Principal Behaviors and School Outcomes: A Look Inside Urban Schools
Many students of school finance lament the way that urban school principals by necessity fund even basic educational programs in their schools via deft management of a patchwork of grants and of categorical funding. In some senses the cases are incomparable: The principals differ in age, sex, race, and experience, and their schools vary in size and racial breakdown. Although the principals face similar inputs-they share a level of schooling, a district, and an urban context-each principal has adapted differently to the work at hand. Carolina Montoya is a Mexican American woman and was in her first year as principal at Chavez Middle School when the author met her. Montoya's description reveals that she interprets part of the mission of urban schools to include serving as an antidote to the negative environments that students come from. Montoya were guardedly optimistic about the changes that she seemed capable of making at Chavez.