Bookmark It | Middle Matters | Leadership Compass | Report to Parents | Communicator Archives

Print Articles
April 2010, Volume 33, Number 8



Convention Coverage Begins Thursday

If you can’t make it to NAESP’s convention this year, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss a beat by reading Convention News Online (CNO), which will feature stories about the convention’s major events, updates from the NAESP convention blogger, tweets from various attendees, and a photo gallery.

Starting Thursday, April 8, updated news coverage will be available on CNO, where you’ll also find links to NAESP’s blog, Twitter account, and photo albums—which will all be dedicated to the Association’s 89th Annual Convention and Exposition through Sunday, April 11.

Our 2010 convention blogger, principal Melissa Patschke, will chronicle her convention experience by posting updates daily on the Principals’ Office. And NAESP’s official convention photographer, Lifetouch, will bring the convention to you via pictures of each day’s events.

We’re bringing the convention to you, so access CNO from the NAESP home page or make the CNO site one of your favorite pages in your Web browser.

And if you plan on being at convention and would like to take part in the convention coverage using social networking sites (e.g., Twitter, Picasa, Flickr) use the tag #naesp2010 with each message you write or photo you upload to social networking sites. That way, others can easily find your convention-related items online.

Back to top

Is American Education Better Than We Think?

That’s the question addressed in the latest segment of NAESP Radio. Host Gail Connelly interviews Yong Zhao, university distinguished professor at Michigan State University, who argues that the weakness of American education might be greatly overstated. “The majority of our education force should be congratulated and thanked and entrusted,” he says.
In the interview, Zhao discusses what he believes is a misconception of U.S. education and the disadvantages of comparing U.S. test scores to those of students in other countries.
“The current misunderstanding that the U.S. education is worse than the education in other countries—measured by test scores—that’s definitely going to send us down the wrong path unless we correct that perception and rethink seriously about what globalization requires,” he says. “The test scores of a limited number of subjects do not reflect whether a student is valuable in the future, whether that’s the quality of education in a school or a teacher.”
Zhao also addresses the downside of adopting national standards: “With the current reform, it’s very likely we’re going to further narrow our curriculum ... to what’s going to be tested by the common core standards.”
The repercussion of this, Zhao explains, is that subjects that will be tested are the subjects that will become valued in schools. “Especially at the elementary school level, we lose opportunities for our children to truly acquire and develop the other elements, skills, abilities to be able to succeed in the age of globalization.”
Listen to the full interview as Zhao discusses why American schools are fundamentally well positioned to produce children with the skills needed in a new world transformed by technology.
Back to top

Win Supplies for Your School!

Woman’s Day magazine, in collaboration with NAESP, is sponsoring a contest for one lucky school to win more than $1,000 worth of art supplies, office supplies, and other resources that will help students achieve at high levels.
Anyone can nominate a school—parents, teachers, even students. To enter, write an essay of 250 words or fewer explaining why your school needs supplies. Be sure to include your name, address, daytime phone number, and e-mail address, as well as the name and address of the school, the principal’s name and his or her phone number.
More information is available online. All entries must be received by April 26, 2010.
Mail your essay to:
Angela Ebron
Woman’s Day School Giveaway
1633 Broadway, 42nd floor
New York, NY 10019
Back to top

Time to Grow, Time to Give

The NAESP Foundation Annual Giving Campaign has kicked off! The NAESP Foundation advances excellence, innovation, and equity in schools by endowing leadership and learning for principals for the benefit of all children.
All campaign donations go toward scholarships and grants for pre-K-8 schools. Visit and click on “Give Now” to donate to the foundation. One-hundred percent of your contribution goes toward the NAESP endowment.
Also, if you plan on attending NAESP’s convention, you can contribute to the foundation’s efforts by participating in its silent auction. Items up for bid include various trip packages and hotel stays, NFL memorabilia, principal resources, and free membership to NAESP. Come stop by to bid on these incredible items!
All proceeds will go toward the NAESP Foundation to provide funding for education initiatives and support services and resources for elementary and middle-level principals.
Back to top

Make Your Voice Heard!

NAESP’s 2010 election is less than one week away. So if you haven’t already, review our election page, which contains all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard in this year’s election.
All NAESP members eligible to vote (active, institutional active, emeritus, and life members) will receive an election notification message from on Tuesday, April 13. The message will contain a password and a link to the eBallot site where you can participate in the election of the president-elect and directors of Zones 3, 4, and 6. You may vote any time between April 13 and May 12. For more information, visit

If you do not receive an election notification message, call 800-386-2377 and ask for Barbara Wilmer or Nancy Sharbel.
Clarification: The headline for the statement from Robert L. Monson, candidate for NAESP president-elect, in the March Communicator included a typographic error. It should have read as follows: “Do What Is Best for the Children First, Do Everything Else Next.”
Back to top

Summer Learning

The summer is a great time to fit in some much-needed professional development, and NAESP’s Summer Institute is an ideal opportunity to do just that. From July 6 to 9, principals will descend upon San Diego for three days of learning targeted just for them.
Who Should Attend. This program is specifically designed for education leaders—principals, teacher leaders, and curriculum developers who must gain awareness and understanding of teaching and learning in diverse communities and the role that current brain research plays in that enhanced understanding.
About the Presenters. Donna Wilson and Marcus Conyers are the founders of BrainSMART and co-developers of graduate programs focused on brain-based leading, teaching, and reading with Nova Southeastern University. Their BrainSMART strategies draw from 30 years of international research in psychology and brain science; leadership studies from the military, corporations, and education institutions; and first-hand experience in leading state and districtwide initiatives with tens of thousands of educators.
Learn more by visiting NAESP’s Leadership Academy.
Back to top

ED’s Perspective: Finding Our Voice

When the voices of thousands of principals join together as a national community of peers, amplified by NAESP’s megaphone, you gain power and resonance in a chorus that no governance body or Cabinet-level department can tune out or ignore. Read more.
Back to top

Federal Report: Advocacy on Your Behalf

In recent years, the term “school principal” has made the occasional appearance in the education policy vernacular, but not consistently, and not earnestly. That is until now. Read more.
Back to top

Mentor Center: Preparing for a Leave of Absence

Our Mentor Center principal is about to go on maternity leave and needs advice on how to get everything in order at her school ahead of this impending leave of absence. Read more.
Back to top

Key NAESP events are approaching in the coming months.
Copyright © 2010. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP's reprint policy.