PEPSC Discusses Prospective Updates To Principal Preparation, Licensure, And Evaluation

The North Carolina Professional Education Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) met Thursday, April 11, during which Commission members heard an update on principal preparation, licensure, and evaluation from a task force comprised of three principals and three assistant principals from across the state. After careful consideration, the Task Force narrowed down its assessment choices and is now focused on adjusting the assessment language to fit the state’s context without compromising the integrity of the assessment.

Because the state’s principal licensure standards have remained unchanged since 2008, the Task Force began working in 2019 to align state standards with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) developed by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration. The Task Force evaluated portfolio-based assessments for principal applicants, aiming to select an instrument that aligns closely with the state’s principal licensure requirements while still ensuring validity and reliability. In considering different portfolio-based assessments for principals, the Task Force focused on the pedagogical components and practicality of the various assessment options. Specifically, Task Force members sought an assessment that would align with the state’s principal licensure standards while also preserving flexibility and autonomy in program design for educational preparation programs (EPPs).

The Task Force also noted that due to the shift from a test-based to assessment-based licensure process, questions for applicants cannot be assigned to each standard, and thus certain standards may be best assessed through coursework or internships. The Task Force emphasized the importance of its validity for use in the field and reliability in data for continuous improvement. Furthermore, the Task Force noted the assessment should also provide a user-friendly experience, with manageable tasks and clear directions for candidates.

In addition to the Task Force’s review of potential assessments, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) also reviewed various portfolio assessments used across the country. Among the five states partnering with vendors (two Pearson, two ETS, and one Bloomboard), one state’s assessment emerged as a potential fit but would require adjustments. Considerations for ultimate decision-making include budget constraints, a tight timeframe, and the acknowledgment that no assessment can cover all aspects comprehensively.

On the practical front, the assessment is on track to meet timelines for recommendations to the PEPSC and the State Board of Education (SBE) by June 15. Cost considerations must align with other licensure exams, ensuring affordability for candidates. Importantly, the proposal must also be budget neutral, requiring no upfront investment or annual budget allocation for maintenance. The Task Force likened this investment to the scoring capacity, noting that the assessment should not burden the state with the work and cost of scoring. The assessment must also allow for customization to reflect North Carolina’s needs and context.

In May, the portfolio-based assessment, aligned with current evaluation standards, will be presented to PEPSC for a vote. Pending PEPSC’s recommendation, the assessment will proceed to the SBE for consideration at its June monthly meeting. Meanwhile, the Task Force will continue to finalize internship requirements, revise principal standards, and determine future steps. Should the revised standards be ultimately approved, efforts will focus on aligning the evaluation instrument with the new standards and adjusting the portfolio-based assessment accordingly.

In addition to the principal licensure assessment discussion at the meeting on April 11, PEPSC also discussed  work on licensure, educator preparation, and assessment and performance during the subcommitee portion. PEPSC also approved policy amendments for the following State Board policies: LICN-003 (Licensure Testing Requirements), EVAL-035 (Standards of Professional Conduct), EVAL-014 (Code of Ethics for NC Educators), and LICN-007 (License Suspension and Revocation). The full agenda and related materials for the April 11 PEPSC meeting can be found here.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content