DC School Leadership Standards Project

The DC School Leadership Standards Project is a multiyear initiative supporting the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington DC in strengthening their principal supports for charter districts.

OSSE recognizes that principals matter in moving educational policies and improving learning for all, but 32 percent of principals leave DC schools each year. This “leadership churn” makes is difficult for student learning improvement efforts to take hold in schools. Improved principal support could reduce leadership churn, but many DC-based LEAs have limited capacity to provide leadership supports.

To support OSSE in addressing this challenge, in 2017, the GTL Center supported OSSE to engage stakeholders to inform the development of model school leadership standards, modifying the Professional Standards for Education Leaders to align to the DC context.

Going forward, OSSE and the GTL Center are engaging with DC charter school stakeholders to develop principal talent management policies and practices aligned to the new standards.

The next phase of the work includes refinement of a principal recruitment and hiring protocol that draws upon the DC leadership standards. The protocol supports charter districts in selecting and hiring school leaders that have the knowledge and skills required to effectively lead DC schools. Once the protocol is finalized, the GTL Center will support OSSE in training charter school human resources staff to leverage the protocol in the field to strengthen their principal recruitment and hiring processes.


Dana Chambers

Dana Chambers

Principal Technical Assistance Consultant, AIR
Deputy Director, GTL Center


Tammie Knights

Tammie Knights

Principal Technical Assistance Consultant, AIR
GTL Center


Related Resources

US Map

National School Leadership Standards Map (Online Tool)

Quickly and easily locate information on school leadership standards, principal supervisor standards, principal evaluation policies, and principal preparation policies in all 50 states. Use the map to compare school leadership standards and policies that have been adopted, adapted, and used by states to support principals.

Tool Cover Thumbnail

Aligning Leadership Standards to the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (Toolkit and Crosswalk)

Considering a transition to the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL)? Use this step-by-step process to align your current leadership standards to the PSEL. The toolkit and crosswalk follow a defined, systematic process known as “standards alignment” to compare one set of standards to one or more different sets of standards.

Coaching PLM Cover

Coaching and Developing Turnaround Leader Actions (Professional Learning Module)

Discover strategies and methods for using coaching to develop the competencies and capacities that school leaders require to be successful in high-need schools. The materials are designed to support leaders and staff members from RCCs, state education agencies, and districts to develop a strategic action plan for supporting turnaround leaders through coaching.

Recruitment PLM Cover

Recruit, Select, Support: Turnaround Leader Competencies (Professional Learning Module)

Learn how to use specific leadership competencies to recruit, select, and provide ongoing support to school leaders working in a high-need context.