Principled Principals

July 2011
Brian Jacob

If principals have the authority to dismiss teachers, will they dismiss the less effective ones, or will they instead make perverse decisions by letting the good teachers go? Evidence from low-stakes surveys suggests that principals are able to identify the most and least effective teachers in their schools, as measured by their impact on student achievement (see “When Principals Rate Teachers,” research, Spring 2006). But would that ability influence their dismissal decisions?