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Press Release

Monday, November 23, 2015

CCSSO and National Policy Board Release New, Final Standards for Educational Leaders

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

Washington, D.C. (November 23, 2015) - The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) today released new, final refreshed standards for educational leaders.

The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, formerly known as Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, aim to ensure district and school leaders are able to improve student achievement and meet new, higher expectations. A copy of the final standards can be found here.

CCSSO worked closely with other members of NPBEA for more than a year to refresh the standards, which were first published in 1996 and last updated in 2008. Since June 2014, the two groups have held two public comment periods, conducted numerous focus groups and established a 13-member working group to synthesize this feedback from the field and finalize the standards. NPBEA approved the final standards in October.

"These standards reflect what school leaders face each and every day, challenges that have changed dramatically since the first release of the standards 20 years ago. The standards now outline what it takes to be an instructional leader and an effective building manager in today's schools, and I'm pleased about this strong final product," said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO.

The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders released today have been recast with a stronger, clearer emphasis on students and student learning. The 10 standards describe foundational principles of leadership that can help to make sure every child is well-educated and prepared for the 21st century, with a strong emphasis on educational equity. The updated standards also elevate areas of educational leader work that were once not well understood or deemed less relevant but have since been shown to contribute to student learning, such as managing change within schools and creating cultures of continuous improvement. In addition, one standard describes the ethical obligations of district and school leaders.

These new standards will help challenge the profession, professional associations, policy makers, institutions of higher education, and other organizations that support educational leaders and their development to move beyond established practices and systems and strive for a better future.

The professional standards are voluntary. States, districts, schools and university and nonprofit leadership preparation programs use them to guide preparation, practice, support and evaluations for district and school leaders, including superintendents, principals, assistant principals and teacher leaders. Most states adapt them to meet local needs.

"The 2015 standards take a huge stride toward clarifying the administrator's role and connecting that role directly to student learning," said JoAnn D. Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and NPBEA chair. "A highly collaborative and inclusive process resulted in a high-quality set of standards that can potentially transform principal preparation and evaluation programs across the country."

The standards were refined after two extensive rounds of public input, including responses from more than 1,000 principals and superintendents, that gathered perspectives from across the field. A number of experts also made valuable contributions to the project, including the co-chairs of the 13-member working group: Beverly Hutton, deputy executive director of programs/services at NASSP, and Mark Smylie, professor emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago, and visiting professor of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.

The Wallace Foundation provided $1 million in support to CCSSO over two years for the leadership standards work. For more information on CCSSO's work to develop and support school leaders, visit CCSSO's website

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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.

The National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) is a national consortium of major stakeholders in educational leadership and policy. The purpose of the Board is to provide a forum for collaborative actions by organizations interested in the advancement of school and school-system leadership. They serve as organizations dedicated to work together to represent the educational administration profession and improve the preparation and practice of educational leaders at all levels. The NPBEA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation.