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Release of Standards for Principals and School Leaders Is Delayed

New standards for school leaders, which were expected to be released this spring, will be delayed until the summer as the Council of Chief State School Officers works to incorporate feedback from educators and the public.

A draft of those standards, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards—or ISLLC—was released last September for a four-week comment period to allow the public to weigh in.  

Those comments, along with the results of focus groups at the CCSSO's State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness summit in Atlanta, Ga., last month, led the group to push back the planned release, said Melissa McGrath, a spokeswoman for the Council of Chief State School Officers.

"We strongly believe it is better to take the necessary amount of time and publish high-quality standards than rush the process," McGrath said in an email. "After the feedback we received during the initial public comment period, we decided to get more in-depth feedback through focus groups as well as a second public comment period. This process takes time."

Last year's revisions marked the first time the standards had been updated since 2008, and they heavily emphasized instructional leadership, a focus on the social aspects of learning, community engagement, and equity and cultural responsiveness.

The CCSSO and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, the two groups behind the revisions, said last year that the standards were being "refreshed" to reflect the many ways in which the principals' job had changed since that last update and the new responsibilities with which principals are now tasked as a result of changes in federal and state policies. 

The standards are used to inform school leaders' evaluations, preparation programs, and professional development courses, among others.

Public comments last year indicated that educators wanted deeper revisions to the draft. Some suggested that there were too many standards—they had increased from six to 11—and that others were redundant.

"Overall, the initial feedback urged the committee to set policy standards that were aligned with what transformational leaders in public schools would need to do to meet higher expectations," McGrath said. "This required us to take a second look and incorporate the feedback we received into a new draft."

The public will have a second opportunity to comment on a new draft this month or early June. The group is hoping to have the final set of standards ready this summer. 

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