Principal & Program Administrator Standards-Based Benchmarks

Effective November 1, 2013 / Updated December 10, 2014

There are three levels of the career continuum (residency, professional, and career) for the principal and program administrator.

Definitions

Community stakeholders: Includes students, staff, families, and community members.

Cultural competence: Is the set of beliefs, practices, and behaviors that allows us to maintain and support appropriate, fair, and effective interactions with individuals from all ages, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, race/ethnicities, languages, cultures, and life circumstances. Includes knowledge of student cultural and linguistic histories and contexts, as well as family norms and values in different cultures; knowledge and skills in accessing community resources and community and parent outreach; and skills in adapting instruction to students’ experiences and identifying cultural contexts for individual students.

Culturally responsive: Practice that incorporates cultural elements in a way which reflect the school as a social system and dynamic relationship between teachers, families, and students for the purpose of increasing student achievement.

Diversity: Includes race, socioeconomic class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and language.

Equity pedagogy: Teaching strategies and classroom environments that help students from diverse racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups attain the knowledge and skills needed to function within and help create and perpetuate a just, humane, and democratic society (Banks & Banks, 2005).

Learning community: Includes students, staff, families, community members, community resources, program(s), school, and district.

Staff: All employees including teachers, education staff associates, paraprofessional, administrators, office workers, cafeteria workers, custodial workers, bus drivers, and all other district-based support personnel.

Standard One

Visionary Leadership: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by leading the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by school/program and community stakeholders.

Strand 1 – Advancing a school- or program-wide shared vision for learning.

            Residency

 

Articulate purposes and rationale for a site-specific vision for learning consistent with the district-wide vision. Demonstrate how schools develop an inclusive shared vision that promotes success for each student.

            Professional


Develop the vision with stakeholders at a specific school/program. Build vision to include consideration of site demographics, components of research-based instruction, student achievement and other relevant data, and to identify barriers and promote the success of all. Ensure the vision aligns with the broader district-wide vision.

 

Career Level

 

Continually review and restructure the vision to address changing circumstances based on relevant data, including student cultural histories and contexts. Guide others in furthering the vision. Enhance the vision to include cultural competence of the district and region.

 

Strand 2 – Putting the vision for learning into operation.

 

Residency

 

Identify objectives and strategies to implement a school vision. Analyze how systems are affected by a shared vision and suggests changes to an existing system. Demonstrate ability to develop school improvement plans that align structures, processes, and resources with a vision.

 

Professional

 

Use the vision to create a School/Program Improvement Plan that in collaboration with the district shapes education programs, systems, and resources. Use action plans and timelines to communicate the school/program vision to all stakeholders. Evaluate the effectiveness of the School/Program Improvement Plan in moving the school/program community toward the vision of promoting success of all students.

 

Career Level

 

Implement the vision across multiple stakeholder groups and settings. Use data to continually monitor and revise systems to reflect the vision. Solicit from and give feedback to other administrators to analyze the effectiveness of the school/program vision in shaping education programs, systems, and resources to positively impact student learning.

 

Strand 3 - Developing stewardship of the vision.

 

Residency

 

Demonstrate understanding of the leader’s role as keeper of the vision while establishing a means to involve stakeholders in keeping the vision. Evaluate how the vision serves the needs of students, staff and community. Demonstrate understanding of how to use the vision to facilitate effective communication, nurture and maintain trust, develop collaboration among stakeholders and celebrate efforts and achievement of the vision.

 

Professional

 

Accept responsibility as keeper of the vision. Communicate the vision through a variety of media. Model vision to all stakeholders, focusing priorities on student learning. Systematically engage stakeholders in carrying out the vision through an atmosphere of collaboration and vision ownership. Evaluate alignment between the vision and progress toward promoting success of all students within the learning community. Facilitate, guide, and celebrate progress toward the vision.

