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January 2010, Volume 33, Number 5


National Principal Certification Program Announced

NAESP Convention to Feature Turnaround Principals Panel

Improving Learning Communities Through Promising Practices

NAESP Radio Now Available on iTunes

New York Times Best-selling Author to Keynote at Convention

Make Plans for Summertime Professional Development

Principal Principles

Federal Report: Promising Plan Raises Several Concerns

Calendar

 



National Principal Certification Program Announced

On Dec. 8, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) rolled out its National Board Certification for Educational Leaders, which includes the development of National Board Certification for Principals. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly, and some of the nation’s leading foundations as well as business and educational leaders joined NBPTS in Washington, D.C., to publicly announce the design and development of this initiative.

“We are working to create a rigorous and meaningful assessment process that identifies what principals should know and be able to do,” said Joseph Aguerrebere, president and CEO of NBPTS. “The assessment experience that we envision will provide a way for principals to internalize and operationalize the standards, the values, and habits of mind that support accomplished practice.” The program is scheduled to officially launch in 2011.

During her remarks at the press event, Connelly said that principal certification will raise the awareness of the critical role of the principal and ensure successful outcomes for all students. It will “provide principals a meaningful way to demonstrate they have met, or exceeded, requirements that identify an accomplished, effective, and results-oriented principal,” she added. The certification “provides a new dimension whereby principals can be recognized and rewarded.”

National Board Certification for Principals will not only create standards and an assessment process for principals, it will also lay the groundwork for a new teacher leader certification.

“To see what this group is doing now—which is trying to put a spotlight on excellence, trying to identify great talent, trying to put a new rung on the principal career ladder—it’s hugely important,” Duncan said. “This is an idea whose time has come.”

Watch the webcast of the announcement online and learn more about the program at www.nbpts.org/principals.

 
NAESP Convention to Feature Turnaround Principals Panel

Just announced! Don’t miss out on a national discussion—billed as “Transformational Leadership Across America: Turnaround Principals in Action”—on transforming schools during NAESP’s annual convention in Houston. On Saturday, April 10, eight talented principals who successfully turned around academically struggling schools will participate in a panel presentation and share the process they used to make significant changes in their schools.
 
Each of the eight principals will also lead a workshop during the convention to further share his or her unique strategies for change based on the principal’s school location and demographics. These outstanding principals have used their knowledge, expertise, and training to make change in schools and to sustain that transformation to better serve all of their students and communities.
 
The selected transformational leaders are:
  • Andrew J. Collins, Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School in Saint Paul, Minnesota;
  • Kevin Connelly, Colgate Elementary School in Baltimore;
  • Brian James Dawes, Ferron Elementary School in Ferron, Utah;
  • Melissa Glee-Woodard, Lewisdale Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland;
  • Cindy S. Goodman, Laurel Hill Elementary School in Laurel Hill, North Carolina;
  • Theresa Mattison, Carstens Elementary School in Detroit;
  • Muriel Thomas Summers, A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina; and
  • Greg Wiles, Lone Star Middle School in Nampa, Idaho.
These principals have proven records and have been recognized for their successes, including raising test scores and narrowing the achievement gap separating students. To learn more about this special event, including panelist bios, visit www.naesp.org/2010.
 
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Improving Learning Communities Through Promising Practices

Finding innovative ways to improve learning communities can be a tricky task for even the most informed principals. For this reason, NAESP has created a members-only Web page dedicated to spotlighting programs and policies that have been successfully used by principals across the country to accomplish tasks ranging from improving students’ academic achievement to forging beneficial relationships with community organizations. NAESP’s Promising Practices Web page currently provides more than 200 examples of various programs that can be replicated by principals, teachers, and other education leaders who want to improve the ways that their own learning communities function.
 
Divided into eight categories relating to their subject matter, all of the promising practices that are currently listed were submitted by members of the 2009 class of National Distinguished Principals. But NAESP is encouraging all principals, teachers, and education leaders to submit practices that they have found useful. A promising practice can be a creative approach to teaching students how to read, a program aimed at fostering a constructive academic climate, or an activity that promotes professional development among staff members. NAESP will update the page regularly with the newest promising practices.
 
Students and learning communities thrive when their leaders implement new and creative approaches to education, and NAESP is dedicated to aggregating these approaches and placing them in one easy to access location. Share your promising practices with fellow educators by sending them in an e-mail to kcraft@naesp.org along with your name, the name of your school, and your e-mail address.
 
