Paving the Path to the Urban School Principalship

This brief focuses on what it takes to attract talented and experienced individuals to the principalship. It describes what inspires some people to start on this path, what gives them pause, and what deters others entirely. Using the research literature and results from four focus groups of aspiring principals in three major cities, this brief describes the steps along the pathway to the principalship as well as the characteristics of the individuals taking the journey. Based on these sources, it provides some suggestions for influencing changes in policy and practice to increase the supply of high-quality school leaders.