School & District Management

New Professional Standards For Educational Leaders Are Released

By Denisa R. Superville — November 24, 2015 2 min read
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The Council of Chief State School Officers has released the long-awaited set of professional standards for educational leaders.

The model standards, which were released to the public on Monday, was approved last month by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. They had been more than a year in the making and had been subjected to two rounds of public comments.

The 10 standards describe what effective school leaders should be able to know and do to lead high-achieving staff, schools, and students in the 21st century. They deal with an effective principal’s role in hiring, school culture, equity, ethics, operations, and school vision and goals. According to the CCSSO, the standards are “forward-looking” and are based in both research and practice.

For example, the first standard, on “mission, vision, and core values,” says that effective education leaders should “develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education and academic success and well-being of each student.”

It then describes what an effective principal would do to accomplish those ends.

The other standards are:

  • Ethics and Professional Norms
  • Equity and Cultural Responsiveness
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Community of Care and Support for Students
  • Professional Capacity of School Personnel
  • Professional Community for Teachers and Staff
  • Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community
  • Operations and Management
  • School Improvement

The benchmarks were previously known as the ISLLC standards—for the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium—but the CCSSO said the name change more accurately reflected the document’s contents.

The professional standards apply to principals, assistant principals, and others in school-level leadership positions.

What’s new about the standards? Here’s an excerpt of the CCSSO’s answer to that question, which was included in the document:

“The standards recognize the central importance of human relationships not only in leadership work but in teaching and student learning. They stress the importance of both academic rigor and press as well as the support and care required for students to excel. The standards reflect a positive approach to leadership that is optimistic, emphasizes development and strengths, and focuses on human potential.

The 2015 Standards adopt a future-oriented perspective. While they are grounded in the present, they are aspirational, recognizing that the changing world in which educational leaders work today will continue to transform—and the demands and expectations for educational leaders along with it. The 2015 Standards envision those future challenges and opportunities so educational leaders can succeed in the future.”

The standards were first published in 1996 and last updated in 2008. The updates were funded by the Wallace Foundation, which helps support coverage of leadership and expanded learning time at Education Week.

You can dig into the standards and the domains here.

Image Source: Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.