School & District Management

Major Revisions Underway for School Leaders’ Standards

By Denisa R. Superville — July 08, 2014 3 min read

Model standards used nationwide to guide, prepare, and evaluate school leaders—including principals, their supervisors, and superintendents—are expected to be revised and re-released this fall. The aim is to reflect the ways in which those jobs have changed in the past decade and to clarify roles, responsibilities, and expectations within a markedly different environment.

The latest Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium, or ISLLC, standards—last updated in 2008—are expected to be released in October.

In the months that follow, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, the groups leading the revision efforts, will also release revised National Educational Leadership Preparation, or NELP, standards, and new model standards for principal supervisors, who coach, evaluate, and provide other support to principals.

The revision of the ISLLC and NELP standards and the issuance of the first-ever national model standards for principal supervisors come at a critical time. Principals have had to adjust to a multitude of changes—in expectations, in job descriptions, and in performance benchmarks—resulting from federal and state policy initiatives.

Curricula have also changed to reflect a keener focus on college and career readiness and an alignment with the Common Core State Standards or similar standards in states that have not implemented or have dropped the common core.

In addition, a growing body of research on educational leadership is painting a clearer picture of the relationship between leader quality and student outcomes.

‘Common Understanding’

“The demands on school leaders have never been greater,” Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers, said in a statement last month announcing the “refresh” of the standards. “To meet these new challenges, talented principals are essential.”

“The standards foster a common understanding of what education leaders’ jobs entail,” he added.

The model standards are voluntary, but they are used in preparation programs for educational leaders by states, districts, universities, and nonprofit organizations. The standards show the “leadership skills and knowledge effective school leaders need in order to influence teaching and student learning,” according to the sponsoring organizations.

They also lay out the roles and responsibilities of those leaders, help shape how they are prepared for their positions, and outline the criteria on which they are to be evaluated.

More Outreach

The ISLLC “footprint” will be similar to earlier models, said Dick Flanary, the deputy executive director for programs at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, in Reston, Va., who is serving on a committee working on standards for the Educational Leadership Constituent Council, or ILCC.

This round of revisions, however, is likely to incorporate a stronger community-engagement component, including efforts to get hard-to-reach parents involved, he said.

“I am seeing a whole lot more around the collaborative nature of school leadership,” Mr. Flanary said, “and impacting teachers’ practices, and engaging communities as learning partners.”

The Wallace Foundation donated $1 million over two years to finance the standards overhaul. (The Wallace Foundation also helps support coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts education in Education Week.)

For the first time, the standards will detail the skills that principal supervisors should demonstrate. As a group, principal supervisors have been coming under intense scrutiny, primarily because of the lack of uniformity across districts and the workload that some must juggle. In some districts, principal supervisors can be superintendents; in others, regional school officers; and in others, former principals.

The public will have the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions on a draft of the standards due for release this summer, said Janice Poda, the strategic-initiative director for the education workforce at the CCSSO.

“This is an important body of work,” she said of the standards revision, “and the more transparency and input that we have, the better the standards would be.”

A version of this article appeared in the July 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as Major Revisions Underway for School Leaders’ Standards

Events

School & District Management Live Event EdWeek Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Most Schools Offer at Least Some In-Person Classes, According to Feds' Latest Count
A majority of 4th and 8th graders had at least some in-person schooling by March, but inequities persisted.
3 min read
Image shows empty desks in a classroom.
Chris Ryan/OJO Images
School & District Management Opinion Education Researchers Should Think More About Educators: Notes From AERA
Steve Rees, founder of School Wise Press, posits AERA reflects a community of researchers too focused on what they find interesting.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School & District Management What the Research Says High Costs, Outdated Infrastructure Hinder Districts' Air-Quality Efforts
A national survey finds the pandemic has led districts to update schools' ventilation systems, but their options are limited.
3 min read
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening on Aug. 26, 2020, in New York.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, checks the movement of a window inside a classroom at Bronx Collaborative High School, during a visit to review health safeguards in advance of schools reopening earlier this school year.
Bebeto Matthews/AP
School & District Management Districts Are Spending Millions on ‘Unproven’ Air Purifiers
Schools are buying technology that academic air-quality experts warn can lull them into a false sense of security or even harm kids.
Lauren Weber, Kaiser Health News & Christina Jewett, Kaiser Health News
13 min read
A student listens to a presentation in Health class at Windsor Locks High School in Windsor Locks, Conn. on March 18, 2021.
A student listens to a presentation in health class at Windsor Locks High School in Windsor Locks, Conn.
Jessica Hill/AP