With support from The Wallace Foundation, Vanderbilt University developed a school leadership assessment unique in focusing exclusively on instructional leadership and examining both principals and leadership teams. This paper describes the structure of the assessment, presents the research behind it and explains how it aligns with the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards.

Rather than focusing on management skills, knowledge or values, the assessment homes in on leadership behaviors that research has shown lead to higher student achievement. They fall under six general categories: planning, implementing, supporting, advocating, communicating and monitoring. The paper describes how each type of behavior advances six core components of effective schools. These include a rigorous curriculum for all students in core academic subjects, high-quality instruction that helps students achieve ambitious academic and social learning goals, and family and community support to reach those goals.

 Points of Interest

  • The best principals support teachers with guidance to refine their skills, a listening ear for their concerns, time and space to learn from each other, and a voice in school decisions.
    Strong #principals offer teachers: new ideas, listening ear, time to learn from one another, voice in decisions.
  • Good principals advocate for students. They ensure that instruction is rigorous for all and honors cultural diversity. Outside of the building, they guide youth programs to serve children with diverse backgrounds and needs.
    Good #principals advocate for students with special needs/diverse backgrounds in and out of #school. #education
  • Effective school leaders monitor classroom instruction and the procedures put in place to improve it, such as teachers' use of cooperative planning time and the quality of professional development.