Model Legislation

Bill #1 — An Act Relating To Principal Certification and Evaluation

Bill #2 — An Act Relating To Principal Development, Recruitment, Selection, Retention, and Ongoing Support

Bill #3 — An Act Relating To Obtaining Financial Support for Principals

Download all three bills.

Bill #1
AN ACT RELATING TO PRINCIPAL CERTIFICATION AND EVALUATION

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, quality school leadership, particularly principal recruitment, preparation, and support to curtail turnover in [insert state] remains a persistent problem, as it does in many parts of the country; and

WHEREAS, a large amount of principal turnover contributes to both school instability and student instability, particularly in communities that are highly impacted by instances of instability; and

WHEREAS, the Every Student Succeeds Act (P.L. 114-95) provides various levels of federal support and new opportunities to support teacher, principal, and other school leader training and preparation along the educator career continuum; and

WHEREAS, the 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, formerly known as the ISLLC Standards, reflect research and evidence-based practices for principals to improve school climate and student achievement, were approved by the National Policy Board for Education Administration; and

WHEREAS, strong evaluation systems incorporate widely accepted standards of practice so that results are relevant to the improvement of a principal’s work and are routinely monitored and adapted to reflect the complex nature of the profession; now therefore,

CHAPTER 1. PRINCIPAL STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION

SECTION 1. Professional Standards for Principals

  1. The state board shall develop and adopt clear, professional standards for principals and other educational leaders that are student-centric, research-based, reflect foundational principles of educational leadership, and are designed to ensure that principals and other educational leaders are prepared to meet the challenges of their local schools and communities. The state board shall set clear, professional standards that at a minimum, shall require principals to do the following to be considered effective:
    1. Develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high quality education and academic success, and well-being of each student.
    2. Act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    3. Strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    4. Develop and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    5. Cultivate an inclusive, caring, and supportive school community that promotes the academic success and well-being of each student.
    6. Develop the professional capacity and practice of school personnel to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    7. Foster a professional community of teachers and other professional staff to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    8. Engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    9. Manage school operations and resources to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
    10. Act as agents of continuous improvement to promote each student’s academic success and well-being.
  2. Recognizing the critical importance of principal leadership to the success of students, teachers and schools, the state board shall require every local education agency (LEA) to conduct supportive annual evaluations of all current and aspiring school principals. The state education agency (SEA), with approval from the state board, shall adopt recommendations that support an LEA with the evaluation of the effectiveness of a principal, current or prospective, that are aligned to the standards outlined in this section. To fulfill the requirements of this section, the SEA may do the following:
    1. Support LEAs to develop peer-led, evidence-based professional development for principals and other school leaders aimed to improve career and retention outcomes for all school leaders, including educators from underrepresented minority groups and diverse backgrounds.
    2. Support LEAs to develop selective hiring procedures that match well-trained principals with high-need schools.
    3. Support LEAs to develop and implement strategic succession procedures that reflect the transition needs of the school and incoming principal.
    4. Support LEAs to develop selective hiring procedures that recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and cultural competencies that reflect the varying backgrounds of students and the local community.
    5. Support LEAS to develop regular evaluation procedures for principals that utilizes both observation data and measures of school, teacher, and student performance aligned with the state accountability system and result in relevant professional development.
    6. Support LEAs to establish communities of learning opportunities where aspiring principals and other school leaders engage with diverse stakeholder groups, including other educators and administrators, parents, civil rights groups, and other members of the school and local community to positively impact student outcomes.
    7. Support LEAs to develop opportunities for principals and other school leaders to collaborate, problem solve, and share best practices.

CHAPTER 2. PRINCIPAL EVALUATION

SECTION 1. Definitions

  1. “Evidence of school leadership” means evidence gathered through multiple formats and from multiple sources that shall include an evaluation of the following:
    1. Data on student learning gains, including evidence of student learning;
    2. gains in student achievement, including passage of required exams for course progression, credit accumulation, completion of promotion standards, and graduation rates
    3. increases in student attendance rates;
    4. percentage of effective teachers on staff;
    5. retention rates of effective teachers as compared to those teachers rated below effective as determined by the statewide accountability and teacher evaluation systems;
    6. evidence of successful use of teacher evaluation and alignment of evaluation data to effective professional development, including support for teachers to improve effectiveness;
    7. demonstration of instructional leadership, including use of data and assessment to inform decision-making;
    8. improvement of teacher effectiveness in the school;
    9. demonstration of effective fiscal management, where applicable;
    10. evidence of effective community and parent engagement;
    11. improved teacher attendance rates;
    12. establishment of learning communities for principals and teachers;
    13. development and maintenance of a positive school culture where students, teachers, and other staff are motivated to collaborate and work together to achieve goals.

