BRIEF - Principal Concerns: Iowa May Face Statewide Demand

October 2012

Nearly half of Iowa’s principals will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. These principals are in schools spread evenly geographically and by student poverty level. Collectively, principals eligible for retirement oversee more than 168,000 students, nearly half of all students in the state. In this brief, researchers Michael DeArmond and Monica Ouijdani suggest that the widespread nature of these potential retirements underscores the state’s role in supporting districts facing vacancies. For example, Iowa is in a position to help identify principal preparation programs that graduate the most effective school leaders and to design policies and incentives to get the right leaders into the right jobs. This analysis of Iowa’s principal workforce is the first in a series of state-specific briefs. Leadership needs vary by state and require customized solutions. A related CRPE report provides policymakers with a set of tools to help them diagnose their state's principal workforce needs and develop comprehensive strategies to recruit, prepare, and support a new generation of strong school leaders. These state analyses and tools can help states like Iowa use upcoming retirements as an opportunity to craft smart policies that redesign the job to attract talented, entrepreneurial leaders ready for the challenges ahead.

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