If you were like me when the 2020-2021 school year ended, you were exhausted and hoping the next year would be more normal. Unfortunately, as the new year begins, my wish didn't exactly come true. The pandemic is still here and all the challenges that come with it. The principal's job already had its challenges, and then COVID-19 came and said, "hold my drink," when it comes to challenging times for a Principal. Now more than ever, you, the Principal, matter! From Frederick Brown's article "Why principals matter more than ever," "It shouldn't come as a surprise that effective principals are essential for positive student and school outcomes, but we now have stronger research evidence than ever before.” The article goes on to point:
Researchers found that replacing a principal with an effectiveness level at the 25th percentile with a more effective principal (at the 75th percentile) yields an additional three months of learning in math and reading for students. To put that in context, the authors compare it with a previous study (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2010) that found a similar impact from replacing a less effective teacher with a more effective one. Although that study found a marginally larger impact of 4 months of learning, the authors point out that a principal's impact is felt on a larger scale: principals impact 483 students, on average, compared with 21 students, on average, for teachers.
With this kind of impact on student learning and the enormous challenges of running the day-to-day operations of a school during a pandemic, you cannot do this job alone. As the state's premier education association, this is where MASSP comes in to support secondary principals, assistant principals, and aspiring principals. From the outstanding professional development opportunities, to the timely information principals receive on the latest handling in our state with COVID response, to the up-to-date legal and legislative updates, all this and more is essential to a principal's success. What stands out even more about this association that I love is the vital connection to others doing this critical work. I encourage you to take part in MASSP's different L2L Webinars to connect and hear from others how they are effectively impacting their students.
I hope everyone has an incredible school year and knows MASSP has your back.
Written by Jason Messenger, MASSP Board of Directors President-Elect and Principal at Portage West Middle School