Principal Candidate Pool
The NYC Department of Education’s Principal Candidate Pool positively impacts student achievement by ensuring that only outstanding, qualified leaders are eligible to become school principals. In order to apply for principal positions, candidates first must gain entry to the Pool. The Principal Candidate Pool is designed to:
- Provide clear and high system-wide standards for principal selection
- Ensure a consistent, fair, objective and rigorous process
- Provide transparency and visibility into the selection process and leadership pipeline
• Who We Look For
• Step 1: Eligibility Requirements
• Step 2: How to Apply
• Step 3: Selection Process
• Step 4: Interpret Your Principal Candidate Pool Candidate Report
• Submit an Appeal
• Nominate an Outstanding School Leader
• Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Who We Look For
The Department of Education seeks outstanding, qualified educators to become school principals. The Principal Candidate Pool selection process discerns candidates’ readiness for the principalship and proficiency in the DOE’s five School Leadership Competencies:
- Personal Leadership – Foster a culture of excellence through personal leadership
- Data – Use data to set high learning goals and increase student achievement
- Curriculum & Instruction – Leverage deep knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to improve student learning
- Staff & Community – Develop staff, share school leadership, and build strong school communities
- Resources & Operations – Manage resources and operations to improve student learning
Assess your strengths and growth areas using the NYC DOE School Leadership Competency Continuum.
Step 1: Eligibility Requirements
All applicants for the Principal Candidate Pool are required to have a New York State school leader license (e.g. SBL, SAS, or SDA) and a principal Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The evaluation process will be delayed if an applicant does not possess state and local certification. We recommend all candidates apply and acquire these certifications prior to applying to the Pool.
Step 2: How to Apply
In order to apply, applicants submit an online application. The updated application includes:
- Two essays that give candidates an opportunity to share their experiences leading a group of adults and impacting student achievement
- Work history and accomplishment record (in place of a resume)
- Educational and background information
- Names and contact information for 3 professional references, including at least 1 current or recent direct supervisor
Please note: For applicants who are currently employed with the DOE, the Division of Human Resources and Talent will contact your current supervisor.
Review a sample application or apply. All applications must be submitted online. There is no application deadline for the Principal Candidate Pool. Applications are accepted year-round.
Step 3: Selection Process
After submitting the online application, applicants will be invited to an in-person evaluation session where candidates will be assessed on their proficiency in the DOE’s five School Leadership Competencies. Evaluations sessions are held throughout the calendar year, typically in the evenings. All evaluation sessions are held at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn Heights.
The pool process ensures that selection activities reflect the current principal role in NYC and gives candidates opportunities to demonstrate individual thinking and skills through one-on-one and group activities. The Principal Candidate Pool in-person evaluation sessions include 4 different activities:
- Un-moderated Group Discussion based on a challenge
- Case Study Individual Interview – review a school case study, including the school’s budget and NYC accountability data, distributed in advance
- Instructional Analysis Individual Interview – based on viewing a classroom video of teaching
- In-Box – respond to 3 scenarios in principal’s in-box
(The DOE updated the Principal Candidate Pool process. The updated application launched in November 2010 and updated evaluation sessions began in December.)
Policy to reschedule in-person evaluation sessions:
Candidates are invited to in-person evaluation sessions based on their application date and must respond by the deadline stated in the invitation. If an applicant cannot attend the selected session, s/he will be rescheduled based on availability, with preference given to first-time invitees. If an applicant confirms via RSVP and then cancels after receiving the case study materials, s/he will not be rescheduled for at least 30 days to ensure s/he is assigned a different case study for the next session.
Consequence for no-shows to scheduled evaluation sessions:
If an applicant fails to show up for their scheduled Pool session without contacting the Division of Human Resources and Talent at least an hour prior to the session, then s/he will not be rescheduled for at least 60 days from the date of the missed appointment. (Exemptions granted for emergency situations.)
Step 4: Interpret Your Principal Candidate Pool Candidate Report
All Principal Candidate Pool applicants receive a Candidate Report upon completion of the evaluation process. When Pool members apply for principal vacancies, their candidate report and application will be shared with the hiring manager. For help understanding your report for the current Pool process, please review the sample Principal Candidate Pool Candidate Report. Please note that we are unable to provide additional feedback on your report or application decisions.
Submit an Appeal
If you applied and were not accepted into the Principal Candidate Pool, you may appeal the decision or reapply to the Pool at a later date.
Do you know someone who would make an excellent school principal?
Nominate outstanding candidates by completing our principal candidate nomination form
. Please note that nominations do not impact the selection process, but they do ensure that candidates learn about the opportunity to apply to the Principal Candidate Pool.
The NYC Department of Education is committed to diversity and inclusion. To read our Diversity and Inclusion Policy, please visit our website here.
The NYC Department of Education is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 923, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit
the OEO website.