Mar 13, 2018

Why good grade school principals matter

Students learn to use computers at Creighton's Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post via Getty Images

David Brooks' N.Y. Times column, "Good Leaders Make Good Schools," spotlights the importance of grade school principals in setting a culture "by their very behavior — the message is the person."

Why they matter: "Principals raise expectations and alter norms. ... When you learn about successful principals, you keep coming back to the character traits they embody and spread: energy, trustworthiness, honesty, optimism, determination."

  • What's changed: "Principals used to be administrators and middle managers, overseeing budgets, discipline, schedules. The goal was to be strong and decisive. Today’s successful principals are greeting parents and students outside the front door in the morning. [A] Minnesota-Toronto study found successful principals made 20 to 60 spontaneous classroom visits and observations per week."
  • "In other words, they are high-energy types constantly circulating through the building, offering feedback, setting standards, applying social glue."
  • The problem: "Research suggests that it takes five to seven years for a principal to have full impact on a school, but most principals burn out and leave in four years or less."

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

5 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.