Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Three New Year Considerations for calibrating a career trajectory
Autumn Tooms Cyprès
The first few weeks of the new year is a natural time to reflect on one’s career trajectory and set goals for the upcoming months. For junior professors, the process of reflection and goal setting can be overwhelming because it is focused primarily on the quest for tenure and promotion. As a full professor, I can share that the thrill of tenure, once earned, fades quickly into a cycle of other quests that range from completion of projects or promotion to administrative roles. It is the rare academic who announces, “I have tenure now so I’m going to take it easy and find some balance in my life.” With this universal truth in mind, I begin again by offering three considerations for 2016 that help to calibrate career goals and a more focused trajectory.
Consideration one: Find an institution that matches your needs for time
Strategic investments of time make the difference between successful, balanced academics and unproductive scholars struggling to find a moment’s peace. A colleague during my first year at Kent State University said the key to being successful was, “ …getting from Point A to Point B”. The trick is deciding what constitutes Point B. For some it is lots of free time, for others it is a vita rich with publications. Once you have identified Point B, the second step is to ask yourself in the face of every request if investing in that request gets you closer to, or farther away from, Point B. It may also be helpful to avoid comparing your journey to others in your department as your goals may not be the same as others. In many circumstances, your goals may actually be in direct conflict with the goals of your colleagues’. For example, I had a colleague I really enjoyed thinking with over coffee. We enjoyed our weekly coffees so much that we decided to write together. Once our project was over, I realized that I would not be able to work with her again because we spent more time talking and processing than we did actually writing. 
Consideration two: Find a mentor; be a mentor
A mentoring relationship is a mutually beneficial relationship between someone more experienced and someone less experienced. Such a relationship requires honest dialog, mutual trust, and the willingness of the mentee to reflect on the insights of the mentor. A great way to meet a mentor is through networking at national conferences such as NCPEA. Don’t be shy about networking; introduce yourself either in person or via email and ask for feedback about something you have written, or something that person has read. Volunteering to participate in projects is another great way to meet a mentor. Be prudent when considering where you invest your time. Do you networking at the local, state, or national level? If you are seeking tenure; building national networks can be helpful in terms of laying the foundation for finding the names of possible external reviewers. But if you are more focused on leveraging issues at the state level, you might save your travel funds for trips within your state. Serving as a mentor is another great way to extend and enliven networks within your sphere of influence. A caveat for mentors as well as those seeking to be mentored is that your word is the most important form of capital you have. If you promise to meet a deadline or follow through on a task; keep your promise.
Consideration three: Find a comfortable way to say no and use it often
One of the dangers of our profession is that we can be seduced by exciting opportunities and we do not know how to set a boundary. I have known many colleagues who worked through the “Point A to Point B” puzzle and realized that the opportunity in front of them was not going to help them get closer to Point B. Unfortunately, they did not have the courage or tools to say no and set a boundary. Junior professors are often asked to serve on all sorts of committees because senior professors know that their tenure allows refusal of such service without ramification. If you are a junior professor do not be afraid to invoke “no” when asked to serve on a committee by using your quest for tenure as the excuse.   If you are a senior professor, it can be more difficult to say no because of professional expectations to serve. In most cases, when faculty are collegial, department chairs and deans make honest efforts to support faculty members’ refusal of a particularly duty for at least a semester.
Of all the suggestions above, reflection is perhaps the most important because it gives perspective. Place on your calendar time to step away from your duties and think about where your career is unfolding. Take yourself to lunch and consider if you are meeting your long and short-term goals. Map out the writing projects that you have yet to complete. Is there a mentor or a protégé that you have not checked in with? Typically I schedule these reflective exercises with the changes of the semester.  Like all other end of the semester rituals, they help me to celebrate my successes, solidify my networks, and energize for the work of the coming months.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Education

Eileen S. Johnson, Ph.D.
Department of Organizational Leadership
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan

