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Classroom to Boardroom Reform

August 14, 2006

By Dr. Edward Gronlund, Director of Research, Development & Evaluation Division

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) are jointly partnering with the Calamus-Wheatland, North Scott, and Northeast Community School Districts to engage in a two-year board leadership professional development opportunity. The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency board members and participating school district board members will participate in professional development to enhance leadership qualities that support improved teaching and learning. The notion of classroom to boardroom reform was expressed as a need by local districts and Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency has expanded its services to meet district leadership needs.

The board leadership development opportunity is a continuation of the IASB Lighthouse Project. The Lighthouse Project, a national research-based study, examined the link between board member leadership and improved student learning. The study concluded a signifi cant link between effective board leadership and improved student learning. IASB is currently piloting board leadership training with four school districts statewide.

The partnership with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is an opportunity to expand board leadership development to more districts across the state.The partnership demonstrates a collaborative approach to improving student learning across the state. AEA involvement enhances the professional development by providing leadership and facilitation expertise for each district’s board members and superintendent during the two-year professional development. The AEA board level facilitators will also engage additional AEA consultant experts to tailor AEA services to meet the districts’ identifi ed teaching and learning needs. The AEA intends to use the professional development opportunity to provide boardroom to classroom services. It is imperative, given the high student achievement targets established by the No Child Left Behind Act, that AEA services continually evolve to meet the unique teaching and learning needs of each school and school district.

Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is positioned to provide the board leadership professional development to additional districts in the future. The agency has the expertise to assist each district in the effective implementation of their school improvement plans. The board leadership opportunity demonstrates the proactive approach by area education agencies to meet the school improvements needs of Iowa.

For additional information regarding the board leadership professional development, please contact Dr. Edward Gronlund, (563) 344-6315 or egronlund@aea9.k12.ia.us.

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