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8 competencies for K-12 leadership


National roadmap targets leadership development with a focus on highlighted competencies

leadership-leadersEdFuel, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that helps K-12 leaders to develop and maximize their potential, has launched the Blueprint for Success initiative, which aims to address a looming talent deficit in K-12 system level leadership roles in education organizations around the country.

Blueprint for Success was unveiled at a presentation today by EdFuel CEO Jimmy Henderson and Chairman Kathleen deLaski at the NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) Summit 2015 in San Francisco.

“As many as 60 percent of system level leaders in education are planning to leave their organizations in the next three years,” said Henderson. “We believe that Blueprint for Success provides a nationally relevant foundation for an aligned, proactive approach to developing leaders in the sector and increasing retention in these critical roles.”

Next page: The eight leadership competency maps

The eight competency maps that comprise the Blueprint for Success initiative make it possible for organizations to visualize pathways and growth plans for talent in ways that help attract, develop and retain a much larger and more diverse pipeline of professionals in every aspect of K-12 education.

The competencies are development, finance, operations, talent, academics, advocacy, data, and strategic leadership.

“We’ve been so pleased by the level of national interest in forging this framework,” said deLaski. “It’s a recognition that the education sector is ready to grapple with talent pipelines as a lever for growing quality schools and changing outcomes for more students.”

Laura Clancy, Chief of Staff at Achievement First Public Charter Schools, echoed that sentiment in how she plans to introduce the work in her organization.

“We are excited to use these profiles to create career pathing tools by function and in improving our job descriptions to make them more accurate and consistent,” she said.

Developed in collaboration with the Broad Center, NewSchools Venture Fund, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, the Bridgespan Group and 40+ sector leaders, EdFuel’s Blueprint for Success includes seven functional competency maps (academics and instruction, advocacy, development, information and data, finance, operations, and talent) to show the knowledge, skills, and relationships necessary to manage school districts/networks. In addition to the functional competency maps, Blueprint for Success provides a separate map for cross-functional leadership skills. Each map articulates competencies at four distinct levels of seniority.

In unveiling the competency maps at NSVF Summit 2015, Henderson emphasized that Blueprint for Success is at the mid-point of a process that will soon lead to a set of recommendations for districts and school networks to recruit, develop, and retain both existing talent and “sector switchers,” resulting in many more leaders with the required competencies to drive success in their organizations.

The initiative was spurred by EdFuel’s release in May 2014 of Map the Gap, a national study that highlighted the pressing need for leadership development in the rapidly evolving K-12 education sector.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Laura Ascione

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