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“I am here for the students”: principals’ perception of accountability amid work intensification

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Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability

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Increasing job duties and responsibilities associated with the changing role of school principals have prompted even greater accountability. As a result, principals are faced with competing demands and expectations in various forms of accountability from multiple stakeholders. This study examines principals’ perception of accountability in the context of work intensification with a particular focus on the question of “accountable to whom and why.” A total of 1434 practicing principals responded to an online survey that sought to determine the groups and individuals to whom principals feel accountable, and why principals feel accountable to those particular individuals or groups. The survey achieved a response rate of 52.68%. The research results show balancing competing accountabilities concerning students has become a daunting task for school principals. The competing if not conflicting expectations from (federal and state/provincial) educational authorities, teachers, parents, students, and various interest groups often pose significant challenges to principals’ work and add to the complexity of principals’ role. The unrealistic expectations imposed on principals make it imperative to critically examine the changing role of school principals and identify essential and legislatively mandated duties and responsibilities of principalship to better reflect and address their intensified work realities.

Citation of this paper:

Wang, F. Hauseman, C., & Pollock, K. (2021). “I am here for the students”: principals’ perception of accountability amid work intensification. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, x(x).

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