President, NCPEA

As the state affiliate, Michigan Association of Professors of Educational Administration (MAPEA), works diligently to prepare for the 2016 NCPEA conference in Detroit, I find myself reflecting more frequently about the challenges and opportunities of urban education – challenges faced by Detroit schools as well as urban schools throughout the United States and beyond.  In particular, school closures have plagued urban school districts across the country, especially in low-income communities ( 
While declining school-aged populations is often cited as the primary reason for school closures, broader concerns of school funding and resource allocation inequities, a movement away from neighborhood schooling options, and market-driven approaches to schooling challenge the ideals of public education.  For example, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently presented a strategy for reducing and ultimately eliminating the debt now carried by Detroit Public Schools by creating a new entity – Detroit Community Schools,4668,7-277-57577_60279-353475--,00.html.  The idea is to keep both the millage and the old debt encumbered with DPS and shift operational funds to the new DCS entity.  However, the plan does not adequately address reasons for the debt incurred by DPS in the first place – nor does it address issues of funding and resource inequity and quality of the teaching/learning environment.    Indeed, there are significant social justice issues at play when considering the issue of school closures and those populations most affected; urban school closures affect primarily low-income Black and Latino students and families, creating “ school deserts” in many urban communities in which families are now hard-pressed to find viable educational alternatives for their children.  And despite the common assumption that privatizing “failing” schools based on for-profit business models will provide a viable solution to the problem, this assumption has generally not borne out.  For example, Muskegon Heights Public Schools, a district that served primarily low-income Black students on the west side of Michigan, was the first instance in the nation of an entire school district being shut down and reopened under private control as a charter district.  The for-profit company that won the lowest bid dissolved the five-year contract after only two years due to a lack of profits among other issues.  If such market-driven solutions are not working in most cases, how do we restructure schooling to meet the needs of those communities withstanding the greatest impact of school closures? 

The Flagstaff Seminar: Educational Leaders without Borders has as its primary objective to ensure that children world-wide have the right and means to attend school.  A second objective is not to make schools as they exist more efficient at what they do, but to call into question what schools do in the first place and how they work or should work to provide greater equality to all children and their families.”  This brings us to the question: what are education leaders to do when the commonly accepted model of schooling fails to work effectively in urban settings?  While this question initially formed the basis of the charter school idea in the 1970s, through which teachers were given “charters” or contracts by their local school boards to explore new approaches to education, the charter school reform movement in the 1990s too often resulted in schools that operated in exactly the same way as public schools but with fewer state-level mandates and the freedom to choose which students to admit and not admit.  The result has been competition among schools for students and funding, and in many cases, for-profit companies taking over schools without long-term investment or commitment to the communities they serve.  Currently, wide-spread and increasing disinvestment in public education is a driving force behind educators seeking alternative means and resources for operating schools.  The failure of charter schools to significantly improve the educational opportunities and outcomes of those communities most impacted by public school shut-downs may lie not in the idea but in the failure to adopt truly innovative and meaningful alternative approaches to education. 

However, there is some movement toward greater flexibility and innovative models of education taking place in cities across the nation that have been hardest hit by state mandated school shut-downs.  One example is Youthbuild Philly Charter School,, a non-profit organization dedicated to operating schools designed to allow students aged 18 – 21 to complete the high school diploma after having dropped out of the traditional high school  The schools, which operate world-wide, provide students with mentoring, individualized instruction, and on-the-job training opportunities.  Many of the schools operate by leasing space within existing facilities. Other examples include innovative operating models that involve public-private partnerships or connect public schools to community development.  Ultimately, the challenges faced by urban schools are driving new strategies designed to break out of traditional ways of thinking about schooling and providing new opportunities for educational innovation.  It is my sincere hope that, as NCPEA gathers in Detroit in 2016, we will have the opportunity to engage in substantive dialogue about the future of public schools in urban areas and the role of educational leadership in pushing the boundaries of traditional approaches to schooling to better meet the educational needs of students world-wide. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Principal Turnover

