Indiana is poised to dramatically overhaul the way it determines whether educators are qualified to become principals.
No Multiple Choice
Starting in the fall of 2013, Indiana will abandon its mostly multiple-choice test to receive the administrator license required to become a principal or vice principal.
Case Study Approach
Instead, the new test will feature "real practical, applicable scenarios -- case-study kinds of things -- that actually show that you know what you're talking about," said Marg Mast, director of educator effectiveness and leadership in Indiana's state department of education.
More States to Follow
Several states are discussing the idea of creating a new principal certification test, but Indiana is the only one currently doing so, according to Ben Fenton, co-founder and chief strategy and knowledge officer of New Leaders, a national non-profit that trains school leaders.
The Difference Maker
Principal effectiveness accounts for 25 percent of a school's impact on student gains, while teacher effectiveness accounts for 33 percent.
Pearson Designs Test
Indiana's new test is under development with New Jersey-based Pearson Education, which is a major national player in standardized testing for students and future teachers alike.
Pearson, which already creates teacher certification tests for 17 states, says it hopes the exam will become the new standard across the country.
Successful leaders are "not just those who know how to use data. They also have this sense of urgency. That's something that's beyond a set of skills and competencies."--Gary Crow, chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at Indiana University