Arlington, Va. — The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) celebrated the second anniversary of the AASA Center for System Leadership on July 1, 2007. As AASA´s professional development arm, the Center fosters, develops and supports superintendents of schools and other school system leaders who are leading the transformation of public education.
"We are very excited about the broad support that the work of the AASA Center for System Leadership has received from our members, the business community and the press," said Paul D. Houston, AASA executive director. "As the Center continues to build just-in-time programming and other support services, our members will have additional tools to lead the transformation of public education."
In its second year, the Center focused on creating unique and valuable professional development opportunities for superintendents. The Center:
* Convened the Network of Leadership Networks (NOLN) to connect individuals who lead networks engaged in the transformation of public education. The purpose of the NOLN is to increase the effectiveness of each member organization by deepening their leader´s understanding of networks as a force for transforming public education.
* Expanded the Research Roundtable Program to provide school system leaders with unique professional development programming. This program gives school leaders the opportunity to interact with peers while providing insights to the corporate sector regarding the instructional programs, delivery systems and materials that school districts need to transform public education and improve student learning.
* Piloted Leadership Matters Virtual Seminars. After a successful four-part pilot of this new delivery system for leadership development, the Center is rolling out a series of five new virtual seminars in the last half of 2007. The Fall 2007 series will focus on key areas to improve leadership effectiveness:
o Leading Student Achievement
o Working with the Board and the Community
o Effectively Leading the Staff
o Building Bridges with the Union
o Proactively Working with the Media
* Strengthened the Executive Consultants Program by adding six experienced and knowledgeable educational specialists to its ranks. The Center´s executive consultants work with school system leaders and districts in a variety of focus areas, including: program design, evaluation and data-based assessment; board/community relations; administrative infrastructure and organization; budget development and implementation; curriculum alignment; employee group negotiations (planning and facilitation); planning for and implementing district desegregation; working with boards; and issues specific to rural districts.
In addition to these programs, in the coming year the Center will continue to innovate by unveiling many new initiatives, including:
* A conference for teams of superintendents and their district security directors focused on creating and maintaining safe and secure schools.
* A partnership with McREL to provide training on the superintendent behaviors that have a proven direct impact on student achievement.
* A one-day skills-building training program for individuals aspiring to the superintendency.
* A program for superintendents focused on leading change efforts in school districts.
"The AASA Center for System Leadership is preparing school leaders who will shape the future of public education," said Sarah D. Jerome, AASA president and superintendent of schools in Arlington Heights, Ill. "The Center provides critical resources to help superintendents navigate their changing role and meet the needs of students in the 21st century."
Through the work of its five Institutes, the Center:
* Provides programs focused on a systems approach to the transformation of public education, including programs that are particularly relevant for new and aspiring superintendents.
* Is the hub for a network of learning organizations that share the same core beliefs and convictions regarding public education.
* Advocates within and through the national community for the systemic transformation of public education.
* Leads and encourages inquiries into various public education designs that might be appropriate as vehicles to transform public education.
More information on these and many other initiatives can be found online at www.aasa.org/AASACenter.
AASA, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA´s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. AASA´s major focus is standing up for public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.