So the Dallas Independent School District is re-engineering the principal's job. Gone is the focus on campus operations and administration. Student learning is now the chief concern.
Principals are to be curriculum hawks and instructional coaches, responsible for identifying their schools' academic shortcomings and devising ways for teachers to address them.
The bureaucratic tasks and paper-pushing requirements of running a school are being delegated to assistants and office staff.
"The job description has really changed," said Jennifer Parvin, principal at Arturo Salazar Elementary School. "It's my job to go into classrooms and make judgments on how we can improve."
It may sound like common sense: making principals accountable for the instruction on campus. But those who study education say that's often not the case, and that's a problem.
"In urban districts, principals have typically been building managers," said Dan Katzir, who heads up programs for the recruitment and training of principals for the Broad Foundation, a California philanthropy with a prominent voice in urban school reform.
That's called taking your eye off the ball. And, that's exactly what our educators did. Took their eye off the ball. For about three decades. Tthe education of the students needs to be the principal's number one priority.