Recently in The 74, Marianna McMurdock wrote a piece on pandemic-related school principal attrition. Excerpts of the piece appear below:
Across the country, many principals are preparing to leave the education field altogether. A survey of more than 500 this fall by the National Association of Secondary School Principals has found nearly four in ten expect to leave their post within the next three years. More than a third will leave education as soon as they can find a higher-paying job.
Dubbed a looming “mass exodus” by NASSP, numbers were even higher for principals with four years or less on the job: 62 percent of early-career principals said they will leave within the next six years. Many others are nearing retirement age.
The crisis has hit principals of color, women, and those leading schools with higher proportions of lower-income students and students of color particularly hard. They are more likely than their peers to experience job-related stress during the pandemic, a new RAND study found.
According to NASSP’s fall survey, 91 percent of principals were very or extremely concerned about student wellness, more than any other challenge (in comparison, mask mandates had about 51 percent very or extremely concerned). More than a third said there’s not adequate student services staff, like nurses and counselors.
Top of mind for all principals The 74 interviewed is creating more balanced workloads, to change the reality that they cannot succeed without sacrificing their own health.