Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

The 2015 Professional Standards for Educational Leaders represent the best thinking and latest research related to the impact of leadership on student achievement. The role of the school leader has shifted from a focus on management to a focus on student learning through strong and effective instructional leadership.

Making the standards more “actionable” is the goal of the Leadership Reflection & Growth Tool, which promotes self-reflection and meaningful dialogue by school and district leaders. The tool applies to building-based leaders, as well as central office. In utilizing this tool, key points to consider are:

  • This is not an evaluation tool. It is intended for personal and/or team reflection. The goal of the reflection is to target areas of potential growth in leadership practices for both individuals and leadership teams.
  • The terms used in the key (emerging, developing and sustaining) reflect growth in leadership practices. The terms are not evaluative.
  • Context is critical. For example a leader who has been in a school/district for a significant time may have been able to apply actions related to various standards at the sustaining level. That same leader may move to another district and find that due to conditions in the district, they are again operating at the emerging level. The context of your position, will also determine the priority of the standards you are focused on at any given time. You may determine your current position does not currently require the action delineated for a particular standard you identify as emerging.
  • School and district goals, as well as the identification of targeted areas for professional growth, will determine the focus of individual and/or leadership team professional development needs.

What Do the New Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) Mean for You, Your School, and Your District?

Learn All About the PSEL and the Leadership Reflection and Growth Tool as an In-District Workshop

FEA trainers can go to your school or district for a half day workshop to show your entire team how to best utilize the PSEL Leadership Reflection and Growth Tool. As a team, you will have the opportunity to explore how this tool, developed for leaders by leaders, may help to support growth and the collective capacity of your leaders to directly impact school and district improvement.

Call Christy Stoehr at 609-860-1200 for more information.

Accessing the PSEL Leadership Reflection and Growth Tool

In order to access the tool, you must have an account with NJPSA and be logged into the website.

How to Access the PSEL Tool

Accessing the Tool

    • Enter your email address (this will be used for tracking purposes so please ensure you consistently use the same email).

    • Click the “Submit” button.

    • On the next page, click “Complete Self-Reflections

PSEL Tool information is also available in the NJPSA/FEA Help Center.

PSEL Tool Participant Feedback


Easy to use, provides common language, not jargon, good for parent and community discussions.  Depth of what we do in schools is articulated clearly in this document.

 – Ken Schneider, Superintendent, Mercer Tech

 Can provide a powerful means for schools to stay student-focused while promoting professional growth of teachers and leaders.

 – Kim Feltre, K-12 Science Supervisor, Hillsborough

Everyone interprets the standards differently.  The program breaks the standards down to an open reflection done at the individual and district level.

 – Barbara Bracco, Supervisor, Cliffside

Love the specific evidence statements!

 – Jackie Truzzolino, Director of Curriculum. Little Egg Harbor

Excellent tool to start the conversation and move you along to the next steps of implementation and further reflection!

 – Luginda Batten-Walker, Principal, Clifton

This will help me reflect on my experiences and chart a path for improvement, as well as providing a pathway for the leadership team PLC to maintain focus in our discussions.

 – Luis Ramirez, Principal, North Brunswick

A well organized tool that is specific enough to guide the development of goals and flexible enough for differentiated implementation.

 – Andrew Scanlon, Supervisor, East Brunswick

I am hoping that time will be given to really think this vision through.  It has very good qualities for unpacking current district situations.  Districts must make collaboration on and development and analysis of growth plans a priority for this to be a realistic and useful tool.

 – Diana Whalen, Principal, North Brunswick

Great tool to support and guide meaningful conversation

 – Greg Jablonski, Teacher Leader,  Vernon Valley

I believe this is a powerful tool that will lead to personal and district reflection. It leads to great collaborative dialogue among leadership teams.

  – Tonya Breland, Consultant

This can be an extremely effective tool in clarifying the roles, actions, and expectations of leaders, illuminating the pathways to strengthening leadership actions, facilitating vertical understanding of roles, and supports actions needed to effectuate student learning.

 – Barbara Gibbons, Coach