This discussion addresses the topic of rhetoric and symbols of urban principal accountability in the United States. Through an exploratory study of documents (e.g., news reports, press releases, and Web pages), the authors examine how several urban school district and reform leaders have portrayed principals in the media. The authors also consider possible political effects and implications of the sustained public emphasis on urban principal accountability. For instance, principal removal stories and turnover statistics may become potent, media-disseminated symbols of a district administration’s “getting-tough” efforts to induce sweeping educational change by improving individual schools. The intensified focus on principal accountability may also be providing district and city leaders with a viable means for directing political pressures away from district headquarters toward the principal’s office. FULL MANUSCRIPT AVAILABLE IN PDF (attached below) OR ONLINE AT:

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