New Professional Standards for Educational Leaders Finally Here


New Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

After a few years in the making and two rounds of public comment, the new professional standards for educational leaders at the school level (principals, associate principals and other district leaders) are finally here. They look to be comprehensive, forward-looking and responsive to prior criticisms that they did not focus enough on ethics, social justice,  equity, and instructional leadership.

They ten standards encompass what school leaders should be able to do and should know: 1. Mission, Vision, and Core Values 2. Ethics and Professional Norms 3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness 4. Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 5. Community of Care and Support for Students 6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel 7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff 8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community 9. Operations and Management 10. School Improvement.

These areas are interdependent elements and represent the qualities and values that leaders must possess to support excellent teaching and student learning. An emphasis on principals being masterful at managing first and second order change is a needed addition and was lacking in prior standards.

It is my hope that administrator preparation programs will take note of these new standards as they adjust their programs and focus to meet the increasingly complex and ever-changing landscape of school administration.