Principal Turnover

Gerard Babo, Ed. D
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
NJ-NCPEA Co-President

This is my first foray into the world of “blog” writing and I’m not quite sure what approach to take with this forum.  Last month my colleague, Chris Tienken, quite articulately addressed one of the major issues facing all public school educators as we move into the new century.  He provided a viewpoint supported by empirical evidence, which I found to be quite informative.  However, I would like to take a bit of a different tack with my entry into this new communication medium and that is to pose a question to all of us in the field of educational administrator preparation - Are we doing enough to assist those new principal candidates whom have graduated from our programs to successfully navigate their first year as a principal?  Or, do we just assume that they will adapt and learn how to successfully survive the first year of their new leadership position like many of us did when we took our first position?

Granted, there are so many other pressing issues that are much more timely and relevant to us in the field of principal preparation.  There are the revisions to the ISLLC standards that are being proposed, evolving from six standards to 11 (Superville, 2014).  Additionally, there is the continued focus across the nation for a more substantive and rigorous approach to principal evaluation, which is packed with a bevy of potential pitfalls. Yes, these two issues alone will have long standing implications for us all.  However, based on my own past personal experience, and a current research project that I am working on, I have been inspired to address this potentially important topic.  You see, the issue of principal turnover, as identified by the School Leader’s Network (2014) and discussed by some others (Fuller, 2012; Burkhauser, Gates, Hamilton & Ikemoto, 2012), is rarely addressed by those of us charged with preparing the next generation of school leaders yet one that I believe begs our needed attention. The literature on first year principals is not as rich as one might think, as a matter of fact, it could be considered deficient (Burkhauser et al, 2012).   Beteille, Kolgrides and Loeb (2011) reported that one in five principals leave their school each year and many of these principals are from districts that are socioeconomically challenged and poor- performing. Burkhauser et al (2012) claim that approximately 12% of first year principals leave after one year and 11% after two years.  One can only assume that this issue will be exacerbated as more and more states demand stricter evaluation methodologies that include overall student academic growth as a weighted multiplier in many, if not all, of the evaluation schemas.

I think all of us would agree that the role and responsibilities of a building principal have changed dramatically over the past twenty years.  Some might even argue that the added level of  ccountability is approaching untenable proportions (Darling-Hammond, Meyerson, LaPointe & Orr, 2010).   It’s no wonder that the rate of principal turnover has increased, specifically in high poverty areas where student achievement as measured by state standardized assessments is perennially low (Fuller, 2012; Burkhauser et al, 2012).  Subsequently, what can we as a national or local organization do to possibly address the issue of post-graduate support for our new principal candidates and possibly stem the tide
of turnover?

I don’t know about all of you but my first year as a new principal was harrowing, to say the least, and that was at a time when the demands of public policy and the cloak of accountability were somewhat less imposing.  Before obtaining my first principal's position, I had spent 15 years in the classroom and four years as an assistant principal of a large middle school, so I was not naive about the expectations.  However, being in a new school system in a brand new job did create a level of palpable anxiety.  Luckily, I had a good friend two towns over who had been a principal for 5 years who helped me through those beginning months and first year.  It was at that time that I thought it would have been great if the school where I had received my formal education had some type of program for new principals, some support system, a community, if you will, to help and counsel new building principals.

