Leaders, Character, and Policy
In the same way that workers do not quit workplaces so much as they quit a boss, teachers are influenced by the administrators in their building. District administrators are influential primarily in how they affect building administrators. Policy decisions on the state and federal level are most influential to the extent that they influence the behavior of actual educators in actual leadership positions.
Put another way, a sudden implementation of actual good education policies by state and federal governments (boy, what a dream that is) would not suddenly transform a bad building principal who makes staff miserable into a great principal with a happy staff.
In fact, a good principal, given the chance by her superintendent, can seriously blunt the impact of bad policy choices. In Florida, a state that is a champion producer of bad education policy, there are schools where principals actually find reasonable, humane, decent solutions to problems created by stupid policies.
A good manager in any business or institution really has just one job-- to create conditions in which her people can do their best work. If it's raining, a good manager is out there holding an umbrella over the front-line worker; not yelling at that worker for being wet.
It's important to have an administrator who has classroom experience, who knows the regulations, who has a broad understanding of education, and all the other things CURMUDGUCATION: Leaders, Character, and Policy: