Stakeholders at every level empowered to be leaders in
effecting consistent systemwide change
What is it?
True systemwide change requires leaders who are empowered to
experiment, make decisions, take risks and adjust their course. While the term
leader usually refers to those in traditional management roles, such as
superintendents and principals, it can also refer to stakeholders at any level
within the system — including teachers, staff, support staff and even students.
Empowering stakeholders at all levels creates a system of proactive leaders who
are able to make critical decisions about their own learning and teaching, help
each other solve problems, and enact change within and across their own spheres
Why is it important?
To make and sustain the transition to a standards-ready
system, stakeholders will need a tremendous amount of trust, collaboration,
communication and responsibility across the board. This requires a shift in
culture to a distributed and cooperative model in which leadership is
situational and contextual and does not have to rely on traditional structures
and formalized approaches to make decisions within the system.
By empowering stakeholders at all levels to make decisions
and solve problems, the system becomes better able to leverage existing
strengths and expertise while strategically applying current resources in more
What does it look like?
Instead of a hierarchical governance model that implements
change from the top down, a standards-ready system features bottom-up
distributed leadership and decision making. Leadership in this case is plural,
implying the importance of a shared governance model that enables and motivates
the entire organization to shepherd change.
In a culture that empowers leaders at all
- Superintendents support administrators when they take up
issues on behalf of teachers.
- Administrators empower teachers to take
risks while providing support on critical issues.
- Teachers and
stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input on policies and are able to
address issues in a supportive environment.