I recently posted a thought on social media to a group of educational leaders. As soon as I hit submit, it was time for popcorn as the comments rolled in.

Here is the original post:

I stand by my post… and wish more folks in school leadership positions would listen up (to your teachers especially). Here’s the deal. I use data – purposeful data, when done well can be used effectively to move a school. I know this. I have done this – in Title I schools and a highly selective magnet school.

But – and it’s a big but – using data as the first thing you do to lead your school forward – its just not going to keep you in the big chair long.

I believe at my core… that building a school culture that is focused on high impact instruction and meaningful feedback and assessment moves all of the data points you want to move. Culture > Data in the school principalship formula.

I have heard a lot about “everything is data”, “you don’t understand data”, etc. and I would like to gently push back. Relationships, loving on your teachers, building kids up, creating meaningful assessments tied to feedback, multiple attempts on assessment, reflection of student and teacher work – are not what I consider data. These are the building blocks of school culture. Culture > Data in my school at least.


If your school or district is in need of Principal Leadership Development focused on School Culture Michael Meechin provides support to schools and districts through speaking engagements, leadership workshops, and consultancy focused on any of the topics discussed in this post. You can book Mike or learn more about how Mike can help your school or district here.

2 thoughts on “Why Culture > Data in the Principalship

  1. As you know, I completely agree that to move the needle academically, the culture needle must move first. Building relationships is a skill that must be taught just like the content taught by our educators.

Leave a Reply to Robert W Miller Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s