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Indicators

This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

Principal Turnover: Stayers, Movers, and Leavers
(Last Updated: November 2015)

Among those who were public school principals in 2011–12 but were not working as a principal in 2012–13, some 38 percent had retired; 30 percent were working in kindergarten through grade 12 education, but not in a school; and 7 percent were working at a job outside of kindergarten through grade 12 education.

More than three quarters (77 percent) of those who were public school principals in 2011–12 stayed in the same position at the same school in 2012–13, while 7 percent moved to a position as principal at another school and 11 percent stopped working as a principal to work in a different type of job. (These three groups are referred to as "stayers," "movers," and "leavers," respectively, in this indicator). Not discussed as "stayers," "movers," and "leavers" are an additional 4 percent of public school principals who did not fall into any of these categories, such as those who had retired or were on leave.


Figure 1. Percentage of public school principals who were stayers, movers, and leavers from the prior school year: School years 2008–09 and 2012–13

Figure 1. Percentage of public school principals who were stayers, movers, and leavers from the prior school year: School years 2008–09 and 2012–13


NOTE: Of those who were public school principals in 2007–08 and 2011–12, respectively, a stayer was a public school principal at the same school in the following year; a mover was a public school principal at one school in the first year but a different school in the following year; and a leaver was a public school principal who stopped working as a principal to work in a different job in the following year. Not shown in the figure are an additional 4 percent of public school principals who did not fall into any of these categories, such as those who had retired or were on leave. Detail does not sum to totals because some data are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2007–08 and 2011–12; and Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2008–09 and 2012–13. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 212.20.


The percentages of stayers, movers, and leavers observed between 2011–12 and 2012–13 were not measurably different from the percentages of stayers, movers, and leavers observed between 2007–08 and 2008–09.


Figure 2. Percentage of public school principals who were stayers, movers, and leavers, by age group: School year 2012–13

Figure 2. Percentage of public school principals who were stayers, movers, and leavers, by age group: School year 2012–13


! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
NOTE: Of those who were public school principals in 2011–12, a stayer was a public school principal at the same school in the following year; a mover was a public school principal at one school in 2011–12 but a different school in the following year; and a leaver was a public school principal who stopped working as a principal to work in a different job in the following year. Detail does not sum to totals because some data are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2011–12; and Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2012–13. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 212.20.


The percentages of public school principal stayers and leavers varied by age group, but there were no measurable differences by age group in the percentages of school principals who moved to other schools between 2011–12 and 2012–13. For example, higher percentages of principals under age 40 (81 percent), principals ages 45 to 49 (83 percent), and principals ages 50 to 54 (80 percent) than of principals age 55 and older (70 percent) stayed at their 2011–12 school and position in 2012–13. In contrast, a higher percentage of principals age 55 and older than of principals in younger age groups stopped working as a principal to work in a different type of job. For instance, 20 percent of principals age 55 or older were leavers, compared with 8 percent of principals under age 40, 8 percent of principals ages 40 to 44, 7 percent of principals ages 45 to 49, and 10 percent of principals ages 50 to 54.

Between 2011–12 and 2012–13, the percentage of all public school principals who moved to another school in the same school district was higher than the percentage of those who moved to another school in a different school district (4 vs. 2 percent); this pattern also held for female principals (5 vs. 2 percent). There was no measurable difference between the percentage of male principals who moved to another school in the same district and the percentage of male principals who moved to another school in a different district. For elementary school principals, the percentage who moved to another school in the same school district was higher than the percentage who moved to another school in a different school district (5 vs. 2 percent), but these percentages did not differ measurably for secondary school principals.


Figure 3. Percentage of those who were public school principals in 2011–12 but were not working as a principal in 2012–13, by current occupational status: School year 2012–13

Figure 3. Percentage of those who were public school principals in 2011–12 but were not working as a principal in 2012–13, by current occupational status: School year 2012–13


! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
NOTE: Detail does not sum to totals because categories for which reporting standards were not met are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Public School Principal Data File," 2011–12; and Principal Follow-up Survey (PFS), "Public School Principal Status Data File," 2012–13. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 212.30.


Among those who were public school principals in 2011–12 but were not working as a principal in 2012–13, some 38 percent had retired; 30 percent were working in kindergarten through grade 12 education, but not in a school; 25 percent were working in a kindergarten through grade 12 school, but not as a principal; and 7 percent were working at a job outside of kindergarten through grade 12 education. Additionally, 18 percent of public school principals who left the profession were working in a district or administrative office as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, or other higher level administrator; these former public school principals are a subgroup of those who were working in kindergarten through grade 12 education, but not in a school.

In 2012–13, a higher percentage of principals with the most experience (10 or more years) than of principals with the least experience (less than 3 years) retired (57 vs. 16 percent). In addition, a higher percentage of principals with less than 3 years of experience (50 percent) and principals with 3 to 5 years of experience (31 percent) than of principals with 10 or more years of experience (10 percent) were still working in kindergarten through grade 12 education, but not as a principal.


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