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School Trends: Principals' Perspectives on Instructional Initiatives and Purchasing Decisions

School Trends: Principals' Perspectives on Instructional Initiatives and Purchasing Decisions

School Trends is the fourth report in MDR's State of the K-12 Market series and is based on school-level market research and features the views of principals from across U.S. public schools. It examines their instructional initiatives, with a focus on priorities and implementation of innovative practices, such as personalized learning. The report offers analyses and commentary about important trends and developments that influence the K-12 school market.

Additional topics include:

School level purchasing including where, how, and by whom decisions are made on various types of purchases and discretionary school budgets;
Professional development needs—for both teachers and principals;
Resources principals use to learn about new products and services and how they view different marketing and sales approaches from vendors ;
Leadership issues, including their overall vision to improve student outcomes and the significant challenges they face.

In the  School Trends report, the research highlights purchasing levels on various instructional materials for schools and districts. MDR’s survey data finds that primary purchasing decisions for library and supplemental instructional materials favor the school level, while textbook and facility improvement are likely at a district level. Purchases of digital curriculum, professional development and instructional hardware are both levels. Additionally, 82% of principals have discretionary funds, but their influence about which products to purchase extends considerably beyond their individual school budgets.

Please note: the online download version of this report is for a global site license.

Chapter 1: Overview
Profile of a Principal
Methodology and Background of Respondents
Chapter 2: Challenges Facing Principals
Chapter 3: Budgets and Purchasing Decision Making
Discretionary Budgets
Purchasing Size Needing Board Approval
District Versus School Purchasing Decision Making
Purchases with School Budgets
Site-Based Versus Centralized Purchasing for Curriculum and Instruction
Influencers on School Purchasing
Chapter 4: Instruction
Instructional Priorities
Impact on Academic Achievement
Personalized Learning
Chapter 5: Technology
Technology Importance and Use
Initiatives Requiring Technology
Tech Product Renewals
Chapter 6: Professional Development
Professional Development Philosophy and Practice
Principal Professional Development
Chapter 7: How to Reach Principals
Learning About New Products
Initiating Conversations
Social Media Use
Appendix A: Tables
Appendix B: Survey Materials

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