The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has released new standards that provide a clear, practical definition of what the supervisors of school principals should know and be able to do to improve the effectiveness of principals.
With support from The Wallace Foundation, a team of educators from across the nation has spent more than a year developing these standards for a position long focused on bureaucratic compliance but now increasingly becoming critical to developing outstanding school principals who can improve teaching and learning.
The eight 2015 Model Principal Supervisor Professional Standards are the first-ever standards developed for supervisors of school principals and are voluntary. They are designed for state education agencies and local school districts to help recruit, select, support, and evaluate supervisors of principals. States and districts likely will adapt them to local needs.
While research has long shown that school principals influence student achievement, the work of their supervisors is a relatively new area of study. A recent report by the Council of the Great City Schools highlighted many challenges with the position. Nationwide, there is no consistency across school districts about the role. Job descriptions and titles vary. Some districts split the work of a principal supervisor among several people, while other districts appoint a single administrator. All too often, principal supervisors lack the training and support to help principals build their capacity as instructional leaders. And, while most principal supervisors are former principals who know how to run a school, they aren’t necessarily prepared to coach principals.
The new principal supervisor standards note that, with the right training and support, principal supervisors can assess and evaluate principals’ current leadership practices and identify professional learning opportunities likely to improve the quality of teaching, learning, and student achievement. They also can ensure that the principals’ work and vision aligns with district goals, and that the central office effectively supports school leaders, schools, and student success.
The eight standards cover a range of topics and include actions principal supervisors can take to meet each standard. The standards cover how supervisors can help individual principals grow as instructional leaders, how to engage principals in evaluations, and how to help principals foster an environment that supports students’ cultural diversity and learning needs. Another standard says principal supervisors should advocate for the equitable distribution of district resources to meet students’ diverse needs. The standards also describe how principal supervisors should approach their own professional development.
To read the standards go to: http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2015/2015PrincipalSupervisorStandardsFinal1272015.pdf