The Impact of Principal Turnover on Student Achievement
The purpose of this study was to show the impact that principal turnover has had on student achievement. There has been a high turnover, 83%, of middle school incumbent principals within a large urban the school system. Within this study, middle schools were selected based on their 2011-2012 Alabama Reading and Math Test Plus (ARMT+) Assessment data, eighth-grade reading data, and the percent of students eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals. The six middle schools with the highest level of non-proficiency test scores and highest poverty level were selected for the study. In addition, changes in principal assignment between the years August 2007 – August 2012 were examined. As a result of this study, it was found that each of the three schools selected for the study had two or more principals in a three-year span. Furthermore, the reading scores of the eighth-grade students fluctuated during this time frame with less than fifty-five percent of the students scoring proficient in reading. The research hypothesis is that low-performing schools need experienced, qualified principals who remain in the position at least three years to turn around, or stabilize, a struggling school.