Annual Principals’ Assessment of Public Education


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Despite national media messaging about our improving economy, limited funding and resources, combined with significant student and family economic challenges continue to weigh heavily on educators charged with driving change and improvement in our schools.

In MCH’s 5th annual Principal’s Assessment, some of the same concerns from previous years are mentioned. Socio-economic status of families and the ongoing focus in state and local budgets to control funding increases are top of mind. Opportunities for technology and training also still exist as market opportunities to help meet needs and stringent demands.

Key findings from this year’s survey include:

Principals’ Top Concerns

  • 20.1%  Lack of resources
  • 17.5%  Academic achievement
  • 16.7%  Families/poverty/attendance
  • 13.3%  Assessment/testing
  • 8.8%  Adequate budget
  • 8.3%  New standards/instruction
  • 5.8%  Student safety/bullying
  • 5.1%  Meeting needs of student subgroups

Just as in past years, insufficient funding and lack of resources still tops the list of principals’ primary concerns. After several years of steeply declining budgets, our last report in 2014 noted that the decline had bottomed out. However, this year two thirds of our respondents (64.3%) said that not only is their general funding not any better than last year, but they do not expect to see an improvement next year either.

Schools are struggling to meet the needs of student families experiencing economic stress and food insecurity. Both of these issues impact a student’s readiness to learn, as well as the amount of academic support required. Secondly, teacher recruitment and retention are more difficult this year, as many teachers feel underappreciated for the amount of change they are undergoing.

This free report is made available each year to help educational marketers hear directly from principals about their greatest challenges and concerns. Managing change in standards, instruction, curriculum, and evaluations without losing experienced educators is a primary focus for principals this year.

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