Hiring Strong Leaders: Race to the Top Resources
Implementation and Support Unit (ISU)

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As with principal preparation, most States exert significant control over who can be licensed to become a principal and stay a principal in places where re-licensure is part of the system. Many States are moving to change licensure requirements so that they are more in sync with new evaluation systems and with leadership competencies they define.

Most of the Race to The Top States have developed more rigorous requirements that incorporate evidence from principals' performance and evaluations. A handful of States also are tying re-licensure to effectiveness and revoking the licenses of ineffective principals.

How States Are Using This Policy and Practice Lever

  • As part of a broader educator effectiveness initiative undertaken with The New Teacher Project, Colorado is considering two new types of licensure for principals. The State would require that both existing and newly licensed principals demonstrate effectiveness to obtain and retain their five-year professional licenses. New principals with initial licenses will still be eligible for their professional license after three years and veteran principals with professional licenses after five. However, those administrators with ineffective ratings for two or more years will not be renewed.

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, 545K].

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Last Modified: 07/24/2013