Annmarie Linden and Mitch Weiss
Annmarie Linden and Mitch Weiss, Assistant Principals at Delcastle High School at the Summer Retreat for Distributed Leadership,
June 2005
Who We Are
The Wallace Foundation, one of the largest private non-profit supporters of public education, has made a major commitment to advancing student achievement by improving school leadership. It supports innovative projects at the state and district levels, and it shares the knowledge resulting from these investments and research it commissions to inform policy and practice nationally.
The Leadership Focus
In April 2004, The Foundation announced one-year grants totaling $3.6 million to the 15 states to participate in the second phase of the state-based project. The states will be eligible to renew their grants for up to an additional two years for another $16 million based on results.
Our Goal and Strategies
Our long-range goal is to significantly improve student achievement across the country by strengthening the preparation and performance of education leaders, and by promoting policies and practices that improve the conditions for their success at all levels: school, district and state.

Our site work consists of two closely-coordinated strands of activity

  • Support for a select number of states to make legislative, regulatory and budgetary changes aimed at ensuring that districts throughout those states can develop, prepare, retain and create the conditions for their leaders to improve student performance; and
  • support for high-need districts within those states to test a variety of strategies aimed at improving the training of leaders and creating working conditions that allow them to succeed
Changes at both levels are crucial. Isolated improvements at either level are unlikely to last or to have full impact in improving the ability of leaders to enhance student learning statewide.
Conditions of Leadership
Training principals to become instructional and not just administrative leaders is widely accepted. But less attention has been given to addressing the conditions in which leadership is performed. Without improving conditions, a district may well be setting a skilled leader up for failure. At the district level, the conditions that affect leadership include such topics as governance structures, resource allocation, job descriptions, authority to make decisions, labor contracts, incentives and community support. At the state level, conditions include such topics as standards, resource allocation, assessments used to measure progress, local leaders' access to performance data, and the process by which leaders and schools are held accountable.
Where We Work
Wallace is working intensively with 15 districts (noted in parenthesis) and numerous demonstration districts in the following 24 states-Arizona, Connecticut (Hartford), Delaware, Georgia (Atlanta), Illinois (Chicago, Springfield), Indiana (Fort Wayne), Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky (Louisville), Louisiana, Massachusetts (Boston, Springfield), Michigan, Missouri (St. Louis), Montana, New Jersey (Trenton), New Mexico, New York (New York City), Ohio, Oregon (Eugene, Portland), Rhode Island (Providence), Texas, Vermont, Virginia (Fairfax) and Wisconsin.
Our Growing Knowledge
To share the ideas and effective practices emerging from its work, Wallace commissions and publishes research on critical issues related to education leadership. Among the most popular publications, available on our website, are:
  • Developing Successful Principals: Review of Research by Stephen Davis et al., Stanford Education Leadership Initiative, The Finance Project (2005)
  • The Principal Internship: How Can We Get It Right? by Southern Regional Education Board (April 2005)
  • Buried Treasure: Developing a Management Guide from Mountains of School Data by The Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington (January 2005)
  • How Leadership Influences Student Learning (Executive Summary) by the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto (September 2004)
  • Beyond the Pipeline: Getting the Principals We Need, Where They Are Needed Most by The Wallace Foundation (June 2003)
  • Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Superintendents and Principals Talk About What's Needed to Fix Public Schools by Public Agenda (November 2003)
  • Making Sense of Leading Schools: A Study of the School Principalship by The Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington (September 2003)
  • Who is Leading our Schools? An Overview of School Administrators and Their Careers by The RAND Corporation (June 2003)
  • Leading for Learning: Reflective Tools for School and District Leaders by the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy (February 2003)
  • From Bystander to Ally: Transforming the District Human Resources Department by The Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington (April 2004)
  • Good Principals Are the Key to Successful Schools: Six Strategies to Prepare More Good Principals by the Southern Regional Education Board (June 2003)
Learn More
The Wallace Foundation's mission is to support and share effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people.

Visit Wallace's website to access or download any of our publications. To get more information on our education leadership work, call 212-251-9710 or email Richard Laine, Director of Education.

About This Web Site

The SAELP website is being updated to Delaware’s Cohesive Leadership System website. Since 2001, the Department of Education has received funding from the Wallace Foundation for two projects—SAELP I and SAELP II. In June 2007, Delaware was funded 1.5 million dollars by Wallace to expand and deepen the work in developing a system for school leadership---the Cohesive Leadership System. This website is currently being updated and will provide information about the accomplishments of SAELP I and SAELP II. The website will continue to provide information about on-going projects such as Distributed Leadership and Succession Planning. There will also be regular updates on the new work that is part of the Department of Education’s plans for enhancing Delaware’s Cohesive Leadership System—DCLS.

The About Us Section of the website includes an overview of the project and a history of the work that has been done to date. There is also an assessment section that includes a variety of assessments that have been used to monitor the success of programs and to determine future areas of need. There are links to both state and national partners and contact information for Delaware's Project Director.

The Projects Section focuses on the current DCLS work. There is a projects overview that explains the background and need for focusing on Distributed Leadership and Succession Planning. In the Projects Session you can learn more about these two projects, including the history, accomplishments, vision, goals, resources, presentations, and meeting minutes. Also included are assessments that have been used to monitor the projects. There is also a bulletin board where districts/schools that have been awarded mini-grants for developing models of distributed leadership. Districts will provide quarterly updates on their work in this section. Section where professional development opportunities will be posted and on-line registration can take place. The Projects Section also includes information about the Delaware Performance Appraisal System, The national Leadership Focus Groups, Mentoring for School Leaders, The Developmental Assessment Center, The Professional Development Continuum,
Delaware’s Vision 2015 Executive Leadership Program, The Alternative Routes to Certification Program, The Advanced License for School Leaders, The Policy and Practice Institute, and the Executive Leadership Program at Darden.

The News Section provides the reader access to all press releases related to the State Action for Education Leadership Project. There is also a section for archived news.

The Calendar Overview has an updated monthly calendar of events related to the project. Special events flyers can be downloaded from the Calendar Overview.

The Knowledge Center links visitors directly to the Wallace Foundationís ELAN website. This website provides valuable resources related to the research in school leadership. The topics within the Knowledge Categories fall within three broad topics: Leading Change, Developing Leaders, and Improving Conditions.

We hope the website will be useful to both practicing and aspiring school leaders in Delaware and other Wallace network states and national partners. We also hope that policymakers, business leaders and others interested in improving student achievement in all our public schools use the website to learn how Delaware is leading the way in school leader development

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