 

Career Level

 

Continually evaluate alignment between vision and progress toward promoting success of all students within the learning community. Expand base and empower stakeholders to participate in shaping education programs, systems, and resources to move the learning community toward the shared vision of promoting success of all students. Design a system of shared responsibility for renewing the vision, as well as acknowledging and celebrating progress toward the vision.

Standard Two

Instructional Improvement: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by leading through advocating, nurturing, and sustaining district/school/program cultures and coherent instructional programs that are conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.


Strand 1 – Advocating, nurturing, and sustaining an effective school/program culture.

Residency

 

Demonstrate understanding that student learning is the fundamental purpose of schools. Identify features of organizational cultures promoting student learning. Use a variety of skills and strategies to design systems that respect and support diverse cultural perspectives and customs in order to promote success of each student. Engage in the creation and/or implementation of a School Improvement Plan that supports a culture of continuous learning. Promote classroom communities based on acceptance, respect, and civility.

 

Professional

 

Identify the school/program specific culture within the broader context of the district wide culture. Create a School/Program Improvement Plan that utilizes skills and strategies to assure students and parents from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and language groups work together cooperatively to promote the success of all students. Use understanding of the school/program and district culture to analyze the ways current systems and programs, including technology, are affecting student learning.

 

Career Level

 

Empower the stakeholders to define, maintain, and monitor the ways in which the school/program specific culture is affecting student learning. Collaborate with other administrators to give and receive feedback on effectiveness of expectations, implementation, respect, and fairness in improving the overall systems and programs reflective of the school or program learning culture.

 

Strand 2 – Advocating, nurturing, and sustaining student learning.

 

Residency

 

Demonstrate understanding of how to engage and support each student in meaningful learning that is regularly assessed to improve instruction. Supervise instruction and knows how to use a continuous cycle of assessment to improve instruction and ensure that each student has equitable and sufficient opportunities to learn and to meet high standards. Work with staff to align curriculum, instruction and assessment with state and local learning goals. Manage learning systems to assure their responsiveness to students’ cultural, cognitive, and linguistic needs. Understand the Washington teacher and principal evaluation criteria, four-tiered performance rating system, and the preferred instructional and leadership frameworks used to describe the evaluation criteria including self-assessment, goal setting, and reflective practices; evidence gathering over time; classroom observation skills; bias training; rater agreement on the four-tiered system; use of student growth data and multiple measures of performance; evaluation conferencing; development of classroom teacher and principal support plans resulting from an evaluation; and use of an online tool to manage the collection of observation notes, teacher and principal-submitted materials, and other information related to the conduct of the evaluation.

 

Professional

 

Use state and locally adopted standards, research, assessment data, and district recommendations to help make district wide curriculum decisions as well as school/program specific curriculum decisions. Use classroom-­based assessment, district achievement data, state measures, and demographic data to identify the barriers to student learning and strategies to ensure that all students move towards meeting standards. Establish processes through which research-based, culturally responsive instructional strategies, and cycles of inquiry are implemented to improve instructional practice and student learning.

 

Career Level

 

Facilitate the understanding and implementation of research-based teaching and assessment along with equity pedagogy that empowers students to take ownership of and to monitor their learning processes in every classroom, every day. Build greater capacity for system support for student learning in collaboration with families, stakeholders, and district staff.

 

Strand 3 – Advocating, nurturing, and sustaining coherent, intentional professional development.

 

Residency

 

Use evidence of student learning to create professional development systems. Use a continuous cycle of analysis to create and monitor professional development systems that have a positive impact on student learning. Understand that professional development increases the instructional and leadership capacity of staff. Use district-wide and school improvement plans to support professional development, including the use of technology. Know processes for coaching staff, conducting staff evaluation, and for using a professional growth plan to improve student learning. Demonstrate understanding of how to build leadership capacity to improve student learning.

