|Co-Chairs:||Dr. Margaret Trybus, Concordia University|
|Dr. Scott Day, University of Illinois at Springfield|
Strategies for improving school leadership must be understood as components in a systemic approach to achieving consistently high quality support for the career-long development of Illinois school leaders, from aspiring to novice to master principals. In the past two years, Illinois has established a teacher leadership endorsement, a mandatory statewide new principal mentoring program, and a voluntary Illinois Distinguished Principal Leadership Institute. Recognizing this, the Illinois School Leader Task Force recommended that Illinois create new structures for leadership certification and endorsements that align principal preparation, early career mentoring, ongoing professional development, and master principal recognition.
In contrast to the current system in which a Type 75 certificate with General Administrative endorsement does not differentiate preparation or qualification among such school leadership roles as dean, department head, assistant principal, or principal, the School Leader Task Force recommended that a specific principal endorsement be created, just as specific endorsements are now required for superintendent, chief school business official, and director of special education.
The charge to the New Structure for Leadership Certification and Endorsement Redesign Team is to develop a draft leadership continuum structure in Illinois that will provide career ladders for teachers, other administrative positions and principals. Special consideration should be given to 1) a specific principal endorsement which requires preparation for school improvement through instructional leadership and should be a prerequisite for the superintendent endorsement; 2) recommendations regarding the number of years of teaching experience for entrance into the principal preparation program; and 3) recommendations regarding the number of years between issuance of the principal endorsement and becoming a principal (shelf life of the endorsement).