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Contact: Alan Richard
(404) 879-5544
Released: 5/6/2010

State Leaders Gather at SREB Forum to Work on Improving School Leadership Across the Region

ATLANTA – Leaders from 22 states and Canada are meeting here on May 6-7 for the Southern Regional Education Board’s annual forum on school leadership — with an emphasis this year on new collaborations between states, colleges and universities, and school districts to prepare a new generation of public school leaders.

The Leadership Forum is being held at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, and continues on Friday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Just a few years ago, public school principals were expected to focus primarily on management and administration. Today, educators recognize that leadership has a direct impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning.

The event is hosted by SREB’s Learning-Centered Leadership Program, which prepares aspiring principals and school leadership teams to aggressively lead improvement in curriculum, instruction and student achievement. The program also works directly with states, colleges and universities, school districts and others to improve the quality and training of school leaders. Many of SREB’s intensive training workshops for school leaders will go online this year.

"This important forum brings together state officials, higher education officials, researchers and others to develop plans for improving school leadership in every state," said Gene Bottoms, SREB’s senior vice president for school improvement, who oversees the SREB leadership program.

Participants will hear the findings of SREB’s 2010 benchmark study of state policies and practices to prepare a new generation of school leaders. State teams will then break out to share ideas and formulate plans for meeting areas of need identified in the report.

Scheduled speakers and panelists include SREB President Dave Spence; Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms; Joan Auchter, chief program officer for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; Dean Fink, international educational development consultant; Norton Grubb, faculty coordinator of the Principal Leadership Institute at the University of California, Berkeley; Jon Schnur, chief executive officer and co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools, a former adviser to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; and Kathy O’Neill, the director of the SREB Learning-Centered School Leadership Program.

The gathering of many nationally renowned education leadership experts is a significant annual event for the region, and it also helps SREB states to advance these issues nationally.

State leaders will examine school leadership succession challenges, state and district strategies for building leadership capacity, preparing leaders to succeed in high-need and struggling schools, and other critical issues. The SREB Challenge to Lead Goals for Education, developed and approved by state leaders in 2002, call for every school to have leadership that results in improved student performance — starting with an effective school principal.

Among recent efforts, the Learning-Centered Leadership Program has been working closely with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as it prepares the highly anticipated Accomplished Principal Certification.

To attend the forum or learn more about your state’s progress in improving school leadership, contact SREB Communications.

SREB, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, advises state education leaders on ways to improve education. SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each is represented by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees.

Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
(404) 875-9211

For additional information, please e-mail communications@sreb.org