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That first year of my assistant principalship was full of daily surprises that tested my knowledge, skills, and confidence. Was I doing a disservice to teachers, students, my community? I credit a principal internship with helping me complete the first year and continue on despite the daily challenges. Determined to do better in my second and third years, I leaned into my principal training, district coaching, and experience.

Eighteen percent of principals leave their posts annually, according to the most recent federal data. Principal turnover has been linked to lower student achievement and teacher retention and poorer school climates, most often in schools serving more low income, low-achieving students and students of color. One study of elementary and middle schools in California, for example, found that the odds of continuing to the next school year were 78 percent for a teacher in a school led by a principal who had low-quality preparation versus 89 percent for a teacher led by a principal with high-quality preparation. …

Preparing Principals through High-Quality Internships

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