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A Day in the Life of a Veteran Chicago Public Schools Principal

One constant in decades of school improvement efforts in Chicago is a recognition that principals play a pivotal role. Good principals are magnets for good teachers, good programs and support from parents and the larger community.

CPS, colleges of education and nonprofit education organizations have conducted a variety of principal preparation programs over the years. Now two reports – one on the early implementation of a 2010 law on principal training and the other on principal turnover – have again sharpened the focus. And on Monday, a committee that is studying the issue of hiring, training and keeping the best principals recommended that the district create a non-profit to handle all of these issues.

To see what these and other policy initiatives aim to produce, Catalyst’s Stephanie Choporis spent a day with Dana Butler, the long-time principal of Ruiz Elementary, a school with impressive statistics on teacher retention and student achievement.