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Developing and Supporting School-Ready Leaders

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) believes that teachers and school leaders are key to implementing the changes we need in public education to ensure that students are engaged in learning at high levels and graduate from high school college- and career-ready. Through CCSSO's State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE), our long term partnership with The Wallace Foundation, and the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders (formerly the TQ Center), we are re-conceptualizing the ways school leaders who directly impact teaching and learning are prepared, recruited, inducted into the profession, developed, evaluated, and supported.  CCSSO's goal is to assist states in creating and implementing aligned, coherent, and comprehensive state systems of educator effectiveness that are based on high standards of performance, are accountable for results, and support, develop, and reward educators across the career continuum.

Since 2000, the Council of Chief State School Officers has worked in partnership with The Wallace Foundation on supporting the differentiated and shared roles, responsibilities, and authority that our education leaders play in the 21st century learning context and improving the system that supports this new and collaborative type of work.

Chief state school officers mobilize key stakeholders to implement effective strategies and conditions for leadership excellence in their communities and states. We believe engaging stakeholders at the state, district, and school level is critical to ensuring sound policy development and effective implementation.

The generous funds from The Wallace Foundation has enabled CCSSO to

  • Work directly with a network of states and districts
  • Provide technical assistance to states
  • Lead a national consortium of organizations working in the area of education leadership
  • Form strong learning communities with states, districts, and the research community
  • Share the latest information in the field
  • Connect this to our former ISLLC standards work an our teacher quality initiative

Below you will find links to current research, best practice, policy, and resources pertaining to leadership effectiveness.  


CCSSO's State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) engages cross-state action on key education workforce issues: Here

The Wallace Foundation's Knowledge Center contains more than 200 research reports on such topics as school leadership, expanded and summer learning, after school and arts education.  They are available free of charge: Wallace Knowledge Center

The Center for Great Teachers and Leaders supports states in their efforts to ensure that students have access to great teachers and leaders: Here

Leadership Standards

2014 Draft ISLLC Standards for School Leaders

Update on the Refreshed ISLLC Standards

CCSSO appreciates the feedback that we have received on the DRAFT ISLLC Standards that were released for public comment. We are using the comments received and other feedback to continue to strengthen the standards, ensure that they are transformational, assist states with policies that support education leaders, and inform today's education leaders about what they need to know and be able to do to be successful.  We anticipate releasing the 2015 ISLLC Standards at the State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness Summit in April. Thank you for your patience as we work to update the standards. For additional information, please contact Kathleen Paliokas at

  • Click here to review the 2014 Draft ISLLC Standards for School Leaders.
  • Click here to listen to a podcast on the background of the work to refresh the ISLLC Standards for School Leaders.

2008 ISLLC Standards:  Click Here
CCSSO Performance Expectations and Indicators for School Leaders: Click Here

Teacher Leadership Standards: Click Here

Effective Leadership - Key Leadership Research and Reports

Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning

The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training 

The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching

 "Enhancing Capacity for Standards-based Leadership Evaluation: State and District Roles" - This report addresses important dimensions of the educational leadership career pipeline that ensure effective evaluation.