HJR 20/SJR 58: Commission to Review, Study, and Reform Educational Leadership
June 3, 2003
Adopted by the 2002
Session of the General Assembly, HJR 20 and SJR 58 established a two-year,
21-member commission to review, study and reform educational leadership.
The study is supported by one of only 15 national State Action for Educational
Leadership Project (SAELP) grants from the Wallace Readers Digest
Funds, sought by and awarded to the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute
(CEPI) at Virginia Commonwealth University, on behalf of the Department
of Education and the Commonwealth.
Consistent with its
legislative directive, the commission met five times in 2002, receiving
testimony from school administrators, education experts, and representatives
of state and national education leadership organizations. The commissions
2003 Interim Report (House Document No. 14) included six recommendations,
- Alignment of administrative
licensure requirements with the evaluation criteria for principals,
administrators, and central office instructional personnel;
of Board of Education performance and leadership standards in preparation
and training programs for principals and superintendents in institutions
of higher education (this recommendation was supported by HJR 608, which
was passed by the 2003 Session);
- The development
of guidelines for mentorships for administrators within approved administrator
- The development
and implementation of models for internships for aspiring principals
and assistant principals;
- Alternative licensure
routes and sources of training for principals and assistant principals;
- The potential
delegation of school board authority over the hiring and termination
of instructional personnel by legislative action (this recommendation
was supported by HJ 570, which was tabled by the House Committee on
Privileges and Elections).
The commission is
to complete its work by November 30, 2003, and submit its final written
findings and recommendations to the 2004 Session of the General Assembly.
The Fairfax County
Public Schools LEAD (Learning, Empowering, Assessing & Developing)
initiative is designed to improve professional preparation of school leaders
at all levels, support succession planning, and increase student achievement.
The Fairfax LEAD program is one of 12 such school division initiatives
nationwide funded by DeWitt Wallace Readers Digest grants as part
of the LEADERS Count program. The one-year, $1 million grant is renewable
for a total of five years.
The Fairfax initiative
targets preparation as well as actual readiness for the school leadership.
The program is driven by four competencies identified as essential to
effective educational leadership: the abilities to lead people, including
the school community and the community at large; lead learning; manage
the business of the school; and manage ones own career and personal
LEAD targets 82 schools
(60 elementary, 12 middle, and 10 high schools) that have at least 20
percent of their respective student bodies eligible for free and reduced
lunches, diverse socioeconomic and ethnic student populations, a demonstrated
upward trend in student achievement indicators (SAI), and an experienced
principal at the helm.
focused intentional development opportunities for educational leaders
and aspiring leaders, leadership development programs, and best-practice,
research-based learning opportunities offered by private entities. The
program includes 22 administrative interns in the elementary and secondary
schools, leadership development for support personnel, pre-service learning
opportunities, and instructional leadership training. Thirty-one former
interns are now employed as assistant principals; Fairfax supports the
intern positions with grant funds and local moneys. The school system
hires other teachers to replace those personnel participating in internships.
Redesign Task Force
The executive director
of SCHEV reviewed the preliminary recommendations of the Redesign Task
Force, and noted that the Superintendent of Public Instruction would be
presenting the approved recommendations at the next commission meeting.
The preliminary recommendations address the creation of leadership academies,
general leadership studies, assessment requirements for school administrators,
linking professional development to school improvement, and allowing institutions
of higher education to be entrepreneurial in crafting services to meet
the needs of the various school divisions.
by the commission for possible consideration in 2003 include the creation
of a leadership academy in Virginia, the use of internships and mentorships,
passage of an assessment as a condition of licensure of a school administrator,
retention issues and incentives such as benefits portability, and equity
of access to leadership programs by school divisions.
The commission will hold its remaining two meetings on Tuesday, September
16, and Monday, November 17, at 1:00 p.m. in House Room D in the General
The Hon. Phillip A. Hamilton
Kathleen G. Harris
Division of Legislative Services
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