Provincial Education Minister David Eggen announced changes to the 30-year-old School Act Nov. 15, 2017, including an amendment to require superintendents and principals to have formal certification. The revised School Act received Royal Assent Dec. 15, 2017.
Current Rocky View Schools (RVS) Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach said though he hasn’t had a lot of time to review the new legislation, he welcomes this move to stricter requirements.
“I think it’s a good thing. It increases accountability. This is what we say is important and what we expect both our school leaders and system leaders to demonstrate,” he said.
“There’s a lot of connection between what our teachers and school leaders and system administrators are expected to show there. To be honest, it’s the work we already do; this is just making it explicit and gives the minister a bit of an opportunity to say there is now a standard.”
According to Luterbach, school leaders are principals, assistant principals and associate principals, while systems leaders are superintendents.
“Alberta Education has had teacher quality standards that teachers are expected to demonstrate for quite a long time, but they haven’t had a similar thing for principals – there have been guidelines but not a standard – and superintendents have had their own sort of thing internally within the superintendents’ association,” he said.
“(The government) had floated out some draft standards in the summer of 2016. They’ve got a list of different competencies that we’d need to demonstrate to maintain our certification.”
Luterbach said details about how the certification for principals and superintendents will be implemented had yet to be released. He was not sure if the draft circulated in 2016 is what the government has now legislated.
“This won’t kick in until Sept. 1, 2019 so there’s a little bit of time for these to be finalized and put out and then a process put into place (regarding) how you will demonstrate these,” he said.
“All of that will come out in details subsequent to the School Act revisions.”