Leadership Team

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2. Develop an Effective Leadership Team

  • The team that collectively impacts the education ofeverystudent in the district - The Principals
  • Skill in developing and supervising this team impacts achievement, morale & culture district-wide - The Superintendent
  • 13 Bells

3. Purpose, to understand and consider:

  • The superintendents role in developing the leadership team
  • The superintendents ability to learn and lead togetherwith the team
  • The superintendents need to create an effective system for job embedded professional development through evaluation
  • Application of the concepts in an entry plan

4. Building Team Relationships

  • Headline story
  • Very little in our lives is more important and more persuasive than our relationships with those we care about and with whom we work.And very little is more inscrutable and problematic.Relationships can be as taxing and toxic as they can be replenishing and fulfilling.
  • Roland S. Barth (2003, p. xi)

5. Cosmetic Teamwork(Nadler & Spencer, 1998) 6. Your Input

  • What characterizes an effective relationship between the superintendent and a principal?
  • What positive and not so positive experiences have you experienced as a member of a leadership team?
  • If positive, what were the contributing factors?If not so positive, what changes would you suggest to improve team functioning?


  • Effective leaders have better than average
  • interpersonal skills. They communicate a
  • clear vision and build trusting and
  • supportive relationships to work as a team
  • in accomplishing the vision.


  • A solid relationship between a
  • superintendent and principal underlies
  • genuine and effective teaming.Successful
  • superintendents create authentic teams by
  • tuning into their principals needs and concerns,
  • knowing their schools and programs,
  • collaborating in a trust-building manner.
  • West & Derrington (2009)

9. Lets consider a system for job embedded professional development through evaluation and supervision

  • A clear picture of the desired outcome is necessary for both the evaluator and the principal.
  • Three phases:
    • Determine desired competencies,
    • Describe performance in terms of the desired competencies,
    • Make judgments based on the gap or fit between competencies and performance.

10. ISLLC Standards in Evaluation

  • Washington one of 43 States using ISLLC in principal certification.
  • Continuing(Professional)is job embedded
  • Disconnect with supervision and evaluation on the job
  • Survey e-mailed to 296 Washington State superintendents, 80% response rate
  • 16% use ISSLC standards exclusively to evaluate principals
  • Telephone interviews conducted with each
  • Data tabulated
  • Principals
  • Principals in these districts, n=98, were sent a survey developed from the superintendents responses. Strength of agreement or disagreement tabulated (46% response rate).

11. Figure 1 Strengths of ISLLC Standards for Evaluation.Comparing Superintendents and Principal Rankings Item Superintendent ranking by most frequently mention Principal rating of importance of superintendent responsesCurrent/in alignment with school reform andleadership1 1 Provides specific criteria/performance indicators1 5 Focus is impact on students 2 5 Comprehensive 3 6 Provides common language 3 3 Provides direction, focus 3 2 New principals familiarity 3 4 Nationally comparable 3 4 12. Skills/Attributes Needed to be an Effective Evaluator of Principals Superintendent Response (Ranked by frequency of mention) Principal Ranking (1 = Highest) S uperintendents All Principals Understand responsibilities of a principal(1) (experience at several levels)1 Good interpersonal skills(1) (honesty, caring, trust, respect, integrity, be a good listener) 2 Familiarity with the school(2) 5 Expertise in evaluating principal performanceand assessing school climate(3) 4 High developed skills as a professional educator(well read, life-long learner, high level of professional development)(4) 6 Ability to articulate expectations and standards clearly to principals(5) 2 Informed leadership in providing direction and feedback to principals(6) 3 13. Good Interpersonal Skills Principal Comments

  • Trust and frequent on-going communication listed most often in
  • comments. Examples follow:
  • We need to develop the trust, respect and caring attitude before we can have any true impact on student performance.
  • I want more of a coach and have regular, on-going helpful communication.
  • Frequent, on-going and supportive communication with ones supervisor is most essential.
  • The most helpful discussions that I have with my supervisor occur when we engage in mutual problem-solving.
  • Evaluation needs to be collaborative and built on a trust relationship between the principal and the superintendent.
  • Empathy and effective communication skill support helpful dialogue.
  • More and frequent meetings with the superintendent is importance as is open communication and giving the same message to all groups.
  • It all comes back to interpersonal relationships.

14. Understand Responsibilities of a Principal

  • Many principals mentioned the challenges for a principal today particularly the tremendous work and time demands placed on them. Equally important to them is that the superintendent understands this challenge as the following comments illustrate.
  • My supervisor needs to understand my job.He was a high school principal but that was years ago before NCLB and state reform.He thinks he knows how to do it but he doesnt know how to do it now.
  • Important for the evaluator to have been a principal. Theyre more sensitive to our school schedules.The know typical school issues, understand problems and know what leadership skills are required today.
  • Superintendent needs to understand the complex nature of the job and how decisions at the district office impact that complexity.
  • Supervisor need to have an awareness of the new time demands on principals and not base supervision on the way it used to be.
  • The superintendent needs to understand the unique and special challenges of each school.


  • Trust Indicator Examples
  • Show confidence in team members abilities
  • Keep promises and commitments
  • Listen to and value statements even when not in agreement
  • Honest, not distorted information
  • Trust Buster Examples
  • Works own agenda, undermines decisions unfavorable to ones cause
  • More concerned with own welfare than others or other issues
  • Jumps to conclusions
  • Makes excuses or blames others
  • Lacks transparency, does not reveal thinking
  • West & Derrington (2009)

16. Points and Discussion

  • Evaluating principals is a potential source of improvement.
  • Clear criteria is the key to evaluationThe evaluative criteria for today is thought by many to be the ISLLC standards
  • The superintendent is in a unique position to provide continuous, job-embedded professional development to principals but he/she must know the work of the schools and be in frequent contact with the principal.
  • The criteria, while important, cannot compensate for lack of interpersonal skill and deep knowledge of the principals job.
  • What skill do you possess that will make (or makes) you an effective supervisor of principals?
  • What skills do you want to further develop?

17. Principal Autonomy: how much is too much?

  • Defined autonomy.Clear, non-negotiable goals yet provide teams with responsibility and authority to determine how to meet the goals.
  • Eck &Goodwin (2008)
  • Loosen and tighten administrative control based on hard evidence of quality of practice and performance. Greater discretion follows higher quality of practice and higher levels of performance.
  • Elmore (2004, p. 81)

18. Checklist to consider in working with the team in supervision and evaluation decisions

  • Have clear non-negotiable goals for student achievement.
  • Monitor and provide resources and support.
  • Determine where you are on a scale of hands off to micro managing every detail from the boardroom to the classroom and why.
  • Provide leadership for principals to meet the goals.

19. Learning and Leading-Together