2019 Principals Assessment of Education
MCH Strategic Data (MCH) reaches out to K-12 public school principals annually to get a temperature check on the state of K-12 education. From this information it is possible to anticipate trends and the impact of changes in our schools and districts. This year, responses were received from nearly 800 principals nationally. According to MCH, not all K-12 principals struggle with the same issues, but all are key players in deciding how districts invest their limited resources. Districts prioritize spending based on expressed needs from principals, teachers, students, and parents.
This year’s report highlights that most schools and districts have a good understanding of ESSA impacts, which shows positive momentum from prior years. Another theme that emerged this year was centered around safety and security of faculty and staff. Many schools are taking a proactive approach to training faculty and staff on how to make their environments safer places to learn. In addition to training, schools are installing technology and enhancing facilities to provide for a safer environment.
Creating Effective Education Environments
The issues that most impact a principal’s ability to create an effective learning environment this school year are essentially the same issues they dealt with last year. Principals were asked to rank issues having the most impact on their ability to create effective learning. Compared to last year, principals who responded to this question are less positive about funding than they were a year ago. Most of the principals indicate that they have inadequate funding to fulfill the needs of students in their schools.
Principals’ Top Concerns
Behavior issues in students is of great concern to most principals who responded to the survey. Principals specifically called out the need for adequate staff and resources to care for students who have social and emotional learning needs, mental health issues, or other customized needs. The lack of resources and funding also contributes to low teacher morale and fewer qualified teachers entering the profession. Being able to increase pay for teachers, provide greater professional development opportunities, and purchase additional resources would help tremendously with these issues. However, principals still struggle with finding adequate funding and resources to provide the educational opportunities and school culture required to address the learning challenges of their student bodies.
According to MCH, the survey provides insights to the current mindset of principals across the country. Recent years have illuminated the struggles with implementing new standards, new technology, and new assessments. This year, principals are more optimistic about technology and adhering to higher standards. However, having the adequate funds and resources to create a safe and effective learning environment for students has been a burning issue.
Source: MCH Strategic Data, www.mchdata.com