Measuring competencies—patterns of thinking, feeling, speaking and acting—that distinguish high-performing principals and teachers is a powerful tool for school improvement. Competencies may be used to select, evaluate, promote, and develop teachers and principals. The guides, toolkits, and real-world examples below focus on the use of competencies in a turnaround setting and other school contexts where students, and their teachers, face persistent challenges—such as high-poverty schools and ones with achievement gaps.
School turnarounds are possible, but they take a concerted effort and achievement-oriented collaboration among staff. For turnaround efforts to succeed, nothing is more important than making sure that the principals and teachers who are selected for these challenging roles have the capacity and the will to make a turnaround happen in every classroom.
The four resources in the Competencies for Turnaround Success Series are designed to help district officials identify and hire the right principals and teachers for this demanding role. These resources clarify the most critical competencies–or patterns of thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting–that enable people to be successful in attempts to transform schools from failure to excellence quickly and dramatically.
The series includes two pairs of guides. The first are competency guides that provide competency definitions, school examples, and detailed levels of increasingly effective competence of principals and teachers. See the quick lists of principal competencies and actions for easy reference, as well.
- Click here for a quick list of turnaround principal competencies
- Click here for a quick list of turnaround principal actions.
- Download a turnaround principal competencies self-assessment
- Download a turnaround principal actions self-assessment
The second pair are two companion selection toolkits—step-by-step guides for districts and other organizations seeking to hire individuals to serve as turnaround principals or teachers. The toolkits include detailed levels of increasingly effective competence, selection questions, guidance on how to conduct interviews that reveal information about competencies, and scoring rubrics. These guides focus on the behavioral event interview. For more help with other steps in the hiring process, and for help hiring teacher-leaders and other advanced-role teachers, see the recruitment and selection tools on OpportunityCulture.org.
These four resources were developed with funding and support from The Chicago Public Education Fund and, in the case of Leaders for School Turnarounds: Selection Toolkit, additional funding and support from the District of Columbia Public Schools. Additional support for substantial updates of these resources in 2016 was provided by the funders of our Opportunity Culture initiative.