Educational Planning: Implications of the 2008 Revised Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium Standards for School Leaders

Article excerpt

On November 2, 1996, the Interstate School Leadership Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), a program of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), adopted a set of Standards for School Leaders (CCSSO, 1996). By 2005, 41 states had adopted or adapted these Standards (Sanders & Simpson, 2005). However, after almost a decade of experience with the Standards, states asked the Council to update them. So, in 2005, the Council began working with the National Policy Board for Educational Administration to accomplish dus (CCSSO, 2007). First, they designed a State Policy Framework to Develop Highly Qualified Administrators (Sanders & Simpson, 2005). Central to developing a new set of standards was their plan to update and clarify each main ISLLC standard, enhancing the focus on teaching, learning, and success for all students, and addressing key issues affecting schools, e.g., increased accountability, cultural competencies, and community engagement. The revisions also sought to adapt the Standards to tiered or differentiated licensure structures, to changes in school leaders' roles, responsibilities, and aumority, and to better address the issue of administrator dispositions (CCSSO, 2007).

On December 12, 2007, the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) adopted the new standards, entitled the Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008, as adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (CCSSO, 2008). As Murphy (2003) had concluded about the 1996 Standards, "they have exerted considerable pull on the profession of school administration, considerably more than almost anyone could have anticipated "(p. 39). There is every reason to believe the new Standards will be equally influential. Wim 41 states adopting or adapting the Standards as the basis of their educational leadership preparation programs, and many of those states also using them as a foundation for the evaluation of practicing school administrators, the Standards clearly will shape practice. Therefore, it is important to examine them closely and to reflect upon what specific implications they may have for educational planning. That is the purpose of this article. Similar to the analysis of how educational planning was portrayed in the 1996 Standards by Beach and Lindahl (2000), the authors recognize mat there is considerable subjectivity in this analysis and that both the implications of the new standards for educational planning and the validity of this analysis may change as new paradigms emerge or gain credence over time.

A Brief Overview of the 2008 Standards and Functions

The six basic standards of the 2008 version match exactly the six basic standards of the 1996 version, with me exception mat each now begins with, "An education leader promotes the success of every student by..." ramer than the more awkward 1996 phrasing, "A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by...." This congruency suggests that ISLLCs conceptualization of the basic roles and responsibilities of school leaders remains essentially constant across bom sets of standards.

However, beyond me basic six standards, the 2008 version is far more streamlined than its predecessor. The 1996 Standards were each subdivided into knowledge, dispositions, and performances. In total, 43 areas of knowledge, 43 dispositions, and 96 performances were specified (CCSSO, 1996). In the 2008 Standards, there are no such sub-divisions; instead, consistent with CCSSO's State Policy Framework to Develop Highly Qualified Educational Administrators (Sanders & Simpson, 2005), the new standards are "performance based" (p. 40). Performance-based language is used in each of the 32 functions provided to clarify and explicate the 6 standards. A function was defined as "the action or actions for which a person or dung is responsible" (CCSSO, 2008, p. 20). Furthermore, in developing the new standards, me NPBEA consulted with "policy-oriented, practitioner-based organizations, researchers, higher education officials, and teachers in the field" to identify the Craft Knowledge Base underlying the standards and "with a panel of scholars and experts in educational administration" to identify the Research Knowledge Base for updating the 1996 Standards, "research that previously did not exist" (CCSSO, 2008, p. …