LIVE @ ISTE 2024: Exclusive Coverage

Standards for supervisors of school principals aim to change the position from compliance officer to coach

school-principalsEight new standards for supervisors of school principals, covering topics such as instructional leadership and meeting the needs of diverse learners, aim to guide supervisors as they help those principals improve their effectiveness in an evolving role.

The standards are supported by The Wallace Foundation and were released by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). A team of educators from across the nation spent more than a year developing the 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 group says the eight 2015 Model Principal Supervisor Professional Standards are the first-ever standards developed for supervisors of school principals and are voluntary.

The standards 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.

Next: The need to support the evolving role of the school principal

Traditionally, those who supervise principals – typically central office managers within a school district – have focused on ensuring that school principals comply with local policies and state regulations. That compliance role is changing as recent research suggests that principal supervisors can positively affect student results by helping principals grow as instructional leaders.

“These new standards bring much-needed clarity to the role of principal supervisors,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. “The standards will enable states and districts to elevate the role of supervisors so they can focus on helping principals improve instruction, learning and ultimately student achievement.”

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.

“Having principal supervisors spend significant time in schools coaching principals is a relatively new concept for most school districts,” said MaryAnn Jobe, director of leadership development for AASA, The School Superintendents Association. “As a result, districts don’t yet have the necessary structures in place to support that type of work. It will take some time for districts to redesign the role of principal supervisors so they are spending most of their time building principals’ capacity.”

The standards are grounded in the refreshed standards for school leaders, known as the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, which were finalized in late November. Those standards, formerly known as the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), can be found here. The Wallace Foundation provided grants to CCSSO for the leadership standards work.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at submissions@eschoolmedia.com.

New Resource Center
Explore the latest information we’ve curated to help educators understand and embrace the ever-evolving science of reading.
Get Free Access Today!

"*" indicates required fields

Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Email Newsletters:

By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.