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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ask a parent who’s the most important person in a school and the answer is usually the principal. Yet, a recent study by the Bush Institute found that states have little or no information on how principals are prepared, licensed, supported and evaluated.

Five key responsibilities were identified by the Data Quality Campaign: recruiting, supporting, assessing and rewarding teachers; using data to drive instruction; and developing a positive school culture.

Benjamin Fenton, chief strategy officer of New York City’s principal-preparation program adds three other skills: developing leadership skills of staff, managing personnel, and keeping tabs on finances.

Fenton emphasizes paying attention to student outcomes in evaluating both teacher and principal effectiveness, because teachers report that the quality of a school leader is critical to their staying in that school and career.

Read more in Education Week.

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