Administrators in Crisis: Why Passionate Education Leaders Are Fleeing and How to Get Them to Stay

Jeannine Proctor
3 min readAug 8, 2023
Muhammad Usman, 2023

While much public discourse has centered on the teacher shortage crisis, a troubling exodus of principals and other school administrators is also underway. According to a McKinsey study, nearly one-third of education leaders surveyed are planning to leave their roles — a rate on par with classroom teachers. This mass departure of passionate, experienced administrators could have devastating cascading effects on school culture, teacher retention, and student outcomes.

The factors driving administrators to quit have some overlaps with teachers but also key differences. Inadequate compensation is a significantly smaller factor for leaders, though resources and support staff are lacking. More salient reasons are a lack of well-being, unreasonable workload expectations, insufficient career development, and a loss of connection to purpose.

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Jeannine Proctor

Product Leader. Product Marketer. Product Analyst. Technical Product Lead. Data Scientist. Instructional Designer. Curriculum Developer. Educator.