"I don't care what your personal mission statement says: Everyone in the building knows what you're about by how you spend your time. Schools will never be defined by the mission statement on the wall: They will be defined by what actually goes on in classrooms. " - Dr. Danny Steele (Essential Truths for Principals)
The role of the principal has changed dramatically over the past two decades since the implementation of No Child Left Behind (2001), Race to the Top (RttT), and state academic accountability models have been put in place to ensure schools are doing the job of educating children at a level that meets or exceeds local, state, and national standards. The primary role of the principal has shifted from being primarily focused on building management and public relations to being the instructional leader of the building to ensure ALL academic performance expectations are met. Principals must also ensure a laser-like focus on systemic instructional coherence so that every event, act, program, lesson, and minute of each day is aligned with improving student academic achievement in a physically, mentally, and emotionally safe learning environment.
Instructional leadership is the priority of today’s role of the principal. Instructional leadership examines the evidence and impact each adult, action, strategy, and factor has on student academic achievement. It means using data on the impact of each factor on student achievement, in terms of test scores and standardized accountability measures. Instructional leadership not only matters, but is a priority in school leadership and school/student performance.