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The premier learning-centered leadership assessment for K-12 leaders.

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A school’s leadership is one of the most important predictors of student achievement because they create the climate, set the goals, create the processes and support teaching for each student. That is why IO Education has partnered with Vanderbilt University to offer the premier leadership assessment solution. The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) is a research-based evaluation tool that measures the effectiveness of school leaders by use of a 360-degree, evidence-based, multi-rater assessment protocol focused on learning-centered leadership behaviors that influence teachers, staff, and most importantly, student achievement.


Designed, developed and tested through $2.5M of research grants ensuring the assessment is reliable and valid

Focused on learning-centered leadership behaviors that influence teachers, staff & students

360-degree assessment gathers broad feedback from teachers and supervisors

Evidence-based rating methodology ensures constructive feedback

Results on the 36 attributes provide detailed assessment of a school leader’s performance

Anchored by and aligned with the ISLLC 2008 Educational Leadership Policy Standards


Learning-Centered Leadership Framework

The VAL-ED assessment is specifically designed, developed and tested for leadership evaluation of leaders in K-12 schools.

  • Focused on two key dimensions educational leadership - core components of leadership and key processes
  • Measures the leadership behaviors that lead to improved outcomes in the school, which in turn lead to student success
  • Criterion-referenced and norm-referenced scores provide valid and reliable results to evaluate the performance of a principal and identify specific leadership behaviors for improvement

360-degree, multi-rater assessment

  • Request input from supervisor, staff and teachers
  • Survey respondents provide anonymous, evidence-based feedback
  • Leaders provide a self-assessment
  • Structured evaluation framework ensure meaningful feedback on leadership attributes

Intuitive Administration

  • Easily manage the program at the school, cluster, district, regional or state level
  • Monitor and remind on ongoing assessments
  • Dedicated support for program administrators

Results Analysis & Reporting

  • Individual and Aggregate reports are interpreted against both norm-referenced and standards-referenced criteria that highlight areas of strength and possible areas for improvement
  • Diagnose principal actions and recommend leadership behaviors for possible improvement
  • Overview of respondents and evidence used
  • Leadership effectiveness scoring including mean, performance level and percentile rank by core component and key process as well as overall
  • Respondent distribution comparisons
  • Recommend plan for professional growth
Dean Camilla P. Benbow |
Peabody College at Vanderbilt University

Effective principal leadership is an essential element of successful schools. With VAL-ED, schools have a quality leadership assessment instrument that has undergone scientific and psychometric development and has been validated against measures of student achievement.

Karen Kemp | Senior Coordinator of Leadership Development
Polk County Public Schools (FL)

Our district selected VAL-ED as part of our principal evaluation system due to its unparalleled reliability and validity, and for the comprehensive data that it provides. Most importantly, VAL-ED includes feedback from the entire teacher faculty - a response group that is best able to provide insight on their principal's instructional leadership. Principals receive detailed data on their performance in order to grow and improve as educational leaders, and with the comprehensive VAL-ED data, our district is able to tailor and direct our limited professional development funds for the greatest impact.

Joseph Murphy |
Vanderbilt University

Leadership is a central ingredient - often the keystone element in school and district success as defined in terms of student achievement.

Ellen Goldring |
Vanderbilt University

Assessments that provide ongoing performance feedback to school leaders about their learning-centered leadership behaviors can substantially help school leaders develop effective leadership for school improvement.