Education leadership conference at IU Bloomington will focus on several hot topics

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 45th Annual Education Leadership Summer Conference presented by the Indiana University School Administrators Association features national, state and university leaders presenting about school accountability, teacher evaluation and school law, among other current concerns, in Bloomington. The sessions on Thursday, June 21, and Friday, June 22, are open and free to current and retired school administrators, attorneys, teachers and education students.

Over the two days, a variety of guests, including representatives of the Educational Testing Service and the Indiana Department of Education, local superintendents and IU School of Education faculty, will tackle several developing issues in educational leadership. The annual conference is sponsored by the IUSAA, the IU School of Education and the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy, with support from the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest.

“For 45 years, the IUSAA has brought together Indiana educational leaders, IU faculty and other national experts to provide cutting-edge research and practical leadership information to support the education of Indiana students,” said Gary Crow, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Crow said the offerings have expanded to include research conducted by recent IU doctoral graduates.

“We are also fortunate that the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest will co-sponsor the conference,” he said. “REL Midwest is one of the leading laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and their collaboration with us provides a unique opportunity to get the latest information on teacher effectiveness.”

The first sessions will be at the Wright Education Building on the IU Bloomington campus, with Friday’s schedule taking place at the Bloomington Convention Center. Day one begins at noon with a research roundtable discussion led by Crow. Khaula Murtadha, associate vice chancellor for lifelong learning at IUPUI and also professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, will lead a women's network meeting just after the opening session.

The other afternoon sessions include a panel called “Education Law for School Leaders,” led by Educational Leadership and Policy Studies associate professor Suzanne Eckes and including IU legal counsel Stephen Harper and Chancellor's Professor Emerita and school law expert Martha McCarthy.

“This panel will address current legal issues that are confronting school leaders,” Eckes said, “such as whether school officials can discipline teachers and students for their posts on Facebook.”

The first day will conclude with a discussion titled “The Evolution of School Accountability in Indiana: the Proposed Changes and Likely Impact to K-12 Schools,” led by CEEP Director Jonathan Plucker. The panel will include Jon Gubera, chief accountability officer for the Indiana Department of Education; Gail Zeheralis, director of government relations for the Indiana State Teachers Association; Todd Bess, associate executive director of the Indiana Association of School Principals; Judith DeMuth, Monroe County Community School Corp. superintendent; and Steven Kain, Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. superintendent.

On Friday, teacher evaluation and effectiveness are the primary focus for sessions starting at 9 a.m. REL Midwest facilitators will lead discussion, and the morning keynote will be delivered by Laura Goe, research scientist in the Performance Research Group at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., and principal investigator for research and dissemination for the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. Her work focuses on providing research-based support for states and educators as they consider evaluation of teacher effectiveness, understanding growth models and using multiple measures to assess teacher contributions to student learning growth.

Indiana’s evolving teacher evaluation system is the subject of the afternoon. A panel discussion on Indiana policy will follow the keynote address by Caitlin Teague, training and field specialist in the Office of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership at the Indiana Department of Education.

Participants can receive graduate credits for participation. Attorneys can also earn CLE credits for the education law and policy sessions on Thursday. In addition to the sessions, participants may pay to attend Thursday night’s annual IUSAA Barbeque.

A full agenda and links to more information on the conference are available online.