Defining Strong Leaders: Race to the Top Resources
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The educational landscape is shifting in marked ways. College- and career-ready standards (CCRS) are higher and more precise than many State standards that preceded them. More robust and rigorous evaluation frameworks raise the bar for teaching students, leading schools, and assessing and developing educators. School turnaround models demand swift and effective transformation of historically challenged schools.

To meet these expectations, instructional leaders must focus on the skills and behaviors that have proven to be effective and that support these reforms. The perspectives, actions and communication needed to be effective often are referred to as competencies [PDF, 369K]. By clarifying what instructional leaders should know and do, a State's competency model can align efforts around preparation, licensure and performance management in much the same way CCRS serve as the foundation for efforts to improve teaching and learning. Well articulated competencies should form the foundation for the other policy and practice levers a State uses.

How States Are Using This Policy and Practice Lever

  • In Louisiana, the new Compass Leader Rubric captures the State's view of core competencies that drive student success. The rubric closely follows one for the State's teachers. The Compass rubric covers three domains: Leaders must set ambitious, data-driven goals and a vision for achievement for their school in a way that engages all stakeholders; Leaders must foster a culture of professionalism among teachers that encourages collaboration and provides opportunities for professional growth; and Leaders must regularly observe teachers and provide actionable evaluations and feedback.

The Reform Support Network developed this tool [PDF, 2.9M] to help States and others explore this policy and practice lever. Learn more about how others have considered this topic here [PDF, 676K].

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Last Modified: 07/24/2013