Recognizing the essential role effective leaders play in ensuring equitable access to excellent education for all Missouri students, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is focusing on developing and supporting effective school leaders in every school through the Missouri Leadership Development System (MLDS). MLDS supports principals at four levels, from Aspiring (pre-certificated), to Emerging (initial career entry), through Developing (practicing), and ultimately to the Transformational Principal. Each level articulates 36 principal competencies which are categorized into five domains of leadership: Visionary, Instructional, Managerial, Relational, and Innovative. Principals engaging in MLDS participate in series of learning experiences throughout the year to build their capacity in the five domains at their level.
R12CC is helping DESE plan for and implement MLDS to build the capacity of Missouri’s school leaders. This includes improving human, organizational, and policy leadership capacity for supporting and advancing the development of principals at the state, regional, and district levels. Formative reports delineating perspectives of principals, superintendents, and other educators, evidence-based recommendations, and ongoing assessments of superintendents’ needs for principal leadership development will inform continuous improvements to MLDS. At full scale, MLDS will serve all principals and assistant principals employed in Missouri public schools and charter schools, as well as prospective school principals in 19 preparation programs across the state.
R12CC is also supporting Missouri to better understand and select evidence-based practices in formative assessments, create a plan for implementing a formative assessment strategy in Missouri, and improve policy leadership to support the initiative. This will build the capacity of state leaders to develop an informed framework for a statewide system of formative assessment—both in practice and in policy—that increases equitable access to common formative assessments for student learning in all content areas.