SECTION 2. Comprehensive Principal Evaluation System

  1. Recognizing that the purpose of evaluation is to build a principal’s leadership capacity and encourage professional development, the state education agency (SEA) shall support a local education agency (LEA) with the development of a comprehensive evaluation system for principals. The SEA, with approval from the state board, shall develop a rubric of expected competencies for principals to exhibit evidence of school leadership as defined in this part to support a comprehensive evaluation system.
  2. Any comprehensive evaluation system developed by an LEA with support from the SEA shall exhibit the following essential features. Every LEA will be required to submit their comprehensive evaluation system to the SEA for approval, to ensure compliance and inclusion of the essential features. Each system shall reflect the following essential features:
    1. Exhibit evidence of principals having contributed to the development of the system.
    2. Distinguish between the needs and characteristics of effective principals at different stages of their career and those with job-specific functions, such as those required of a principal supervisor.
    3. Inform quality professional development, induction support for early career principals, and recognition of advanced performance.
    4. Exhibit evidence of alignment to the state-board-approved professional standards for principal effectiveness.
    5. Provide for accurate, fair, and transparent assessment of principal performance based on valid and reliable information gathered through multiple measures of performance data.
    6. Create a holistic description of practice that informs principals’ learning and progress through a combination of formative and summative processes.

CHAPTER 3: EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 1. The effective date of this Act shall be July 1, 2017.

SYNOPSIS

Chapter 1: This bill requires the state board of education to amend the professional standards for principals and other educational leaders to reflect the standards and core values approved by the National Policy Board for Education Administration in October of 2015. The standards are broken into sections to reflect adoption of essential skills and knowledge regarding: mission, vision and core values; ethics and professional norms; equity and cultural responsiveness; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; community care and support for students; professional capacity of school personnel; professional community for teachers and staff; meaningful engagement of families and community; operations and management; and school improvement. This bill also authorizes the SEA to develop a set of recommendations to support LEAs toward implementing professional development, recruitment, and other ongoing career opportunities for principals, which reflect the aforementioned standards.

Chapter 2: Requires the SEA to support LEAs in the development and design of a comprehensive principal evaluation system. Each LEA will have to submit their evaluation system to the SEA for approval before it can be used for decisions regarding principal hiring and selection. The system must reflect certain research-based best practices for evaluation evidence of school leadership as outlined by this and as determined by the state. This chapter also defines evidence of school leadership.

Chapter 3: This legislation shall go into effect no later than July 1, 2017.

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Bill #2
AN ACT RELATING TO PRINCIPAL DEVELOPMENT, RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, RETENTION, AND ONGOING SUPPORT

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, beginning educators are inequitably and disproportionately found in schools in high-poverty neighborhoods and communities; and

WHEREAS, beginning educators are, on average, less effective than more experienced ones; and

WHEREAS, a new principal may require up to five years to fully implement their vision for a school in order to achieve stability in achievement and staffing; and

WHEREAS, nearly 30 percent of principals who lead troubled schools quit every year and more than 50 percent of principals leave their jobs by their third year in the role; and

WHEREAS, principal turnover is expensive for local school systems, costing as much as $75,000 for every principal leaving the system according to the School Leaders Network, representing costs associated with recruiting, inducting, and other personnel matters relating to new principal training; and

WHEREAS, principal turnover is detrimental to student achievement, as principals are estimated to account for about 25 percent of a school’s total influence on student academic performance; and

WHEREAS, the Every Student Succeeds Act (P.L. 114-95) provides various levels of federal support and new opportunities to support teacher, principal, and other school leader training and preparation along the educator career continuum; and

WHEREAS, research demonstrates that comprehensive, multi-year induction programs accelerate the professional growth, reduce the rate of attrition, provide a stronger return on states’ and school districts’ investment, and improve student learning; and

WHEREAS, only 20 states require some type of support for first-time school principals, and of those, only six states—California, Delaware, Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey, and Vermont—require induction or mentoring for first- and second-year school principals; now therefore

CHAPTER 1. DEVELOPMENT, RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND SUPPORT

SECTION 1. Improved Human Resource System Grants

  1. The state education agency (SEA) shall provide grant funding and technical assistance, as necessary, to a local education agency (LEA) to improve its human resource systems to significantly improve principal recruitment, screening, hiring, and retention.
    1. The SEA shall at a minimum, take into consideration an LEA’s level of need as based on the number of schools serving a high percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students, student academic achievement, geography, and the rate of principal retention.
    2. Any LEA seeking grant funding or technical assistance for activities described in this part shall complete and submit a needs assessment that includes the qualifications set forth in (A)(a).
  2. An LEA awarded grant funds under this part may use those funds for activities that improve the recruitment and retention of high-quality principals, such as:
    1. Redesign the placement process to match an individual school’s needs with particular candidates’ strengths.
    2. Establish strategic succession plan procedures to ensure sufficient resources for an effective transition.
    3. Partner with a professional human resource firm to conduct a national search for high-quality candidates.
    4. Establish leadership teams to identify and recruit high quality candidates from within the district who exhibit qualities required of an effective principal.
    5. Increase principal compensation to match competitive offers from other districts.
    6. Provide other means of compensation such as relocation assistance for high-quality candidates.
  3. An LEA awarded grant funds under this part may combine those funds with other basic state education revenues for staff development and any other allowable activities under this part.