Many states require that new principals be mentored their first and/or second year on the job.  But as many of us know, these mentorships are not always of top quality.  Very often they are only as good as the assigned mentor and since many of these mentors are retired administrators many of them don’t really know or completely understand the new demands placed upon the current contingent of new principals.  It is by no means the fault of the assigned mentor it is just that many of them acquired their administrative experience and expertise during a completely different era.   Additionally, in most of these cases the relationship between mentor and mentee is more formal and consequently the mentee might lack a certain level of candor concerning specific job requirement and

However, what if programs or forums were devised and administered through university partnerships and/or local NCPEA affiliates that could provide meeting places for new principal candidates to learn about new school initiatives, curricular programs, IDEA regulations, testing, personnel management, teacher evaluation and supervision, administrative code, current research, etc.?  Could new school leader programs or forums potentially assist our new candidates through the first and second year of being a principal?  Regardless, even if the programs were not able to regularly afford extensive professional development they could at least provide risk-free environments for new principals to share their concerns, trials and tribulations with colleagues going through the same thing.  Professors of Educational Leadership, either though their departments or as NCPEA representatives, could oversee and manage these events and provide advice, counsel and professional expertise while satisfying one of the many tenure required components, service to the field.

The time has come for us in NCPEA to take a bit of a broader look at our mission and goals.  Maybe we need to include a perspective where we are not just solely interested in the preparation of future building leaders but also dedicated to their success after they have left our campuses.  The research is quite clear about the fact that the second most important person in a school that has the greatest impact on student success is the principal (Leithwood, Louis-Seashore, Anderson & Wahlstrom, 2004). Unfortunately, the research also suggests that when principals leave their school the impact is not only felt the year they leave but also the year after (Burkhauser et al, 2012).  Maybe we as a collective group can help to stem the tide of principal turnover by simply making sure our newly employed graduates have a place they can turn to for information, counsel, camaraderie and a friendly, non-threatening listener.

Beteille, T., Kalogrides, D. & Loeb, S. (2011, July). Stepping stones: Principal career
paths and school outcomes. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic

Burkhauser, S., Gates, S.M., Hamilton, L.S., and Ikemoto, G.S. (2012). First-year
principals in urban school districts: How actions and working conditions relate to
outcomes.  Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.

Darling-Hammond, L., Meyerson, D., LaPointe, M., & Orr, M. T. (2010). Preparing
principals for a changing world: Lessons from effective school leadership
programs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Fuller, E. (2012, July 16). Re: Examining principal turnover. [Web Log Message].
Retrieved from

Leithwood, K., Louis-Seashore, K., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How
Leadership Influences Student Learning. Review of Research. Ontario: The
Wallace Foundation.

School Leaders Network (2014). Churn: The high cost of principal turnover. Retrieved

Superville, D.R. (2014, September 15). New school leaders’ standards released for public
comment.  Education Week. Retrieved from

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Standardized Teaching?

Christopher H, Tienken, Ed.D 
Seton Hall University
New Jersey 

The education blogosphere and social media are filled with commentaries about standardized testing. New state-mandated tests in Grades 3-8 and high school are being administered across the country during the 2014-2015 school year. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are two examples of the new breed of computer-based assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Some pundits and education bureaucrats have heralded those tests and other state tests as the new frontier of assessment.

Assertions abound about the ability of the results from the new state standardized tests to provide fine-grained and actionable information about student learning and teacher effectiveness. There are even claims that the results from the new batch of standardized tests can categorize students in elementary school as college and career ready.

But what does the evidence say about these and other popular claims related to how the results from the new tests can be effectively used by school administrators? What responsibility do professors of education leadership / school administration have in engaging in a thorough critique of the claims with their leadership candidates?

In this commentary I address four common assertions made about the usefulness of the results from tests like SBAC and PARCC and suggest that professors have a responsibility to facilitate evidence-based discussions with their leadership candidates about the utility of results from standardized tests to make important decisions about teaching and learning.

Assertion 1
The results from the state mandated, Common Core aligned tests will be diagnostic and provide parents, teachers, school administrators, bureaucrats, and policy makers important information about student learning and the quality of the teaching that public school children receive.

