In an era of intense state and federal accountability for teaching and student learning, school principals face noteworthy challenges which typically work against recommending contract non-renewal for teachers. School principals confront tremendous pressure from state and federal accountability legislation to produce evidence of student learning on standardized assessments. In this high-stakes accountability environment, principals’ decisions play an important part in determining whether teachers are offered contracts. Learning more about the criteria that principals apply to teacher non-renewal decisions affords an opportunity to improve the teacher preparation process. Additionally, identifying the barriers that prevent principals from removing ineffective teachers serves to improve the prospect of learning for all students. Good teaching is a key to student learning. It is unclear if principals have all the tools that they need to work toward having an effective teacher in every classroom.
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