Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice. Skip to content ... Past and current research on principals reveal that school-site leaders perform managerial, instructional, and political roles in and out of their schools.
The article posits the importance of Principals as organizational leaders and managers who establish and maintian a climate conducive to student achievment rather than direct involvment in classroom instruction. In short: administrators need to create the best conditions for teachers to teach ans students to study.--Lou
"..Now, a few published studies make the same point: what principals do is largely manage people and buildings spending most of their time outside of the classroom, not inside watching teachers teach.
A recent report ( Shadow Study Miami-Dade Principals) of what 65 principals did each day during one week in 2008 in Miami-Dade county (FLA) shows that even under NCLB pressures for academic achievement and the widely accepted (and constantly spouted) ideology of instructional leadership, Miami-Dade principals spend most of their day in managerial tasks that influence the climate of the school but may or may not affect daily instruction. What’s more, those principals who spend the most time on organizing and managing the instructional program have test scores and teacher and parental satisfaction results that are higher than those principals who spend time coaching teachers and popping into classroom lessons.
The researchers shadowed elementary and secondary principals and categorized their activities minute-by-minute through self-reports, interviews, and daily logs kept by the principals.
In the academic language of the study:
The authors find that time spent on Organization Management activities is associated with positive school outcomes, such as student test score gains and positive teacher and parent assessments of the instructional climate, whereas Day-to-Day Instruction activities are marginally or not at all related to improvements in student performance and often have a negative relationship with teacher and parent assessments. This paper suggests that a single-minded focus on principals as instructional leaders operationalized through direct contact with teachers may be detrimental if it forsakes the important role of principals as organizational leaders (p. iv)..."-- By Larry Cuban