Bulletin Board: Advocate

The leaders we need, a call for civility, and a new NAESP grassroots network.

Topics: Advocacy and Legislation

The Leaders We Need

Pandemic-era staffing strategies support new learning

NAESP and the American Institutes for Research launched a new research series called Leaders We Need Now—a first-of-its-kind study that shows the impact of the unprecedented crises of 2020–2021 on the principal profession and what principals need to help students and schools recover and succeed.

Principals who took part in the study revealed that new staffing practices supported new learning but introduced new challenges in the first of three briefs, “Leaders in the Tumult: Schooling Innovations and New Perspectives From a Year Interrupted.”

Challenges Schools Faced

School faculty and staff reached levels of exhaustion unparalleled in the history of education, due in part to the need to move to new content areas and learning platforms almost daily.

Problems with teacher and administrator recruitment already plagued school systems pre-​pandemic, but now concerns are growing about just how many educators will opt to leave the profession because of retirements, job stress, or better financial opportunities elsewhere.

When the demographics of school faculty and staff don’t reflect those of the community, the need arises for more creative staffing, hiring, and recruitment approaches.

Schools need health care and information technology professionals, but it’s a challenge to fill these positions when pay might not be as competitive as similar jobs in the private sector.

What School Leaders Learned

New staffing approaches required principals to think about prioritizing staff time for educators who were stretched thin amid pandemic responsibilities, leading to a greater emphasis on self-care for all school staff—including the principal—and social-emotional supports that address trauma.

Teachers had the opportunity to specialize in subject areas to improve staffing flexibility and support cross-staffing in the future.

Equity and inclusion became more of a priority than ever before in response to national and local racial justice concerns, with a focus on long-term investments in educational improvement and staff development.

Learn more and download briefs from the Leaders We Need Now series at naesp.org/LWNN.

A Call for Civility

NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks and Ronn Nozoe, CEO of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, together published an op-ed advocating for a collective recommitment to civility in schools and communities:

“In this time of division and crisis, we, as school leaders, cannot sit quietly by,” the article said. “Volatile and violent debates threaten to erode our hallways and undermine our solemn promise to America’s students: to provide them with high-quality education in safe spaces. We are compelled to reaffirm what and who we stand for and to advocate for a collective recommitment to civility in our schools and in our communities.”

Read the entire statement at: bit.ly/3wyblMu.

NAESP Grassroots Advocacy Network

A new volunteer opportunity gives you the chance to participate in NAESP’s advocacy efforts. The NAESP Grassroots Advocacy Network (GAN) consists of NAESP members who volunteer to help advance NAESP’s advocacy priorities and become a more engaged principal advocate at the local level. As a grassroots advocacy leader, you are joining principals from across the country to ensure that principals’ interests are reflected in public policy at all levels—federal, state, and local. Joining the network will provide you with advocacy training, access to exclusive grassroots advocacy content, opportunities to hear from national advocacy experts, and networking.

This opportunity is reserved for NAESP members only. Apply now. No prior advocacy experience required.

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