In his second inaugural speech, President Obama stated, "We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher."
As we step forward with Obama into his second term, it is now, more than ever, time to re-evaluate our education policy, starting with the voice, tools and support that we provide for our school leaders, the principals and administrators responsible for overseeing the scholastic performance and physical operations of our schools.
According to a recent report, published by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), "The Ripple Effect: A Synthesis of Research on Principal Influence to Inform Performance Evaluation Design," principal quality ranks second only to teacher quality as the most important school-level factor influencing student achievement. The report made clear that principals account for 25 percent of the total school-level impact on student achievement. If this is the case, why is it that legislative decisions for education so often rely on teachers and superintendents while simply ignoring the input of principals?
Read the rest of Moving Education Forward: It Starts with School Leaders, on The Huffington Post.