College readiness the focus of annual education leadership conference

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How well Indiana prepares students for college and ways to make preparation better are the primary focus of the 46th annual Education Leadership Summer Conference presented by the Indiana University School Administrators Association (IUSAA) on Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21 in Bloomington. Sessions will also address the topics of social media and how schools handle free speech issues surrounding it as well as education research on teaching and leadership.

Over the two days, a variety of guests, including the state’s Commissioner for Higher Education, the chair of the Indiana House Education Committee, representatives of the Indiana Department of Education, local superintendents and IU School of Education faculty, will discuss these issues in depth. Friday’s session features national researchers and policymakers discussing college access.  

The annual conference is sponsored by the IUSAA, the IU School of Education and the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (CEEP), with support from the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest. The panel discussion sessions are free and open to the public. Other workshop sessions and an alumni recognition and awards cook-out is available with a pre-registration fee here. 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.  

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. The conference opens with a research roundtable moderated by Gary Crow, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, touching on topics ranging from Indiana school configurations to principal leadership.

Starting at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, the education law and policy institute panels begin. Terry Spradlin, Director for Education Policy and the High School Survey of Student Engagement at CEEP, will moderate a policy panel titled “The PK-12 to Higher Education Pipeline:  is there a State Blueprint for College Readiness?” The panel will feature Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education;  state representative Bob Behning, (R—Indianapolis), Chair of the Indiana House Education Committee;  Danielle Shockey, Assistant Superintendent, Indiana Department of Education;  John Whikehart, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington; and Judy DeMuth, superintendent of the Monroe County Community School Corporation. “We are pleased to convene a distinguished panel to discuss their leadership roles in shaping college and career ready policies and initiatives here in Indiana and locally.” Spradlin said.  

At 3:45 on Thursday, the law panel titled “Social Media, the First Amendment, and Public Schools” will feature a lineup of school legal experts to analyze the emerging issues. Suzanne Eckes, a school law expert and associate professor at the IU School of Education will moderate the panel.  “"This panel will address legal issues related to student and teacher speech on Facebook and other social mediums," Eckes said. The panel  will include Martha McCarthy, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at the IU School of Education and Presidential Professor at Loyola Marymount University, co-author (with Eckes) of the 7th edition of Public School Law: Teachers' and Students' Rights, first released in 1987. The latest revision came out in March and includes a section on electronic expression and students’ free speech rights. Other panelists are Janet Decker, assistant professor of education law and policy studies at the IU School of Education; Dave Emmert, attorney for the Indiana State School Boards Association; and Seamus Boyce, school and education law attorney at Church, Church, Hittle, & Amtrim, a Noblesville law firm. The afternoon programs end with a women’s network meeting coordinated by Carol Gardiner, assistant superintendent of Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation.

Friday’s program at the Monroe County Convention begins with a presentation by William Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis at the University of Southern California. Tierney, past president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and current president of the American Educational Research Association, will present on the topic “Navigating the Path to College:  what High Schools can Do.” A discussion will follow his presentation, followed by a panel discussion on college access, featuring state and national leaders, policymakers, and researchers.

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