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This is an early study of the roles and responsibilities of the president and principal in U.S. Catholic schools. Response rate is 91% of schools and 84% of individuals (548 surveys 254 schools) – impressive. The study shows high levels of satisfaction and perceived success for the P-P model. It reports overwhelming agreement of presidents and principals on the “ranking of the roles and responsibilities of each position.” Presidential and Principal roles, as outlined in the study, correspond to the stereotype. Interestingly for my own interests is the central suggestion for further research: “examining the one-on-one relationship between president and principal and impact on the success of the model.”

In 1997, 20% of American Catholic schools employed the P-P model. This study emphasizes roles and responsibilities, rather than relationships, as a means of measuring performance. The P-P model was so new at this point that part of the rationale of the study was to help schools prepare reasonable job descriptions for the president and principal. The basic assumption regarding the need for the model:

“When the position of principal has expanded to the degree that no one person can meet all the expectations, separation of duties occurs.” (p. 5)

I think an interesting question emerges here that is potentially critical of the P-P model: Is the problem that principals had “too much on their plate” or that they were incapable, unwilling (or some other possibility) to delegate some of those responsibilities appropriately. This also begs the hierarchical question: if the principal originally held all of these roles and responsibilities, how is it that the principal gave up only those that produced a “superior,” the one who now hires the principal? To put it bluntly, why don’t presidents work for Principals? And what is the origin of the organizational structures that fall under each – the development, alumni, marketing personnel under the president and the VPs/APs, Program Directors, Dept. Chairs, teachers, etc. under the Principal?

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