New professional practice standards announced

February 13, 2018
Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor

Education Minister David Eggen is flanked by Alberta Teachers’ Association president Greg Jeffery and Michael Hauptman of the College of Alberta School Superintendents during an official signing of new professional practice standards for teachers, principals and superintendents.

It’s official: Alberta now has new professional practice standards for teachers, school leaders and superintendents.

In development for three years, the standards were announced Feb. 7 and will take effect Sept. 1, 2019.

“These standards set a common vision for what it takes to deliver high-quality education in Alberta’s classrooms,” said Education Minister David Eggen, who made the announcement alongside Alberta Teachers’ Association president Greg Jeffery and Michael Hauptman of the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

With the introduction of the Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) in 1997, Alberta became the first province to introduce standards for teachers. Now, alongside a TQS that has been updated to reflect changing times, the province also has the Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) to describe the competencies expected of school leaders and school jurisdiction leaders and a Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) to define the competencies expected of Alberta school superintendents.

The competencies in all three standards are connected, ensuring a consistent set of skills for teachers and leaders at all levels of the system, Eggen said. These connections mean classrooms will be designed by all educators to anticipate, value and respond to the diverse strengths and needs of all students.

Jeffery said a lot of work went into the development of the standards and that he appreciated the level of consultation and engagement that occurred with the profession.

“School principals, vice-principals and central office leaders are key members of the teaching profession in Alberta and we welcome the introduction of new standards that outline the uniqueness of their roles as part of a unified teaching profession,” Jeffery said.

Professional practice standards guide university and other education programming for teachers and education leaders. They also provide the basis for areas like teacher certification, mentorship, induction, career-long learning and growth planning.

Identifying distinct expectations for superintendents, system leaders and school leaders is a positive step for education in the province, said Christopher MacPhee, president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

“Educators looking to move into leadership roles will now have guiding expectations and competencies to chart their path.”

Between now and September 2019, when the new standards will come into effect, Alberta Education and the ATA will work to help educators learn about and prepare to meet the new standards. More information about supports for teachers, principals, school leaders and superintendents will be available soon, including details on the new certification process for principals and superintendents. Training programs, symposia and local initiatives to help educators prepare for the new standards will be announced in the coming months.

The three standards are available for viewing online. ❚

Three standards
Standard   Applies to
Teacher Quality Standard (TQS)   All certificated teachers in Alberta
Leadership Quality Standard (LQS)   All principals, assistant, associate and vice- principals, and school jurisdiction leaders
Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS)   All superintendents and chief deputy superintendents