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Principal Mobility in Philadelphia Traditional and Charter Public Schools, 2007-08 through 2015-16

PERC research is produced through collaboration between researchers from Research for Action and the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Research and Evaluation. For more information, please visit

Effective principals improve student achievement, develop and retain teacher talent, and manage the organization and mission of schools. Since principals become more effective over time, attracting and retaining excellent principals is a high priority for all school districts. But public school districts in large cities like Philadelphia are especially challenged to provide every school with an effective school leader. Principal mobility—that is, transferring from one school to another or leaving the principalship entirely—is disproportionately concentrated in school districts serving more low-income students and has negative consequences for student performance. For these reasons, it is critical for policymakers and school leaders in Philadelphia to have a clear picture of the extent and nature of principal mobility.