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Improving School Leadership Through Legislation: Lessons from Illinois- August 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois

 

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Sara Shelton
NCSL, Program Principal
(303) 856-1647

School leaders are key to improving teaching and learning. Picture of teacher with students. Illinois is a leader in improving school leadership. Over the past several years, Illinois lawmakers have successfully championed legislation to strengthen school leadership by improving training, evaluation and ongoing support to ensure schools are led by effective principals who can close the achievement gap and raise the overall achievement of all students. This dynamic, action-oriented seminar will feature the key players involved in leading this work and offer lessons learned to other states working on these issues.

Seminar Agenda                                                       

Leadership Matters: Principals Leading School Improvement
School leaders play a vital role in school improvement. Quality of instruction is the single most important school factor for improving student learning, and successful principals know how to improve instruction school-wide.  Effective principals attract and retain quality teachers and ensure excellent teaching and learning in every classroom. Investments in school leadership can be a cost-effective education improvement strategy because principals are uniquely positioned to ensure improved student learning outcomes. This session will focus on the important role principals play in school improvement and set the stage for the rest for the seminar. 

Speaker:             

Steve Tozer, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

 
Redesigning Principal Preparation (Illinois S.B. 226, 2010)
Many traditional preparation programs are woefully out of touch with the realities of what school leaders face on the job in today’s increasingly complex school environment. This session will focus on what the research says about high-quality preparation programs and how state and district policy in Illinois is serving as a catalyst for improving programs.

Moderator:

Sara Shelton, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures

Speakers:
Terry Orr, Director, Future Schools Leaders Academy, Bank Street College of Education, New York
Erika Hunt, Research Associate, Illinois State University
Alicia Winckler, Chief Talent Officer, Chicago Public Schools

                                                                 
Evaluating Principal Effectiveness (Illinois S.B. 315, 2010)
As the role of the principal evolves from building manager to instructional leader, so too should the evaluation systems that assess their performance. Rigorous principal evaluations, such as the one passed by the Illinois General Assembly, can serve as a powerful tool to leverage school improvement. This session draws from current research on assessing principal effectiveness and discusses how the Illinois principal evaluation law was constructed to evaluate, improve and support principals.
 
Moderator:
Sara Shelton, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Speakers:
Terry Orr, Director, Future Schools Leaders Academy, Bank Street College of Education, New York   
Senator Kimberly Lightford, Senate Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois General Assembly
Ben Boer, Director of Policy, Advance Illinois Diane Rutledge, Executive Director, Large Unit District Association

Lunch and Discussion: Illinois Implementation and Lessons Learned
This moderated panel discussion will feature the key stakeholders engaged in crafting state policy to improve principal preparation and evaluation. This session will spotlight the challenges and successes of implementation to-date and lessons learned.
 
Moderator:
Erika Hunt, Research Associate, Illinois State University
 
Panelists:
Debbie Meisner-Bertauski, Associate Director, Illinois Board of Higher Education
Ben Boer, Director of Policy, Advance Illinois
Steve Gering, Chief Network Officer, Chicago Public Schools
Senator Kimberly Lightford, Senate Assistant Majority Leader, Illinois General Assembly
Vicki Phillips, Division Administrator, Educator and School Development Division, Illinois State Board of Education
Diane Rutledge, Executive Director, Large Unit District Association
Steve Tozer, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

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