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Press Release

Thursday, September 07, 2017

CCSSO, JFF Release Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions for Learner-Centered Leaders

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (September 7, 2017) -- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Jobs for the Future (JFF) today released Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education, a resource that serves as a first step in identifying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions leaders must master in order to build and sustain learner-centered, personalized schools and learning environments.

This set of competencies describes and defines what leaders need to know and be able to do in order to create transformative, student centered-learning communities. Learner-centered refers to four specific practices that together show strong evidence of success in preparing students for college, careers and civic life:
·         Personalized learning
·         Competency-based education
·         Anytime/anywhere learning opportunities
·         Student ownership  

"CCSSO believes that by investing in leaders, states will improve outcomes for each and every student," said CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich. "This tool helps states understand the skills and qualities they need to cultivate in leaders to create dynamic, learner-centered communities."  

"If today's students are going to be able to meet the demands of our rapidly changing workplaces, then their learning environments need to transform now," says Rebecca E. Wolfe, JFF Associate Vice President and lead author of the document. "The Leadership Competencies help provide the blueprint for how education leaders can support educators, students, and learning communities to make those shifts collectively, boldly, and with a firm eye on equity."  

"Leadership teams who are navigating the complex terrain of a systemic organizational transformation will benefit from the framework and guiding questions of the Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education. The competencies are designed on the premise that today's leaders are shifting the system from an instructional-centered paradigm to a learner-centered paradigm. The competencies allow for the deep, contextual implementation of personalized learning practices that nurture powerful learners, prepared for a lifetime of learning," said Dr. Ryan Krohn, Director, The Institute for Personalized Learning.  

"We are in an exciting time in education as we begin to transform a system to meet the needs of our students in this rapidly changing world.  At the state level in Idaho, the Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education provides the opportunity to support our transformational leaders.  These competencies will empower our leaders to embrace change, build capacity, shift mindsets, and identify educators to travel with them on their journey to renovate a system where students are at the center.  Professional Learning Communities for our leaders now have a framework they can use to learn from as they build their capacity to facilitate the needed change," said Kelly Brady, Director of Mastery Education, Idaho Department of Education.  

These competencies are designed specifically for education leaders, including principals, assistant principals, headmasters, or school directors. A companion resource, Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-centered Teaching, focuses on the educators closest to and responsible for a group of students' learning process on a day-to-day basis.  

CCSSO and JFF convened local, state and national groups to recommend ways to use the Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education to advance the preparation, recruitment and development of school level leaders in learner-centered settings.  

According to Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education, successful leaders in personalized, learner-centered settings will start with the learner and equity at the center. The knowledge, skills and dispositions leaders need to create equitable, learner-centered environments span four domain:
·         Vision, Values, and Culture for personalized learning communities (leaders and vision)
·         Personal Skills, Mindsets, and Values (leaders and self)
·         Capacity Building for Innovation and Continuous Improvement (leaders and others)
·         Shared Responsibility and Structures for Continuous Improvement, Innovation, and assessment (leaders and systems)  

This publication builds on the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, which aim to ensure district and school leaders are able to improve student achievement and meet new, higher expectations.  

To learn more about the Leadership Competencies for Learner-Centered, Personalized Education, please join CCSSO and JFF for an informational webinar at 2 p.m. ET on Sept. 18. Please register here.       


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.