SECTION 2. Induction, Mentoring, and Ongoing Support System Grants

  1. The state education agency (SEA) shall provide grant funding and technical assistance, as necessary, to a local education agency (LEA) to improve ongoing support processes for principals.
    1. The SEA shall, at a minimum, take into consideration an LEA’s level of need as based on the number of schools serving a high percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students, student academic achievement, geography, and the rate of principal retention.
    2. Any LEA seeking grant funding or technical assistance for activities described in this part shall complete and submit a needs assessment that includes the qualifications set forth in (A)(a).
  2. An LEA awarded grant funds under this part may use those funds for activities that improve the quality of new and current principals, such as:
    1. Creation of a new principal induction program.
    2. Creation of a new clinical experience program linked to an accredited institution of higher education.
    3. Provision of stipends for principals in clinical placements to supplement their salaries.
    4. Creation of a new principal mentor program.
    5. Conducting educator surveys of learning conditions, such as school climate and leadership, to provide quality feedback and inform school improvement efforts.
    6. Provide stipends for mentor principals to cover additional expenses and time.
  3. Any LEA that creates an induction or mentoring program with these funds shall address, at a minimum, these key program elements:
    1. Assignment of a mentor or coach from a similar school context and demographic before the start of the academic school year to the extent possible.
    2. Establishment of criteria to develop a rigorous mentor selection and training process.
    3. Inclusion of a formative assessment of or feedback on coaching and instructional support from mentors.
    4. Requirement that school and classroom observations of instructional and community leadership are conducted by mentors.
    5. Participation in a professional learning community or beginning educator peer network for at least two years, but up to three years, upon a new principal’s initial start date.
    6. Provision for collaborative planning and release time for new principals and mentors.

CHAPTER 2. EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 1. The effective date of this Act shall be July 1, 2017.

SYNOPSIS

Chapter 1: This legislation requires the state education agency to provide grant funding and technical assistance for the improvement of principal development, recruitment, selection, retention, and ongoing support practices, such as the establishment of a new principal induction program, in local school districts. Funding may be awarded through a competitive process that takes into account the need of the educational and human capital needs of the district as determined by the state. An LEA must apply to the state and complete a needs assessment to be eligible to receive financial and/or technical support.

Chapter 2: This legislation shall go into effect no later than July 1, 2017.

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Bill #3
AN ACT RELATING TO FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR PRINCIPALS

CHAPTER 1. PRINCIPAL LOAN PROGRAM

The purpose of this program shall be to support current school principals and assistant principals to stay in high-need schools and districts across the state through the provision of meaningful financial aid.

SECTION 1. Establishment of Loan-Assistance Program

  1. The governor shall establish a loan-assistance program for the purpose of student loan repayment assistance to [insert state] principals who are working in a high-need school or district, as determined by the state education agency.
    1. The state shall pay loan funds directly to an accredited college/university or loan servicer for credit to an eligible candidate’s account.

SECTION 2. Eligibility Criteria for Loan Assistance Program

  1. To be eligible to receive loan assistance for the purposes of this part, an applicant must:
    1. Be a certified principal or assistant principal whose first school leadership position in the state began after July 1, 2008.
    2. Be working in a high-need school or district, as designated by the state education agency.
    3. Have completed an eligible graduate degree program and be employed as a principal or assistant principal in a high-need school or district, as designated by the state.
    4. Owe a balance on an eligible federal student loan as determined by the state education agency. If the outstanding loan balance is less than the maximum forgiveness award, the amount awarded will not exceed the applicant’s outstanding principal and interest.
    5. Be in good standing with all federal student loan accounts.
    6. Be a resident of the state.
  2. The maximum annual award is 20 percent of the recipient’s total eligible federal student loan balance, including principal and interest.
  3. The maximum annual award cannot exceed the average resident tuition rate established for students attending a graduate program in the state for the first year following the recipient’s graduation.

CHAPTER 2. This legislation shall go into effect no later than July 1, 2017.

SYNOPSIS

Chapter 1: This legislation requires the governor to establish a loan assistance program for the purpose of recruiting and retaining effective educators as principals in high-need areas. The legislation details what criteria an applicant must meet to be eligible for loan assistance. The legislation caps the maximum annual award for loan assistance at 20 percent of the recipient’s total federal student loan balance, as applicable.

Chapter 2: This legislation shall go into effect no later than July 1, 2017.

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