(1)The general assembly finds that:
(a)Effective school leadership is second only to teaching with regard to the in-school components identified as having the greatest effect on student learning and outcomes;
(b)A recent report by the department of education and the department of higher education concerning teacher shortages in Colorado states that, in identifying reasons for leaving a school, teachers cite poor or ineffective school leadership. To address the teacher shortage, the report recommends providing improved educational leadership preparation and professional development to assist principals in creating positive school climate and culture.
(c)School principals are expected to fill many roles that move far beyond administrative tasks, including setting a school-wide vision for student learning and outcomes, creating a school-wide climate that is hospitable to learning, providing instructional leadership with educators, nurturing a professional learning community with the educators in the school, and cultivating leadership in others so that the school operates on a distributive and collaborative leadership model;
(d)There are examples of excellent principals in public schools in Colorado who successfully practice distributive and collaborative leadership and have built and maintained a strong collaborative learning community in their schools that results in positive student outcomes. School principals in Colorado should have the opportunity to observe and learn from these excellent principals to be able to replicate best practices in their own schools.
(e)Creating a cohort of public school principals throughout the state who have the opportunity to observe and learn from excellent principals and together develop their leadership skills and learn to implement best practices in leading a public school community is likely to result in school improvement throughout the state and better student academic outcomes; and
(f)Improving school leadership through a program that empowers public school principals to build their leadership skills and teaches them to effectively implement distributive and collaborative leadership is likely to result in improvements in the climate and culture of public schools, decreased educator turnover, and a reduction in the teacher shortage experienced by many public schools.
(2)The general assembly finds, therefore, that it is necessary for the benefit of public education in Colorado to direct the department of education to design and implement a program to provide embedded, experiential training for a cohort of public school principals to enable them to provide distributive and collaborative leadership within their public schools that supports increased educator retention, improved school climate and culture, and improved student academic outcomes.
Section 22-13-201 — Legislative declaration,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-22.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).