There are six recommended steps each Local Education Agency (LEA) should take to design and implement robust career ladder pathways to meet their unique needs. These steps are cyclical and part of an on-going process that is responsive to the changing needs of labor markets as well as students, families, and educators.
Though there is no one model that will meet the needs of all LEAs, the Department has developed sample teacher and principal career ladder pathways that fully incorporate the recommended steps. The annotated sample and rubric illustrate how a design team can use the six steps and accompanying tools and resources to develop career ladder pathways that align with the Department’s framework.
Click on the steps below to download a PDF of concrete tools and resources to help you design and implement robust career ladder pathways.
Step 1: Conduct a Needs Gap Analysis
LEAs must identify their student achievement and talent management needs by performing a gap analysis in order to design and implement a model that will result in meaningful change.
Step 2: Create Design Principles
LEAs should be intentional about the design of career ladder pathways in how it will address the needs identified in their gap analysis. LEAs should think about the roles and responsibilities of educator leaders, the structure of career ladder pathways, as well as how their career ladder pathways fit into their overarching vision or strategic plan.
Step 3: Develop Communication and Engagement Strategies
LEAs must build strong buy-in and support for this work by engaging teachers, central office staff, principals, local associations, parents, community members, and students as partners in the design and implementation of career ladder pathways.
Step 4: Provide On-going Training and Support
LEAs should provide initial training and on-going support to teacher and principal leaders as well as their managers.
Step 5: Improve Funding and Sustainability
LEAs should consider all factors associated with the development of career ladder pathways. This includes costs such as compensation for educator leaders, release time coverage, and professional development.
Step 6: Continuously Evaluate the Program
LEAs should have systems and structures in place to monitor progress and program impact on measurable goals and outcomes in order to inform refinements as needed.