Counterpoint 1
Assertion #1 is not validated by the literature on diagnostic testing. As colleagues and I have written elsewhere, in order to provide diagnostic information about an individual student’s mastery of any one skill, the test results must have reliability figures of around .80 to .90. To attain that level of reliability there must be about 20-25 questions per skill (Frisbie, 1988; Tanner, 2001). Keep in mind there are multiple skills embedded in each Common Core standard, so the PARCC, SBAC, or other state tests would need to have 100’s of questions just to fully assess a few standards. In fact, some of the Common Core Standards have 10-15 skill objectives embedded in them requiring upwards of 200 questions to assess one standard.

The tests do not have enough questions to diagnose student mastery at the individual level for any of the skills or standards. Thus, any “diagnostic” decisions made from state standardized test results about a student’s mastery of specific standards will be potentially flawed.

Another issue related to diagnostic testing is the time frame in which the results will be received by teachers, school administrators, and parents. Most results from state standardized tests given in the spring will not be returned until the end of the school year or during the summer months. How is that diagnostic or informative? Do you wait three to five months for results from your primary care doctor? Diagnostic information is generally data or information received within a short period of time so that adjustments can be made to intervention protocols immediately.

Consider further that teachers, parents, school administrators, and students will not be able to see every question from their state mandated tests. Some states are releasing a small number of questions whereas other states are not releasing any actual test items. How can teachers or parents “diagnose” needs if they do not know the questions the students answer correctly or incorrectly or if they cannot see the actual student answers to the questions?  At that point the process becomes guessing, not diagnosing.

It would be similar to situation in which a child’s classroom teacher sent home a grade from a recent classroom test and only provided 10% or 20% of the questions from the test and did not let the parents see the child’s answers to those questions. How is that diagnostic?

Shouldn’t school administrator candidates understand basic principles of diagnostic assessment? Is important that candidates understand clearly the limitations and appropriate uses of state mandated test results as tools to diagnose student learning?

Assertion 2
Vendors of state mandated tests opine that the results can provide stakeholders important information about the quality of a student’s teacher and the academic achievement of students.

Counterpoint 2
Regardless of what proponents of using state test results claim about the quality of information gained from testing, the results from standardized test most often provide information about the family and community economic environments in which a student lives than how much a student knows or how well a teacher teaches. Colleagues and I have been able to predict results from standardized tests in New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, and Iowa with a good deal of accuracy. Much of standardized test score can be accounted for by factors outside of the control of school personnel. (e.g. Maylone, 2002; Sackey, 2014; Tienken, 2015; Wilkins, 1999).

Through a series of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies completed in New Jersey since 2011, my colleagues and I have begun the process of demonstrating the predictive accuracy of family and community demographic variables in Grades 3-8, and high school.

For example, in New Jersey our best models predicted the percentage of students scoring proficient or above on the former Grade 6 NJASK tests in 70% of the districts for the language arts portion of the test and in 67% of the districts for the math portion in our sample of 389 school districts (Tienken, 2014). We accurately predicted the percentage of students scoring proficient or above on the Grade 7 language arts tests for 77% of the districts and 66% of the districts in math for our statewide sample of 388 school districts. We have had similar results in grades 3-8 and 11 in NJ and other states (e.g., Turnamian & Tienken, 2013).

Should school administration candidates graduate preparation programs knowing that the results from commercially prepared standardized tests are influenced heavily by factors outside the control of teachers? Should they know not to use the results from one test to make important decisions about students or teachers?

Assertion 3
Another common assertion made about state standardized tests is that the results will be able to indicate whether students in grades 3-8 and high school are college and career ready.

Counterpoint 3
As a parent and a professor of education leadership I find the assertion stunning. The idea that results from one test can provide that level of predictive information is incredible, especially given that standardized tests like the SAT cannot even predict very accurately which students will do well during their first year of college and beyond (Atkinson & Geiser, 2009). In fact, a student’s high school GPA is generally a more accurate predictor of first year college success and completion, yet bureaucrats and some school administrators claim that the results from their state tests will be able to tell a parent of a 9 year old whether her son is on the path for college or a career (College Board, 2012).

