I definitely agree in an ideal world, administrators and teachers will come together to collectively develop a vision for the school. Administrators will work to hold people accountable and will collect and use data to determine future best practices.
However, in the world of a powerful unionized teacher force, any decree coming from administrators can definitely be challenged and in some cases can be grounds for improper conduct per the contract (i.e. teachers per the UFT contract in NYC have full autonomy over which format a lesson plan comes in, any Principal who tries to dictate a lesson plan format or requirement, regardless of rationale, is considered to be breaching the contract)
I also think (in my experience) strong leaders facilitate and allow their teams to become invested in their school culture by allowing them a degree of autonomy. This is of course a philosophical preference of mine and I’m sure there are plenty of hands on leaders that would disagree.
As for your question concerning the collection of data, specifically in regards to ‘soft’ skills, I think data collection methods should match the desired outcome. If I want more occurrences of empathy, a simple tracker of instances of empathy in the classroom (with a clear definition of what constitutes empathy) should suffice.
If I’m interested in more meaningful moments of empathy, that’s when things get tricky. I need to define, in what way do I want these moments to be meaningful. In the same way we like focus in on specific breakdowns a student might have in their academic skills, we need to have equal specificity in how we evaluate their ‘soft’ skills
Hope that kind of sheds light :/ Also, thanks for the comment!