The Educational Leadership Profile (ELP) measures are based on a combination of qualitative research and a review of the literature on what makes an effective school administrator. By conducting a review of both academic literature and reports from educational organizations the skills important to successful school leadership were determined. The skills for school leadership that were identified as being of the utmost importance in the initial research included having a vision, using data, and having a focus on student learning.
From this literature review interview questions were created to ask administrators about their school leadership, specifically what they do to improve student learning in their schools. The administrators interviewed were chosen because they were identified as being distinguished by their district level supervisors, other administrators, and teachers they work with. After conducting interviews with numerous administrators from multiple districts the responses of the practitioners were examined in relationship to the literature on administrator effectiveness. An emergence of themes not identified in the previous review of the literature was noted. These themes were then checked against additional leadership and school administrator research to validate their accuracy. As a result of the literature reviews and the qualitative research nine leadership areas, each including four underlying elements, were determined and are now included in the standards for school leadership referred to as the Educational Leadership Profile (ELP).
The ELP instrument is based upon both the responses of the school administrators interviewed and the literature on educational leadership. There are nine scoring guides within the instrument, each one corresponding with one of the nine areas in the ELP. Content review panels, composed of school principals and others who work with school administrators at the district and university levels, have reviewed the instrument. These panels met periodically to review the instrument for content, specifically to determine if the information identified by the interviews and literature reviews was aligned with what was expected by the school district, taught as best practices at the university, and actually done by successful school administrators. The panels also reviewed and critiqued the scoring guides to assure that the description included in the Exceeds section indeed referenced the techniques employed by an exceptional administrator. Additionally, the content review panels critiqued the tool to assure that the difference in explanations between the Developing, Meets, and Exceeds sections were relative to each of the four elements in that specific scoring guide and relative to the other eight scoring guides.
Through a triangulation of the literature review, qualitative research from school administrator interviews, and the input gained from the content review panels, the ELP and the corresponding instrument represent a widely agreed upon equation for successful school leadership.
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