The Vision 2021 initiative is allowing NAESP members to lead the way in strengthening the foundation and creating a new strategic framework for the association. During the association's annual convention in Seattle this year, more than 200 NAESP members and staff met to exchange ideas about Vision 2021. Participants identified five strategic issues that reflect the association’s enduring values and emerging opportunities for leadership.

1. NAESP should work to realize equity in public schools by championing the opportunity for all children to have learning experiences that help them achieve their full potential;

2. Schools should prepare students to be global citizens for an interconnected and collaborative world and to work in a global community on common issues such as peace, environment, and economic development;

3. Principals will act as chief learning officers to facilitate learning around student, staff, and school goals. NAESP should continue to lead the charge on redefining the principalship—building on its success with the Leading Learning Communities project;

4. NAESP should continue to press for early childhood education and networks of support to give young children a strong start. NAESP should shape the public debate on early childhood education by gathering research on its effectiveness and pressing for good early intervention programs with certified teachers; and

5. Principals must develop cultural competency to lead the nation’s increasing diverse schools. Principals should be prepared to create a positive educational culture that draws on the strengths of diverse cultures and languages. 

In 2021, NAESP will celebrate 100 years of representing school principals. Within the next several months, we hope that NAESP members will weigh in on the issues that are raised through the Vision 2021 initiative. Also, we’d like you to let us know if there are other strategic issues you feel NAESP should consider as it sets goals for Vision 2021.  Where would you like to see NAESP exercise its leadership over the next 15 years?

Tomorrow, Claus von Zastrow, executive director of the Learning First Alliance, will provide some insight on Question 1.

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re: Vision 2021: Creating New Dialogues on the Future of School

I would like to voice my support for the efforts of NAESP regarding early childhood education. I have noticed that the gap of readiness skills that my kindergarten students enter school with is widening. I am an elementary administrator from a small rural K-12 school. Over the course of the past 22 years I have seen a huge increase in students who live in poverty. This of course has been shown to have a potential to equate to lower entry skills. Early childhood education could serve as the vehicle for "leveling" the playing for all children as they enter school. This would also help the classroom teacher as they work to help every student be successful. There is a lot to the concept of "Catch Them Early".

re: Vision 2021: Creating New Dialogues on the Future of School

In reference to the first bullet about equity, we need to be working toward a national least in math, reading and writing. The Aspen Institute bipartisan report on NCLB clearly points out major differences in curricular offerings in the 50 states.