The Role of Urban Principals: Prepare, Perform, and Persevere
Jean Ragin, Ed.D.

This article discusses the preparation of urban school administrators and the role they play as educational leaders in schools. Principals have to be versatile and lead with a multitude of tools on their belt. Today, being a principal means serving as instructional leaders, managing budgets, building trust with the district, staff, parents, students and the community, overseeing special education mandates, evaluating staff and teachers, being a data-driven decision maker; delegating school responsibilities, being culturally responsive, and maintaining a balanced life. The work of today’s school principal is multifaceted and seemingly never done. Urban schools in the 21st century demand performance and accountability by all stakeholders. According to Education Week (September, 2011), The No Child Left behind Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002, was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the central federal law in pre-collegiate education. The ESEA, first enacted in 1965 and previously reauthorized in 1994, encompasses Title I, the federal government's flagship aid program for disadvantaged students. Coming at a time of wide public concern about the state of education, the NCLB legislation set in place requirements that reached into virtually every public school in America. It expanded the federal role in education and took particular aim at improving the educational lot of disadvantaged students. At the core of the No Child Left Behind Act were a number of measures designed to drive broad gains in student achievement and to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress. They represented significant changes to the education landscape (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). Principals, who have travelled this path, lead with a goal of perfecting this challenging position because of the inner passion.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n3a7