 

Professional

 

Use a continuous cycle of analysis to create and monitor professional development systems that have a positive impact on student learning. Take responsibility for supervising and coaching staff to ensure only effective educators and support staff are in the classroom. Support staffs' capacity to analyze student learning data in order to establish school/program goals and associated professional development. Use cycle of inquiry-identified area(s) of professional growth within the staff evaluation process.

 

Career Level

 

Facilitate systems that focus staff on reflection, collaboration, and peer mentorship to support successful professional development. Build staff leadership in creating and maintaining student-centered achievement goals. Learn from and with peers to gather and interpret data to build greater capacity for professional development support using resources from community stakeholders as well as state-funded initiatives.

Standard Three

Effective Management: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.


Strand 1 – Uses a continuous cycle of analysis to ensure efficient and effective systems.

 

Residency

 

Use a continuous and repeating cycle of analysis for evaluating the effectiveness of school programs, systems, and issues. The continuous cycle of analysis includes problem framing, data collection and interpretation, synthesis, use of data to outline options for action, implementing chosen action, and gathering evidence to check progress and to judge effectiveness.

 

Professional

 

Use the continuous cycle of analysis for evaluating multiple programs, systems, and school/program issues. Model and inspire others in the learning community to use the cycle of analysis to examine difficult school/program issues and to improve student learning.

 

Career Level

 

Create and sustain a culture of continuous analysis in every aspect of the learning community. Coach and mentor emerging staff, student, and community leaders. Collaborate with other administrators and education staff associates to use the continuous cycle of analysis to improve structures, procedures and resources to positively impact student learning through professional development, the family community, and community at large.

 

Strand 2 – Ensuring efficient and effective management of the organization.

 

Residency

 

Use organizational theory to create and support structures within a building that promote school safety, behavior management, and other site-specific issues. Demonstrate understanding of developmentally appropriate behavior expectations and discipline policies that are balanced with students’ emotional and personal needs. Assure that school policies and practices result in equitable treatment of each student.

 

Professional

 

Design and implement structures for effective and efficient operations including scheduling, classroom, and school- or program-wide progressive discipline, and other school/program specific issues specifically targeted to improve student learning opportunities. Create a School/Program Improvement Plan that provides for monitoring and supporting these structures. Monitor the effective implementation of the school/program safety plan.

 

Career Level


Align organizational elements of the school/program with the School/Program Improvement Plan ensuring an effective and positive learning environment. Develop a school- or program-wide student self-regulation program. Use data to adjust the effective implementation of the school/program safety plan. Seek feedback from and give to other administrators. Share organizational expertise with others and actively mentor other educational leaders.

 

Strand 3 – Ensuring efficient and effective management of the operations.

 

Residency

 

Demonstrate understanding of knowledge and skills necessary for effective building-wide operations, including, including awareness of legal and ethical issues, problem-framing and problem-solving, bargaining and other contractual agreements, and group process and decision-making.

 

Professional

 

Establish procedures to ensure compliance with legal issues, bargaining agreements, maintaining confidential information, and records retention requirements. Implement effective communication plans with all stakeholders. Extend the cycle of inquiry to management operations. Collaborate with other administrators to seek and give feedback to improve the effectiveness of management procedures system-wide. 

 

Career Level

 

Establish a culture where everyone accepts shared responsibility for management operations. Collaborate with all stakeholders to seek and give feedback to improve the effectiveness of management procedures system-wide.

 

Strand 4 – Ensuring management of the resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

 

Residency

 

Demonstrate understanding of procedures necessary for management and maintenance of a safe and orderly learning environment. Identify the responsibilities related to financial, human, and material resources as required by state law, Board policy, and employee contracts. Engage in the creation and/or implementation of plans to ensure responsible and equitable management of resources.

