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Become an Advocate

The National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) and its six association members launched an advocacy campaign to support adoption of the Professional Standards for Educational Leadership (PSEL 2.0). We hope all 50 states will adopt these standards as a template for the preparation and evaluation of future school leaders to help each student succeed. Your help is vitally important and we invite you to become an advocate for PSEL 2.0 in your state or community.

The Delaware Success Story

Advocacy Case Study: How PSEL Was Adopted in Delaware

     A champion for PSEL and advocacy among all stakeholders made the difference

The process of adopting the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) in the state of Delaware began shortly after the National Policy Board approved the standards for Education Administration (NPBEA) on November 2, 2015. At that time, NPBEA also voted to acquire the standards from the Council of Chief School Officers (CCSSO). Both groups had jointly developed the standards.

Just six weeks later, Dr. Jacquelyn O. Wilson, Director of the Delaware Academy for School Leadership (DASL), attended the monthly meeting of the Delaware State Board of Education to share information about the PSEL and answer questions. At that time, Regulation 1590, Delaware Administrator Standards, came before the State Board for publication.

Jackie Wilson also attended the next State Board meeting on January 21, again speaking about the PSEL and answering questions. At that meeting, Regulation 1590 was presented “for discussion.”

On February 4, 2017, Wilson attended a meeting of the Professional Standards Board (PSB) and made a presentation about the PSEL, including the rationale for developing new standards, the development process and timeline, and a crosswalk between the PSEL and the former ISLLC standards. During that meeting, the PSB voted to adopt the PSEL as the Delaware Administrator Standards.

On February 18, 2017, the State Board of Education then voted the same way.

Here are some lessons that may be learned from Delaware’s adoption of PSEL:

There was a state champion for the PSEL. Jackie Wilson became the face of the PSEL in Delaware, attending meetings, answering questions, and presenting on the standards numerous times to varied stakeholders. Wilson was well equipped for this role because she was deeply involved in the PSEL development process, co-chairing one of the work groups.

The process leveraged existing timelines, systems and collaborations. Wilson worked within established state channels, and took advantage of regularly scheduled regulation reviews. She worked in partnership with professional organizations (the Delaware Association of School Administrators, or DASA) and the state Department of Education.

Delaware had decades of history of productive collaboration among education stakeholders. The Delaware Cohesive Leadership System (CLS), funded by The Wallace Foundation between 2000-2010 coordinated state and district-level leadership policies and initiatives. An independent study from RAND (2009) highlighted Delaware as one of the three most “cohesive” states in terms of educational leadership, and recognized Wilson’s contributions as the CLS director.

Delaware embraced standards. Delaware also had years of experience with leader standards, having adopted the ISLLC standards in 1996 and 2008. The state was well aligned; policymakers understood that standards could and should drive all other systems: leader preparation, licensure, evaluation, professional learning, etc. Wilson also provided a through-line from the ISLLC to the PSEL since she was involved in the development of both sets of standards, as well as the 2008 refresh.

Adopting the standards is only the first step. Next, Wilson worked to raise awareness. In collaboration with DASA, she shared information about the new standards with superintendents in the state. Together with NASSP’s Dr. Beverly Hutton, Wilson presented PSEL case to a statewide audience of K-12 and higher education leaders, policymakers, and government officials at the Policy & Practice Institute on June 22, 2017.

Take advantage of state and national connections. Wilson brought national leaders to Delaware to communicate the “big picture” of the standards and their implications. These included Hutton, Mark Smylie, co-chair of the PSEL Committee from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Mary Canole, member of the PSEL committee from CCSSO.

Educate and prepare for the consequences of new standards. The state convened a PSEL Stakeholder working group including with about 25 members, including a legislator. By February 2017, Delaware was tackling questions about how the PSEL would affect preparation programs, leader evaluation, and professional learning. Smylie came to Delaware to facilitate conversations with university faculty, principal practitioners, and the stakeholder working group.

Taken together, these steps won the support of Delaware’s education stakeholders and quick adoption of the new school leadership standards that are sure to make a difference.

Here are some useful tools and information to support your efforts: