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  • Interstate SchoolLeaders Licensure


    Standards ForSchool Leaders

    C O U N C I L O F C H I E F S T A T E S C H O O L O F F I C E R S

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    The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nationwide, nonprofit organizationcomposed of the public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary educationin the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and fiveextra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO seeks its members consensus on major educational issues andexpresses their view to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and thepublic. Through its structure of standing and special committees, the Council responds to a broadrange of concerns about education and provides leadership on major education issues.

    The State Education Assessment Center is a permanent, central part of the Council of Chief StateSchool Officers. This Center was established through a resolution by membership of CCSSO in1984.


    Henry R. Marockie (West Virginia), President

    Wilmer S. Cody (Kentucky), President-Elect

    Robert E. Bartman (Missouri), Vice President

    Gordon M. Ambach, Executive Director

    Wayne Martin, Director, State Education Assessment Center

    Neil Shipman, Director, Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium

    Joseph Murphy, Chairman, Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium

    Copies of this document may be ordered for $10.00 per copy from:

    Council of Chief State School Officers

    Attn: Publications

    One Massachusetts Avenue, NW

    Suite 700

    Washington, DC 20001-1431

    Phone: 202-336-7016

    Fax: 202-408-8072

    Copyright 1996 by the Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, DC

    All rights reserved with the exception of reproduction for educational purposes.

    ISBN No. 1-884037-28-3





    S C H O OL





    C O U N C IL

    Interstate SchoolLeaders Licensure


    Standards For School Leaders

    Council of Chief State School OfficersState Education Assessment Center

    Supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts

    Adopted by Full ConsortiumNovember 2, 1996

    C O U N C I L O F C H I E F S T A T E S C H O O L O F F I C E R S

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    Dear Colleague:

    For the past two years, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), a programof the Council of Chief State School Officers, has been at work crafting model standards for schoolleaders. Forged from research on productive educational leadership and the wisdom of colleagues,the standards were drafted by personnel from 24 state education agencies and representatives fromvarious professional associations. The standards present a common core of knowledge, dispositions,and performances that will help link leadership more forcefully to productive schools and enhancededucational outcomes. Although developed to serve a different purpose, the standards were designedto be compatible with the new National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)Curriculum Guidelines for school administration as well as with the major national reports onreinventing leadership for tomorrows schools. As such, they represent another part of a concertedeffort to enhance the skills of school leaders and to couple leadership with effective educational pro-cesses and valued outcomes.

    One intent of the document is to stimulate vigorous thought and dialogue about quality educa-tional leadership among stakeholders in the area of school administration. A second intent is toprovide raw material that will help stakeholders across the education landscape (e.g., state agencies,professional associations, institutions of higher education) enhance the quality of educational lead-ership throughout the nations schools. Our work is offered, therefore, with these two goals in mind.

    It is the desire of the Consortium to raise the bar for the practice of school leadership. Thus thestandards and indicators reflect the magnitude of both the importance and the responsibility of ef-fective school leaders.

    We encourage you to heavily use this document circulate it widely to members of the publicand the profession as well as to the policy-making community. It is through this shared vision ofeducation that school leaders will be successful and that our children will be assured of the educa-tion they will need to carry out the responsibilities of the future.


    Neil Shipman Joseph MurphyDirector, ISLLC Chair, ISLLC

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    Over the past quarter-century, significantchanges have been reshaping our nation. At thesame time, new viewpoints have redefined thestruggle to restructure education for the 21stcentury. From these two foundations, educatorsand policy makers have launched many help-ful initiatives to redefine the roles of formalschool leaders. In this document, you see theresults of one of these efforts the work of theInterstate School Leaders Licensure Consor-tium (ISLLC) to establish common standardsfor school leaders. In this report, we describe theportrait of leadership and the understanding ofsociety and education that guided the work ofthe ISLLC team. We also provide an overviewof ISLLC activity, describing the process weused to develop the standards and discussingcentral issues embedded in that process. Finally,we present the ISLLC standards and indicators.

    Redesigning Leadership

    The model of leadership standards one devel-ops depends a good deal on how the design is-sue is framed. The Consortium tackled thedesign strategy in two ways. First, we reliedheavily on the research on the linkages betweeneducational leadership and productive schools,especially in terms of outcomes for children andyouth. Second, we sought out significant trendsin society and education that hold implicationsfor emerging views of leadership and sub-sequently for the standards that give meaningto those new perspectives on leadership.

    An Understanding of Effective Leadership

    Formal leadership in schools and school dis-tricts is a complex, multi-faceted task. TheISLLC standards honor that reality. At the sametime, they acknowledge that effective leaders

    often espouse different patterns of beliefs andact differently from the norm in the profession.Effective school leaders are strong educators,anchoring their work on central issues of learn-ing and teaching and school improvement.They are moral agents and social advocates forthe children and the communities they serve.Finally, they make strong connections withother people, valuing and caring for others asindividuals and as members of the educationalcommunity.

    The Changing Nature of Society

    Looking to the larger society that envelopesschooling, the Consortium identified a hand-ful of powerful dynamics that will likely shapethe future of education and, perforce, the typesof leadership required for tomorrows schools.To begin with, our vision of education is influ-enced by the knowledge that the social fabricof society is changing, often in dramatic ways.On the one hand, the pattern of the fabric isbeing rewoven. In particular, we are becominga more diverse society racially, linguisticallyand culturally. On the other hand, the socialfabric is unraveling for many children andtheir families. Poverty is increasing. Indexes ofphysical, mental, and moral well-being aredeclining. The stock of social capital is decreas-ing as well.

    The perspective of the Consortium on school-ing and leadership is also colored by the knowl-edge that the economic foundations of societyare being recast as well. The shift to a post-industrial society, the advance of the global mar-ketplace, the increasing reliance on technology,and a growing infatuation with market-basedsolutions to social needs pose significant newchallenges for education. We believe that thesechallenges will require new types of leadershipin schools.

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    An Evolving Model of Schooling

    Turning to schooling itself, Consortium mem-bers distilled three central changes, all of whichaugur for a redefined portfolio of leadershipskills for school administrators. On one level, weare seeing a renewed struggle to redefine learn-ing and teaching to more successfully challengeand engage all youngsters in the education pro-cess. Educators are rethinking long-prevailingviews of knowledge, intelligence, assessment andinstruction. On a second level, we are hearingstrong rumblings that community-focused andcaring-centered conceptions of schooling willincreasingly compete for legitimacy with moreestablished notions of school organizations as hi-erarchies and bureaucracies. Finally, stakehold-ers external to the school building parents,interested members of the corporate sector andleaders in the community will increasinglyplay significantly enhanced roles in education.

    ISLLC Initiative

    The Consortiums initiative builds on researchabout skillful stewardship by school administra-tors and emerging perspectives about society andeducation. At one level, our work is a continua-tion of a centurys quest to develop a deeper andmore productive understanding of school lead-ership. At the same time, however, primarily be-cause of the fundamental nature of the shift froman industrial to an information society, our workrepresents one of the two or three major transi-tion points in that voyage.

    The Consortium is not alone in its attempt t