Thursday, April 7, 2016
Characteristics of Public and Private School Principals in the United States
This Statistics in Brief uses data from seven administrations of the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) principal survey to examine trends in principal demographics and other characteristics from 1987-88 through 2011-12. The demographic characteristics in this report include sex, race/ethnicity, and age. Other characteristics include principals’ level of education, experience teaching, experience serving as a principal, and salary. In addition to reporting trends across years, this report examines differences in demographic and other characteristics between new and experienced principals in the public and private school sectors.
• While the percentage of female principals at public schools increased from 25 percent to 52 percent between 1987-88 and 2011-12, the percentage of female principals at private schools did not change.
• In public schools, female principals were more evenly represented among experienced principals in 1987–88 than in 2011–12. During the 2011–12 school year, approximately 54 percent of new public school principals and 47 percent of experienced public school principals were female.
• More public school principals held a master’s degree as the highest level of education in 2011–12 compared with 1987–88. However, fewer public school principals held a degree higher than a master’s in 2011–12. Among private schools principals, the percentages at all degree levels were unchanged since 1987–88.
• In 2011–12, more new public principals held a master’s degree (as their highest degree) than their experienced counterparts, which was a reversal from 1987–88. Specifically, 67 percent of new principals held a master’s degree, as their highest degree, compared to 53 percent of experienced principals.