In 2000, The Wallace Foundation launched a national initiative on education leadership to place quality leadership at the core of school reform. It has supported a range of efforts aimed at significantly improving student learning by strengthening the standards, training and performance of education leaders along with the conditions and incentives that affect their success. The focus has been to develop, test and share useful approaches for improving the training of education leaders and the conditions that support their ability to significantly lift student achievement across entire states and districts, especially in high-need schools. To that end, NASBE seeks to inform state boards of education on why leadership matters and how to exercise the specific policy levers under their authority to strengthen leaders’ knowledge and skills in improving student learning.

Recognizing the importance of school leadership in education, NASBE and The Wallace Foundation are extending their partnership in the exploration of education leadership in 2012. NASBE work will continue to explore leadership through the lens of state policy. NASBE developed a discussion guide for board members so they will be able to begin or continue dialogue around these issues. These discussion guides provide the latest research on the topics as well as questions and insights for addressing the issue through policy. This year, NASBE will be working to utilize these discussion guides with board members to have an engaging discussion around developing policy to support school leaders.

In addition, the newly redesigned Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center provides a number of useful resources and research reports on school leadership. This is one of the first places to look for answers to some of the most challenging issues in school leadership.

The following are NASBE resources available, all funded through Wallace grants, on the issue of school leadership.