Eric Miller
Jan 19, 2017


IO Education Partners With Vanderbilt University to Service and Improve the VAL-ED Leadership Evaluation System 


Vanderbilt University selects IO Education to immediately assume servicing and future development of the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) school leadership evaluation system

ATLANTA – Jan. 19, 2017 – IO Education announces today that it has formed a strategic relationship with Vanderbilt University to assume distribution rights for the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) school leadership evaluation system and began servicing and supporting existing customers as of January 1, 2017. IO Education will offer the VAL-ED tool to districts nation-wide to support their efforts in increasing principal effectiveness, a research-based prerequisite for improving educational outcomes. Using VAL-ED will also help states and districts qualify for Title I and Title II funds for principal professional learning.

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.  

The VAL-ED instrument assesses the juncture of what a school leader must accomplish to improve academic and social learning for all students (core components) and how they create those core components (key processes). A school leader is measured on thirty-six items; a matrix of the six core components - high standards for student learning, rigorous curriculum (content), quality instruction (pedagogy), culture of learning and professional behaviors, connections to external communities, systemic performance accountability; and six key processes - planning, implementing, supporting, advocating, communicating and monitoring.

The research, development and validation underlying the VAL-ED instrument began in 2005 with a $1.5 million, three-year grant to the Vanderbilt Learning Sciences Institute from The Wallace Foundation to develop a tool to assess the performance of education leaders in the nation‘s K-12 public schools. The validation effort was supplemented with an $840,000 grant from the US Department of Education / IES from 2008 - 2012. The core components of VAL-ED are aligned with the nationally recognized Educational Leadership Policy Standards (ISLLC 2008).

“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.” said Dean Camilla P. Benbow, of the Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.

With this announcement, IO Education will assume responsibility for servicing all existing customers using VAL-ED. IO Education will immediately begin offering the VAL-ED product as part of their Educator Effectiveness product family alongside the IO Talent product used for district-wide performance management.

“The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows states and districts to use federal funds for activities targeting school principals and other school leaders using evidence-based measures and interventions. We are thrilled to be able to drive innovation of VAL-ED to support principals who are prepared for their profession. The combination of the VAL-ED leadership evaluation solution with our existing IO Talent and IO Insights products create a strong foundation for districts to manage performance of their entire educational staff,” said Michael Williamson, CEO of IO Education.

With IO Education, schools and districts break down data silos and aggregate state, district, school and classroom data around students, teachers and leadership, to develop a rich understanding of the whole student and the path to growth and achievement through excellent instruction. Learn more at

About IO Education

As a leader in the education technology industry for over 18 years, IO Education is on a mission to empower educators in all roles to use data to improve educational outcomes. The solutions from IO Education are used in all 50 states by over 7,500 schools and 120,000 educators, supporting instruction for nearly 6,000,000 students. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

Media Contact:

IO Education
Eric Miller, 866.817.0726 x210

C. Blohm & Associates
Lauren West, 608.216.7300 x26

Topics: In the News