Claiming that a test score from a state mandated test indicates whether a child is college or career ready is like professing the sun revolves around the Earth. Is it not reasonable to expect that school administration graduates know that the standardized testing “sun” does not revolve around the Earth?

Assertion 4
Proponents of state standardized tests aligned to the Common Core assert that the Core is a more rigorous set of standards than all other previous state standards and hence the tests are the most rigors test administered in public schools to date.

Counterpoint 4
The claims of enhanced rigor most often come from one privately funded report by a pro-Common Core think-tank (Carmichael, et al., 2010). Sure, some of the Common Core Standards might be more “rigorous” than some of the previous standards in some states. But most often people who make the claim of enhanced rigor are looking myopically at the verbs used in the Standards. Verbs like “analyze” are used in some of the Standards, but when one reviews the Standards closely, one notices that students are analyzing for a single correct answer; hardly divergent, creative, innovative, or open-ended thinking.

In fact, much of the Core Standards and many of the questions on the new state standardized tests require students to find one correct answer. Many of the tests, like PARCC and SBAC, attempt to achieve the claim of increased rigor by inflating the complexity of the questions through the use of contrived directions and hard to follow tasks.

Should school administration candidates be expected to become critical consumers of information and dig below the headline to review the substance of claims regarding the claims of Common Core rigor and the technical quality of the new state mandated tests and their results? Is it too much for parents to ask of their school administrators to have an understanding and knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the interventions, such as curriculum and assessment products, that they impose upon their children?  

Serving It Up
There seems to be no shortage of curricular Kool-Aid being served by proponents of standardization and testing. Is it acceptable for school administration candidates to leave our preparation programs and parrot inaccurate or incomplete information they hear from education bureaucrats or other sources? Do professors of education administration have a professional obligation to facilitate their candidates learning the critical thinking, critique, and research skills necessary to be able identify the standardization and assessment Kool-Aid? If we don’t provide those skills who will?

Atkinson, R.C. & Geiser, S. (2009). Reflections on a century of college admissions tests. Educational Researcher, 38(9), 665-676.
Carmichael, S.B., Martino, G., Porter-McGee, K., & Wilson, S. (2010). The state of state standards and the Common Core in 2010. Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
College Board. (2012). 2012 college-bound seniors. Total group profile report.  Author.  Retrieved from
Frisbie, D.A. (1988). Reliability of scores from teacher-made tests. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 7(1), 25-35.
Maylone, N. (2002, June). The relationship of socioeconomic factors and district scores on the Michigan educational assessment program tests: An analysis
(Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti.
Sackey, A. N. L. (2014). The influence of community demographics on student achievement on the Connecticut Mastery Test in mathematics and language arts in grades 3 through 8. Seton Hall University. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Retreived from
Tanner, D.E. (2001). Assessing academic achievement. Boston, MA: Allyn and 
Tienken, C.H. (in press). Standardized test results can be predicted: Stop using them to drive policy making. In Tienken & Mullen (Eds.). Education policy perils: Tackling the tough issues. New York: Routledge Publishing.
Tienken, C.H. (2015). Parking the rhetoric on the PARCC. Retrieved from
Tienken, C.H. (2014). State test results are predictable. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 50(4), 154-156.
Turnamian, P. G., & Tienken, C.H. (2013). Use of community wealth demographics to predict statewide test results in Grade 3. In Mullen & Lane (2013) Becoming a global voice. National Council of Professors of Educational Administration Yearbook, 134-146.
Wilkins, J. L. M. (1999). Demographic opportunities and school achievement. Journal of Research in Education, 9(1), 12-19.

