responsibilities—such as coordinating a safe and orderly
school environment, ensuring efficient facility maintenance,
using data in organization management, managing fiscal
resources, and managing technology resources (Stronge,
Richard, & Catano, 2008)—have often been portrayed in the
principal leadership literature as mundane and of secondary
importance. In reality, however, no good principal would ever
neglect them. Schools don’t run themselves: A smoothly functioning school that provides a safe and positive learning environment for all requires a principal’s focused time and effort
(Cotton, 2003; Marzano et al., 2005).
Standard 5: Communication and Community Relations.
Effective principals know that they don’t act in a vacuum.
They understand the importance of bringing stakeholders
into a collaborative decision-making environment that focuses
squarely on the growth and welfare of all students. Thus,
communicating clearly and establishing strong relationships
When principals hire, develop,
support, and keep the best
teachers, they look like geniuses.
with the community are crucial school principal responsibilities (Lashway, 2003).
Standard 6: Professionalism. This standard includes such
practices as engaging in ethical behavior and modeling professionalism for teachers, staff, and students. Another important
attribute of principals’ professionalism is their own continual
professional development and self-renewal. Now more than
ever, successful principals must hone their leadership skills
and continue to evolve. A study that focused on why good
principals stay in the profession found that professional
development was a key (Boris-Schacter & Merrifield, 2000).
Another study found that effective principals attended more
professional development programs—and found the sessions
to be more helpful—than their peers did. They were more
likely to participate in professional development along with
their teachers, visit other schools, participate in learning networks with other principals, mentor other principals, and be
willing to observe and critique fellow principals (LaPointe &
Evaluating Principal Results
Clearly, the performance standards noted here are heavily
loaded in favor of principal behaviors. I believe that this
FIGURE 1. Recommended Standards
for Principal Performance
Source: From Principal
Rubrics, and Tools for
Effective Performance (p.
10), by James H. Stronge,
2013, Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Copyright © 2013 by James
emphasis is justified: Results are achieved through principals’
knowledge, skills, dispositions, and behaviors. The more
effectively principals meet these behavior standards, the
greater the likelihood that they will produce positive and sustained results.
But in today’s climate of accountability, measuring principal behaviors is no longer sufficient. Simply stated, principals are expected to produce results. Standard 7: Student
Progress reflects the fact that evaluation must hold principals
accountable for student achievement. In fact, the student