AASA Awarded $150,000 Education Leadership Grant From The Wallace Foundation

March 10, 2009

Amy Vogt


ARLINGTON, Va. - The American Association of School Administrators has been awarded a $150,000 grant from The Wallace Foundation to support AASA’s efforts to improve the instructional leadership capacity of school system leaders nationwide. Through the grant, AASA will share emerging leadership research and examples of effective practice to help district and school leaders build their leadership skills and support better teaching and learning.

The grant is an integral part of Wallace’s education leadership initiative, which aims to research, develop, test and share useful approaches for improving the preparation of education leaders and the conditions that support their ability to significantly improve student achievement across entire states and districts, especially in high-need schools. The foundation’s lessons are available at wallacefoundation.org.

Through the grant, AASA will work with Wallace through March 2010 to create professional learning opportunities focused on instructional leadership, staff development, central office-school relationships, coaching and mentoring, and accountability and assessment for school leaders.

The foundation supported two leadership strands at AASA’s National Conference on Education this past February: one aimed at superintendents and school system central office leaders and the other at aspiring school system leaders. In the following months, AASA will hold a series of Wallace-funded professional learning sessions on instructional leadership for current and aspiring district leaders, including workshops, virtual seminars, roundtable discussions and a coaching seminar.

In addition to other partnership activities, Wallace will contribute to leadership content in AASA publications for school leaders, including the New Superintendents E-Journal, a quarterly publication for new school system leaders, and the Systems Thinking Toolkit, an annual publication that communicates the value of the systems thinking approach in leading and sustaining school improvement.

“Research shows that effective instructional leadership is a critical factor in increasing student achievement,” said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. “AASA is proud to partner with The Wallace Foundation, one of the nation’s premiere supporters of education leaders, to provide high-quality instructional leadership resources to our members nationwide. This partnership builds on AASA’s ongoing efforts to support and grow current and aspiring school system leaders.”

“After nearly a decade of research and innovative work in education leadership, we’ve learned that our nation’s underperforming schools are unlikely to succeed until we get serious about changing and improving how we prepare and support school leaders. Good school leaders drive instructional improvement,” said Richard Laine, The Wallace Foundation’s director of education. “We are pleased to have AASA as a partner in our efforts because of its commitment to building understanding that instructional leadership is critical at all levels of the education system.”


About The Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement, enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities, and expanding participation in arts and culture. For research and other resources on education leadership, visit the Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, 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. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.