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NAESP Radio Now Available on iTunes

Subscribing to NAESP Radio through iTunes is an easy way to stay informed about the latest and most pertinent education-related issues. NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly’s timely interviews cover topics that range from strategies principals can use to mitigate the impact of poverty on student learning to ways that schools can keep their student bodies healthy during flu season. These discussions with various experts provide a wealth of information, and they are now easily available to all.
 
By subscribing through iTunes, you can listen to NAESP Radio segments on your computer or download them onto your iPod. iTunes will also automatically update libraries, meaning subscribers are always alerted once a new segment becomes available. Segments are free and intended to be shared, so spread the word to your school community, professional colleagues, and friends. Links to programs you find particularly beneficial can be posted on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site, and they can be shared in e-mails to colleagues and friends.
 
In NAESP Radio’s latest segment, Connelly and internationally renowned educator Jim Grant discuss how educators can help students who live in poverty overcome their trying circumstances and fulfill their academic potential. Grant is a former principal and the founder and executive director of Staff Development for Educators. He is also the author of several books, including Death of Common Sense in Our Schools and What You Can Do About It!
 
Learning communities benefit when their leaders and staff members stay informed about the latest education news and trends, and subscribing to NAESP Radio is an easy way to accomplish this task. This valuable resource is now easily accessible to all, so don’t forget to subscribe today.
 
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New York Times Best-selling Author to Keynote at Convention

Change starts at the building level. Renowned humanitarian and education-activist Greg Mortenson has proved this over the past two decades by constructing nearly 80 schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan and improving the lives of countless children in the process. An Army veteran and former nurse, Mortenson’s efforts embody his conviction that fighting ignorance through education is the key to creating lasting peace. In April, Mortenson will share this message as a keynote speaker at NAESP’s Annual Convention and Exposition.
 
Mortenson is currently promoting his new book, Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, In Afghanistan and Pakistan. The book, a New York Times best-seller, chronicles the challenges Mortenson has faced this past decade while attempting to build and maintain schools. One of the book’s more astounding revelations is that even though inhabitants of these countries lack many basic necessities, creating education opportunities for children remains one of their top priorities.
 
Mortenson has withstood death threats from members of the Taliban, who want to suppress education, and American citizens, who view his actions as unpatriotic. But in spite of these threats and other obstacles, Mortenson has stayed true to his conviction that educating people around the world is vital to creating lasting peace.
 
Order your copy of Stones into Schools then see and meet Mortenson on Sunday, April 11 at the NAESP convention. Get an idea about what he has to share by listening to an NPR interview with Mortenson.
 
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Make Plans for Summertime Professional Development

NAESP is happy to announce details of its 2010 Summer Institute, which will focus on diversity issues in the education setting. The institute, which takes place July 6-9 in San Diego, will present an approach for understanding our diverse learning environment through:
  • Understanding metacognition;
  • Application of cognitive skills;
  • Promoting states of health and optimism;
  • Teaching to different learning styles;
  • Supporting engagement by all stakeholders; and
  • Creating positive relationships.

Specifically, institute participants will learn the difference between left hemispheric and right hemispheric thinking and how to get the best from both sides of the brain; how to reach and teach students with attention-deficit disorder; and practices for effectively working with your teacher leaders in ways that lead to more successful instructional practice.

More details are available at www.naesp.org/Summer_Institute.aspx.

 
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Principal Principles

NAESP’s Platform is a living document that represents what our membership—today’s principals—believe. As such, it is essential to keep this guiding document updated regularly so it accurately reflects the current positions of NAESP members—a responsibility given to NAESP’s Resolutions Committee, with the help of the membership’s input.
 
Every year, the Resolutions Committee reviews the NAESP Platform for timeliness and accuracy, and this year sought to streamline and realign the platform resolutions under NAESP’s Vision Goals of Leading, Learning, and Community.
 
The results of the Resolution Committee’s diligent work are compiled in its proposed resolutions. Member feedback is critical to the resolution process, so we ask that you review the document and offer your comments and suggestions. Your feedback should be sent to the Resolutions Committee at resolutions@naesp.org for consideration.
 
During the Association’s Annual Convention and Exposition in April, the committee will determine which changes to make—based on NAESP member feedback—and present them to the Delegate Assembly for approval. Your time and careful review of the Resolutions Committee’s efforts on behalf of NAESP and the principalship is encouraged and appreciated.
 
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Federal Report: Promising Plan Raises Several Concerns

States are being required to improve their longitudinal data collection systems in an effort to enable districts to use data more effectively through monies in the Race to the Top grant program. This is likely to come at a great expense to local schools, and to date no federal funds have been earmarked to assist districts with these expenses. Read more.
 
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Calendar
 
Key NAESP events are approaching in the coming months.
 


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