November 22, 2004
Men might be a rare sight in the elementary school classroom, but they are not uncommon in the principal’s office.
While less than 10 percent of elementary school teachers are male, more than 40 percent of elementary school principals in East Valley school districts are men.
This means a disproportionate number of men have climbed through the elementary school ranks to executive positions with the highest salaries.
"It is the glass ceiling of the education marketplace," Arizona Education Association president John Wright said.
But research from the National Center for Education Statistics shows an increasing number of female educators are breaking through this glass ceiling.
The center reported that 70 percent of elementary school principals nationwide were men in 1987, while less than half today are.
Will Moore, executive director of the Mesa branch of the Arizona Education Association, said he has seen the Mesa Unified School District make an effort in recent years to help women advance to administrative positions if they choose.
He said male educators historically have had more flexibility than women to pursue advanced degrees and work longer hours — which principal positions typically require.