfers. Therefore, teachers' perceptions of principals provide a basis to evaluate the quality of principals' leadership. The effectiveness of a principal leadership-screening instrument on teacher perceptions and teacher retention was examined. Two groups of principals were analyzed-those principals who completed the PrincipalInsight process and those who did not. Data were collected from a staff perception survey and teacher retention records. The PrincipalInsight scores of the principals who were hired did not correlate to the teacher ratings from the staff perception survey. Nor did the PrincipalInsight scores correlate with retention rates at schools with novice principals. Therefore, the recruitment and hiring of candidates for principal based on scores from the PrincipalInsight is a matter for concern. However, findings indicated a significant correlation between the teacher ratings and teacher retention for veteran principals. Recommendations include using veteran teachers to prescreen and evaluate candidates in light of, and with respect to the criteria developed for the screening program. The findings suggest veteran principals provide a sense of community where teachers feel valued, supported, and applauded for their talents and skills, which encourages them to remain employed at their schools. Efforts must be made to implement professional development for new principals to facilitate an understanding for the necessity of building relationships, peer support, and a community for teachers, which are major factors in retaining teachers. The findings provide information on structured screenings and their effectiveness in leadership hiring practices. Information from this study can serve to establish a protocol for the hiring of quality applicants for principal position. The participation of veteran principals and teachers is strongly encouraged in the process of the selection of new principals as their expertise and knowledge is most aligned with the responsibilities needed for present leadership positions.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Education, Administration