Principals Gather in Nation’s Capital to Demand More Support for School Leaders

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NAESP’s National Leaders Conference will feature speakers from Dept. of Education and Congress, in addition to announcing its new school improvement research arm.

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Principals contend that ESEA reauthorization can’t wait until budget woes are corrected.

Principals from across the nation will meet in Washington, D.C., at the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ (NAESP) National Leaders Conference (NLC), July 18-20, to advocate that Congress complete the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Principals contend that ESEA reauthorization can’t wait until budget woes are corrected. Principals also believe that we need to put an end to the punitive sanctions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), recognize the essential role of elementary and middle-level principals, and support principals’ professional development. NLC highlights include the following, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, unless otherwise noted:

ESEA Reauthorization Advocacy. Principals will advocate on Capitol Hill for long overdue reauthorization of ESEA so that every state can develop the best policies to build the capacity of principals and advance school improvement. (Thursday, July 19, various congressional offices)

Center for Educational Improvement (CEI) Announcement. NAESP introduces its newly acquired research arm, which is poised to impact the school improvement arena, providing research-based professional development and recommendations to guide federal policies. Visit the website:

Remarks by Officials from the Department of Education. The membership awards luncheon will feature an incredible line-up of officials from the Department of Education—Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, and Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. (Friday, July 20, 12-1:30 p.m.)

Remarks by Key Members of Congress. Rep. John Kline (R.-MN), Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Sen. Jack Reed (D- RI). (Thursday, July 19, 7:30-9 a.m.)

Leadership Keynotes. Noted leadership strategist Jeff De Cagna will present a keynote entitled “Connecting Opportunity with Responsibility: The Challenge of Future-Focused Stewardship.” (Friday, July 20, 9-9:45 a.m.)

International coach and speaker, Mike Staver, will deliver a keynote entitled “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards.” (Friday, July 20, 3-4:30 p.m.)

Note: Principals may be interviewed on July 19 after their congressional appointments or at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill on July 20. For more information about these policy issues, to interview principals about their congressional meetings, or to locate principals from particular states or districts, please contact Kaylen Tucker (ktucker(at)naesp(dot)org or 703-518-6257).

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Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) serves elementary and middle school principals in the United States, Canada, and overseas. NAESP leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment to all children.

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