The Policy and Practice Institute is sponsored by the Delaware Department of Education and funded by the Wallace Foundation. The purpose of the institute is to provide an overview of the work of the State Action for Education Leadership Project including accomplishments and future plans. There are opportunities for participants to attend break-out sessions that are intended to share the work being accomplished in pilot districts.
Keynote speakers address national issues related to school leadership to an audience that includes both practicing and aspiring school leaders, representatives from higher education, and policymakers. Award-winning programs including Delaware’s Models of Excellence, National Blue Ribbon, and Superstars in Education schools have been featured at the institute. The 2006 Fourth Annual Policy and Practice Institute focused on Delaware’s Cohesive Leadership System.
Pilot districts shared the work they have been doing to implement models of distributed leadership in middle and high schools. Gauger Cobbs and Redding Middle Schools joined Glasgow High School to share the work they have accomplished working with school leadership teams. Sussex Central and Delcastle High Schools presented the work they have accomplished in developing professional learning communities in their high schools. Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Laurel, Woodbridge, Capital, Indian River, Caesar Rodney and Sussex Academy explained the work that is taking place in their districts to develop a diverse pool of aspiring school leaders with the skills and knowledge to take on school leadership roles through succession planning. Richard Laine, Director of Education at the Wallace Foundation, provided the keynote address and provided a national perspective on the topic of school leadership. Audrey Noble, Director of Research and Development at the University of Delaware along with her associate, Kelly Scollon, shared the research they have just completed with Paul Barton from Educational Testing Service related to Delaware’s Correlates of Achievement. Members of the Vision 2015 Committee discussed their plans for creating a world-class education system in Delaware.The 2007 Fifth Annual Policy and Practice Institute was a huge success. Over 250 educators and policy makers attended. Dr. Joe Murphy, Associate Dean of the School Of Education at Vanderbilt University, provided the national context for leadership. Dr. Angus McBeath, former superintendent from Edmonton, Canada provided a lively keynote address following lunch. Dr. McBeath shared the work he did with the Edmonton School District to lead it to international recognition as the highest achieving school district in the world. Participants pre-registered in one of three sessions which included: Teacher Leadership; Aspiring School Leadership, and Practicing School Leadership. The teacher leadership session focused on two case studies of distributed leadership—a New Jersey and Delaware Middle School. The Aspiring School Leaders session focused on higher education’s redesign of masters and doctoral programs and district succession planning. The Practicing School Leaders session focused on the school improvement process using the Correlates of Achievement database. The second half of the session focused on the Time Management Study on how school leaders use their time. The afternoon session was a presentation by Dan Rich, Val Woodruff and Rob Recigno on the implementation of the Vision 2015 initiative.