What is the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL)?

Principal in a high school.
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In educational leadership, aspiring principals in Texas undergo rigorous assessments to prove their readiness for the pivotal role they would like to take on. The ETS® Performance Assessment for School Leaders, commonly known as PASL, has been a cornerstone of this evaluation process since its statewide adoption in 2019.

Developed by ETS (Educational Testing Service) and endorsed by the Texas Education Agency, the PASL provides compelling evidence of a principal candidate’s preparedness for their initial school leadership position.

What is the PASL, and How Does It Work?

The Performance Assessment for School Leaders tasks are a series of school-based assignments meticulously designed to assess aspiring principals’ abilities to enhance classroom instruction and foster student learning.

Furthermore, candidates embark on a journey that requires them to complete tasks aligned with essential school leader practices. These tasks aim to gauge the candidates’ readiness for the multifaceted responsibilities of educational leadership.

Get step-by-step guidance on the Performance Assessment for School Leaders with our PASL Preparation Guide!

Navigating the PASL

The PASL journey comprises three distinct tasks, each demanding written commentary and submitting specific documents referred to as artifacts. These artifacts serve as tangible proof of a candidate’s proficiency in various leadership practices. The PASL tasks explore the following dimensions:

1. Problem Solving in the Field

In this initial task, candidates showcase their aptitude for addressing and resolving significant challenges within their school that directly impact teaching practices and student learning outcomes. In addition, the task’s components include research, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, plan execution, and evaluating its impact on students.

2. Supporting Continuous Professional Development

The second task delves into the skills required for creating and maintaining effective, ongoing professional development initiatives for school staff. Candidates must provide evidence of their ability to prioritize professional development, conduct classroom walk-throughs, review student work, and seek feedback from staff after professional development sessions.

3. Creating a Collaborative Team

The final PASL task puts candidates in the driver’s seat of fostering collaborative teamwork within the school community. They must orchestrate efforts to build a cohesive team focused on enhancing instructional practices, boosting student achievement, and nurturing a positive school culture. This task also requires candidates to submit a 15-minute video, among other artifacts.

A Journey of Professional Growth

One notable feature of the PASL assessment is its extended timeline, allowing candidates to submit their tasks over several months. Furthermore, this approach encourages continuous refinement of professional practice and assessment products. It reflects the reality of the principal’s role, which demands ongoing development and adaptability.

In summary, the ETS Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) serves as a comprehensive evaluation tool for aspiring educational leaders in Texas. Through a series of thoughtfully crafted tasks, candidates demonstrate their ability to address complex challenges, foster professional development, and cultivate collaborative teams – essential skills for effective school leadership. As this assessment continues to shape the next generation of principals, it underscores the importance of leadership excellence in advancing education.

Andrea is a Leadership Certification Specialist here at ESC Region 13.

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