Draft Policy Standard Descriptions
NB These draft descriptions are meant to “unpack” the policy standards contained in the
proposed Board resolution (Attachment F). They will inform further development of the
performance indicators and guidelines, but are themselves subject to further revision.
Education leaders motivate, inspire, and support staff and students and spur them toward
high performance. They work with stakeholders to develop a clear educational vision and
mission and help mobilize the fiscal, human, organizational, and community resources
necessary to achieve them. They use data and research to inform decision-making and
school improvement efforts and encourage staff to do so as well.
Education leaders act strategically and purposefully in pursuit of a clear educational mission,
while empowering others to do the same. They foster professional and personal growth in
their staff, and focus school improvement efforts on strengthening achievement and
improved educational outcomes for all students. They understand and can appropriately
apply the laws and regulations governing education in the Commonwealth and the nation,
including those designed to ensure equity and prevent discrimination.
Education leaders are culturally proficient and embrace diversity as an essential ingredient to
a vibrant school culture. They incorporate student, staff, and community cultures,
perspectives, and resources into the fabric of school life. They work actively to ensure
learning environments that are free of bias and open to differences in backgrounds, beliefs,
cultures, sexual orientation, and learning styles.
As reflective practitioners, education leaders both model and support life-long learning,
along with the high expectations and commitment to continuous improvement that are
necessary to promote high achievement. They promote positive change and transformation
while working collaboratively to create successful learning communities.
I. Learning and Instruction: The education leader promotes the success of all students
and staff by cultivating a shared vision that makes powerful teaching and learning the
central focus of schooling.
Such leaders create a results-oriented focus on teaching and learning that permeates the
culture and organization of their schools. They ensure the systems and opportunities (time
and resources) that enable all members of the school community to strive towards high
achievement. They use data to plan and implement effective practices that are appropriate
for the diverse learning styles, populations, and levels of readiness of their students. In turn,
education leaders use evidence to measure the effectiveness of each aspect of the educational
Educational leaders promote and foster instructional improvement. They systematically
monitor and support student learning through curricula tied to state and district standards,
using assessment data and research to inform effective practice. They engage teachers in
regular substantive discussions about content, pedagogy, and the use of both formative and
summative assessments. They promote collaborative approaches, activities that allow
educators to analyze student work in team settings, sharing leadership roles.
Educational leaders promote high-quality professional development that is aligned with
district and school priorities and is informed by data on student achievement and research on
effective practice. They model, through their use of time and the strategic priorities they set,
a clear focus on teaching, learning, high expectations, and high achievement.
II. Management and Operations: The education leader promotes the success of all
students and staff by ensuring management of the organization, operations, and
resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.
Education leaders oversee school improvement, including initiatives that sustain and
strengthen the learning environment and school culture. They pay particular attention to
developing a strategic approach to the development of human capital, including recruitment,
hiring, induction, mentoring, and evaluation of highly qualified and effective staff, whose
skills and experience comport with identified student learning needs. They develop budgets
that allocate resources equitably to meet critical priorities. They ensure systems and
schedules that maximize the time teachers have to focus on student learning --through
classroom instruction, lesson planning, and collaboration with colleagues. They incorporate
technology as both a management and educational tool that is vital to teaching and learning
in the 21st century.
Education leaders work to prevent crises, anticipating potential threats to safe and effective
learning environments and work to correct student and staff behavior that is counter
productive to the goals and mission of the school/district. Should unavoidable crises arise,
education leaders manage them appropriately and effectively. Education leaders also know
how to delegate responsibility to ensure their primary focus is on strengthening the teaching
and learning environment.
III. Family and Community Partnerships: The education leader promotes the success of
all students and staff through partnerships with families, community members, and
other external stakeholders that support the mission of the school and district.
Educational leaders incorporate student, staff, and community cultures, perspectives and
resources into the fabric of school life. They do this by building mutually beneficial
relationships among a school’s stakeholders, actively cultivating and sustaining open two-
way communication. They use a variety of communication methods to share and promote
information about the school. They invite collaboration in educational decision-making,
resource allocation, and planning that leads to instructional improvement and greater support
for all their students.
Education leaders affirm and recognize excellence and productive effort by students, staff,
and community partners in regular and concrete ways. They recognize that the diverse
cultures of the students, staff and surrounding school community bring both benefits and
challenges to the academic enterprise. They use those benefits and challenges as a fulcrum
for cultivating understanding, respect for differences, and a common commitment to
improved outcomes for all of their students, and increased esteem for teachers in the
communities they serve.
IV. Ethical and Reflective Leadership: The education leader promotes the success of all
students and staff by providing ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and reflective
Education leaders embrace the ethical, pedagogic, and civic imperatives of public education.
Their leadership is grounded in a framework of action and decision-making that reflects this
understanding. Educational leaders are culturally proficient and embrace diversity as an
essential ingredient to a vibrant school culture. They understand the deleterious impact that
discrimination or negative stereotyping based on race, class, gender, disability/exceptionality,
language, sexual orientation, or religion has on students’ lives, self perceptions, and
opportunities to learn. They work actively to ensure learning environments that are free of
bias and open to differences in backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, sexual orientation, and
Educational leaders model intellectual curiosity, life-long learning, and professional
development, including shared professional learning with colleagues within and outside their
own district. They foster an environment of inquiry as well as personal and professional
growth, reflecting on their own and others’ practice in ways that strengthen student and adult
engagement and growth.
Education leaders consistently use data and other evidence to adapt systems, procedures, and
practices, where appropriate, to address identified gaps or needs in services, practices, and
systems. They encourage reasoned disagreement and dissent, and know how to address
conflict constructively while searching for common ground. They encourage shared
investment and accountability through collaborative leadership. This includes identifying
and fostering leadership skills and capacity in their staff and students. Effective education
leaders manage their own time effectively by prioritizing activities, delegating
responsibilities, and eliminating any activities that distract from the central focus on teaching,
learning, and student growth.