This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Standards for School Leaders: Considering Historical, Political, and National Organizational Influences




Cox, George Stanley

Type of Degree



Educational Foundations
Leadership and Technology


Since their publication, standards for school leaders have influenced policy action at the national, state, and local levels. Much of the initial work in administrative standards implementation has taken place in the professional preparation programs at the graduate level. Coursework and practicum experiences for future school leaders are beginning to reflect a standards-based emphasis. As a result, some claim future candidates for leadership roles are prepared to meet the standards-based expectations of their job. Many practicing school leaders are the product of administrative training programs that predate the standards movement (IEL, 2000), so their leadership style and practice may be less compatible with the expectations inherent in the new administrative standards. While many states have had standards for administrative certification, now there are new standards with a greater emphasis on instructional leadership, at least in Alabama and other SREB influenced states. Given the mandated influence of standards on certification requirements, practicing school leaders need to give serious consideration to administrative standards as a component of their soon-to-be-defined re-certification plan. If administrative standards are to serve as the template of the characteristics for effective school leaders for the 21st century, what role, and/or influence have national organizations played as states developed their administrative standards? Because much attention on professional standards has been focused on pre-service programs, a second purpose of this study seeks to determine the commonalities of administrative standards between southeastern states. This study includes three manuscripts that provide an in-depth exploration of the study’s research questions. Conclusions and recommendations based on the research findings are included with each manuscript. The first manuscript, School Leaders: Historical and Political Influences, explores historical and political influences on standards for school leaders. The second manuscript, Standards for School Leaders: The Role of Professional Organizations explores the commonalities of standards for school leaders among southeastern states and national educational organizations. The third manuscript, Standards for Alabama School Leaders: Historical and Political Influences, explores the role and/or influence national educational organizations played as the State of Alabama developed its standards for school leaders.