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Defining and Measuring Leadership

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Guidelines written in 1996 by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers, are a common thread running through new assessments for school administrators. For more information, go to
The standards say that a school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by:
  • Facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the local community;
  • Advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth;
  • Ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment;
  • Collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources;
  • Acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner; and
  • Understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.
The following tests incorporate the standards:
School Leaders Licensure Assessment
To license school principal candidates
First administered: 1998
States using it: Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
School Superintendent Assessment
To license beginning-superintendent candidates
First administered: Oct. 21, 2000
State using it: Missouri
School Leader Portfolio Assessment
To renew credentials for principals or for general professional development
First administered: Planned for 2002
States scheduled for pilot test: Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio

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