 

Professional

 

Manage and align school/program equipment and schedules to use human, technological, material, and fiscal resources responsibly. Collaborate with district staff and local educator preparation programs to determine workforce needs and focus educator and education staff associate development and recruitment efforts. Collect the relevant data needed to effectively monitor use of resources. Monitor procedures that assure the school/program facility is a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

 

Career Level

 

Maximize the use of human, fiscal, technological, and material resources based on data analysis and forecasting. Act creatively to support continuous school/program improvement in response to the changing environment. Collaborate with other administrators and stakeholders to increase and distribute available resources equitably for your school/program and district.

Standard Four

Inclusive Practice: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

            Strand 1 – Collaborating with families and community members.

Residency


Demonstrate understanding that family support affects student success in school. Demonstrate understanding that sustaining successful family partnerships is challenging, and knows the critical partnership issues that must be addressed, the barriers to success, and ways to overcome them. Demonstrate collaboration skills with diverse students and families in support of student academic performance.

 

Professional

 

View families as full partners in the education of their children. Identify the diverse family groups within the school/program community and actively invite them into the various roles families should play in their student's learning process, involve them in school/program decision-making, and utilize family resources for the benefit of student growth. Use a variety of culturally responsive means to communicate with families and stakeholders.

 

Career Level

 

Regularly seek information and respond to families' and stakeholders’ concerns, expectations, and needs. Validate differences in values, opinions, and views, acknowledging that families, stakeholders, and educators have the best interests of the children and community in mind, leading to common goals for providing learning opportunities for all students.

 

Strand 2 – Collaborating with and responding to diverse communities.

 

Residency

 

Recognize the diversity within the school and the district. Understands the complex characteristics of ethnic, racial, and cultural groups and the challenges faced by immigrant communities. Understand that knowledge is socially constructed and reflects the personal experiences and the social, political, and economic contexts in which students live and work. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of each student having opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities that are congruent with the academic and interpersonal goals of the school.

 

Professional


Ensure that the school/program is an inclusive learning community that develops mutual respect among students, staff, families, and all other stakeholders. Model mutual respect towards students, staff, families, and all other stakeholders. Ensure students are taught about stereotyping and other related biases that have negative effects on racial and ethnic relations; values shared by virtually all cultures, such as justice, equality, freedom, peace, compassion, and charity; and social skills that are needed to interact effectively with students from other racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Students are provided the opportunity to interact with students from different racial, ethnic, cultural, and language groups under conditions designed to promote acceptance of diversity.

 

Career Level

 

Lead staff in examining the personal, social, and cognitive consequences of policies and practices on equity in the schools/programs. Develop programs that promote mutual respect and understanding among students, staff, families, and all other stakeholders. Work to assure that policies encourage the use of research-based assessments appropriate for individual linguistic and cultural groups. Advocate development and recruitment of a racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse staff.

 

Strand 3 – Mobilizing community resources.

 

Residency

 

Recognize the importance of funding and distribution of resources to ensure that each student has equal opportunities to access learning. Engage in the creation and/or implementation of plans to obtain adequate resources, including technology. Investigates potential community resources appropriate to the plan.

 

Professional

 

Utilize funds and distribute resources, including technology, to ensure that all students have equal access to learning. Value resources of diverse community groups. Identify and nurture relationships with community leaders. Prioritize high visibility, active involvement, and regular communication, using technology, to facilitate the school/program and community serving one another as resources.

 

Career Level

 

Develop strategies to ensure that all schools/programs, regardless of their locations in the district, are funded equitably. Advocate state and district level officials to provide additional funding for schools/programs with low-income populations. Develop and maintain effective media relations. Establish mutually beneficial relations with businesses, higher education institutions, agencies, and community groups that support the implementation of the School/Program Improvement Plan.

Standard Five

Ethical Leadership: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.


Strand 1 – Using the continuous cycle of analysis for self-assessment of professional leadership.

            Residency


Understand and exemplify the standards, responsibilities, and indicators for the principal’s role in a democratic school. Create a professional growth plan, identifies needed growth, plans professional growth activities, and gathers evidence to document that professional growth leads to school improvement and increased student learning. Engage in self-analysis of own values, behaviors, and dispositions, including awareness of own ethnicity/culture as it relates to others.

