According to a new survey from MCH Strategic Data in partnership with edWeb.net, the majority of principals are more optimistic this year than last year about education. The fourth annual Principals’ Assessment of Public Education showed that many of the challenges faced by principals stem from the large number of changes happening in their schools: adopting new standards, integrating new technology, protecting student data, and fluctuating funding.
- Among the respondents working in districts that have adopted the Common Core, nearly 90 percent have implemented or are in the process of implementing Common Core standards.
- More than 56 percent of principals report that the implementation of Common Core is driving their technology purchases. Only half of the districts surveyed have sufficient bandwidth for conducting online assessments. When asked if they were more focused on increasing bandwidth or acquiring mobile devices, 63.6 percent of principals responded they were purchasing both.
- Protecting student privacy from the encroachment of big data is also an issue for principals. More than 90 percent of respondents report that their districts have written policies protecting student data.
- School funding and student readiness remain the greatest concerns for principals; however, many see better instruction and increased rigor of the curriculum within their schools as a positive shift from last year.
“Shifting expectations for what is taught in schools and how it is being taught are active conversations taking place in every district, whether they are implementing Common Core standards or not,” said John F. Hood, president of MCH Strategic Data. “There are new benchmarks for student achievement and new evaluation methods for educators, making principals’ voices even more important.”