Catholic elementary school principals, speaking out in a major nationwide survey, report faithful
commitments alongside acute challenges in the operation of their schools, and they identify financial
management, marketing, Catholic identity, enrollment management and long-range planning as their
schools' top five areas of need.
The study, completed by the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education and its Mary
Ann Remick Leadership Program, is a rare, comprehensive glimpse of these principals' views on what
they need in order to do their jobs better and how they describe the state of Catholic education today.
"It is difficult to read the responses of Catholic school principals in this study and not sense both their commitment to this ministry and the
overwhelming responsibilities that are associated with it, " say the authors of "Leadership Speaks: A National Survey of Catholic Primary School
Principals." They paint a picture of many principals as faith-filled individuals confronting unusually challenging expectations, worthy of new forms of
support, such as their own national association.
The study provides enormous amounts of data describing today's Catholic school principals and outlining their views, and the authors conclude with
. Develop "new models of governance for Catholic elementary schools" that shift the panoply of principal responsibilities "into a more
manageable and realistic position description."
. "Develop a program of ongoing professional development and renewal for principals" that
addresses their needs, both professional and personal.
. Organize a national association of Catholic school principals as a means "to give voice
to their leadership concerns at every level and to promote advocacy for Catholic schools at the
. "Convene multiple groups of national and international stakeholders to advance the
understanding of Catholic schools as instruments of the new evangelization.
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