 

Professional

 

Use the continuous cycle of analysis to assess personal progress and revise professional growth plan to include increasingly complex goals. Continually gather evidence that professional growth has led to increased student learning. Seek feedback from others about professional leadership and performance.

 

Career Level

 

Use the professional growth plan to collaborate with other professionals to identify and sustain needed professional growth. Coach and mentor emerging instructional leaders. Contribute to the advancement of the profession through sharing experience, advancing best practice, and extending learning beyond the ISLLC and Washington State standards.

 

Strand 2 – Acting with integrity, fairness, and courage in upholding high ethical standards.

 

Residency

 

Understand the career expectation for leading within legal, ethical, and moral frameworks. Articulate and use personal values and beliefs to guide actions. Treat people fairly, equitably, and with dignity.

 

Professional

 

Act responsibly within legal, ethical, and moral frameworks. Respond to moral dilemmas using personal values and beliefs to guide actions. Treat people fairly, equitably, and with respect and dignity.

 

Career Level

 

Serve as a role model of fairness, equity, and respect to the educational community and the community at large. Respond to moral dilemmas in a manner that inspires others to demonstrate integrity and exercise ethical behavior.

Standard Six

Socio-Political Context: A school or program administrator is an educational leader who has the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence to improve learning and achievement to ensure the success of each student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

            Strand 1 – Understanding the role of schools or programs in a democracy.

Residency


Demonstrate understanding of the role of education in renewing a democratic society and the leader’s responsibility in influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context. Advocate for equitable and inclusive policies that benefit children, families, and caregivers. Act to influence local, state, and national decisions affecting learning. Adapt leadership strategies to reflect emerging trends and initiatives.

 

Professional

 

Establish equitable systems within the school/program that value diversity and prepare citizens for participation in a democratic society. Support district efforts to ensure fairness throughout the school/program system. Participate actively in political and policy-making contexts at the local level (e.g., levy, community organizations, and PTSA within the district.)

 

Career Level

Promote student civic involvement which prepares them for active participation in a democratic and global society. Actively participate in influencing the quality of a democratic education beyond the local levy (e.g., state and federal policy and legislation, professional associations, share knowledge and experience through workshops and written work, or mentor fellow educators through a continuing dialogue around educational issues). Empower others to create school- or program-based accountability models using the continuous cycle of analysis that goes beyond state standards for improvement of student learning.


Performance Assessment: An approved preparation program for school or program administrators shall require that each candidate engage in an assessment process using the standards-based benchmarks approved by the professional educator standards board.

            Residency

            WCEAP-developed Common Performance Assessment for the six components of Standard 5 and draft professional growth plan             with goals oriented toward the professional certificate level.

            Professional

            All candidates shall exit the professional certificate program with a draft professional growth plan oriented toward the expectations             for the career benchmarks.

Teacher and Principal Evaluations: After August 31, 2013, an approved preparation program for principals shall require candidates for a residency principal certificate to demonstrate knowledge of teacher evaluation research, Washington's evaluation requirements, and successfully complete opportunities to practice teacher evaluation skills. At a minimum, principal preparation programs must address the following knowledge and skills related to evaluations.

            Residency

        

  1. Examination of Washington teacher and principal evaluation criteria, four-tiered performance rating system, and the preferred instructional and leadership frameworks used to describe the evaluation criteria;

  2. Self-assessment, goal setting, and reflective practices;

  3. Evidence gathering over time;

  4. Classroom observation skills;

  5. Bias training;

  6. Rater agreement on the four-tiered system;

  7. Use of student growth data and multiple measures of performance;

  8. Evaluation conferencing;

  9. Development of classroom teacher and principal support plans resulting from an evaluation; and

  10. (Use of an online tool to manage the collection of observation notes, teacher- and principal-submitted materials, and other information related to the conduct of the evaluation.