Author note:
Portions of this blog were adapted from my previous writing: Parking the 
Rhetoric on the PARCC. Retrieved from

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This Year’s Work of the NCPEA Executive Board on Behalf of Its Members

Marc Shelton 
NCPEA past-president
George Fox (OR) University

As we head into the final half of the final month of 2014, I thought it appropriate to use this month’s NCPEA Talking Point to reflect on the year’s work of the executive board on behalf of our member professors.  Each summer conference includes a keynote presentation by the executive director and the current president summarizing the state of the organization.  The purpose of this address each year is to provide members with the highlights of initiatives that elected members, NCPEA’s consultants, and the executive director have prioritized as topics of emphasis during the previous regular meetings of the executive board, as well as ongoing work on the day-to-day business of NCPEA.
First, this serves as a reminder of recent initiatives of past presidents and the continued work on those important topics.  Fenwick English (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), who was recently re-elected to the NCPEA Executive Board (EB), focused on expanding the voice of professors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Native American Tribal Colleges and Universities during his presidency.  The executive board continues to work on this then-presidential initiative with the leadership of two current affiliate members, professors Mariela Rodriquez from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Tawannah Allen, Fayetteville (NC) State University.  A recent recommendation to the EB included seeking to extend the role of the current affiliate members beyond the original 3-year period, while identifying prospective affiliate members representing professors from all institutions to facilitate future transitions with training for board service.
An initiative of past-president Carol Mullen (Virginia Tech) was to advance the work of NCPEA as an international organization encouraging worldwide college and university professors of educational administration to prepare leaders for service in schools around the world.  Rosemary Papa (Northern Arizona University) was selected as the first NCPEA International Ambassador and serves as an affiliate member.  This work continues under Rosemary’s leadership with action to pilot a partnership between NCPEA and the Flagstaff Seminar: Educational Leaders Without Borders.  This collaboration includes EB members serving as a sub-committee to advise and monitor the partnership during the three-year pilot.  In a recent email to over seventy professors, Rosemary invited members of FS:ELWBs to prepare to “increase co-hosting responsibilities” with the NCPEA Executive Board in Washington, D.C. (2015), Detroit, Michigan (2016), and San Juan, Puerto Rico (2017).  The EB worked on a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations during 2014 to prepare for the first joint conference at the Sheraton Pentagon City, August 1-7, 2015.  Dr. Papa concluded with, “Part of our strategy is to ensure some funds are generated to help scholars world-wide to attend.”  The EB approved a line item within NCPEA’s 501 (c)(3) non-profit budget, so donations can be made to fund support for increased participation from professors around the world, in addition to extending NCPEA membership to international professors based on the World Bank ratings for individual countries.
Established in 1947, the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) continues its commitment to serve the interests and needs of professors of educational administration and practicing school leaders.”  NCPEA has historically been a professional organization for individual members and to serve to benefit its members as teachers, scholars, and leaders in service to others. To this vision’s end, the NCPEA Executive Board has worked to expand the promotion and tenure opportunities and to extend the reach of ideas of our member professors through NCPEA Publications, our sponsored, peer-reviewed journals and NCPEA Press, sponsored, peer-reviewed books.  The EB continued the work to create “industry-standard” publications through approving a reorganization of the executive director’s responsibilities and charging Brad Bizzell from Radford (VA) University, as NCPEA director of publications to work with Jim Berry, NCPEA executive director, to propose software and hardware upgrades to accomplish this goal.  This represents an important future direction for the organization and acknowledges the work that Ted Creighton, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, accomplished in positioning NCPEA’s publication arm.
As an organization of and for member professors, NCPEA continues to recognize the work of its members’ shaping the field of educational administration through the annual Living Legends Award.  The EB recently expanded this recognition of selfless service through a periodic and timely Distinguished Service Award.  NCPEA board members participate with past recipients of Living Legends awards to identify a professor deserving of this level of recognition and encourages nominations to be sent to the executive director for the Distinguished Service Award.
“The mission of NCPEA, as a professional academic organization, is to advance the field of educational administration, both in leadership and management, through research, teaching, and service, as a means to prepare aspiring and practicing educational administrators.”  The NCPEA Executive Board completed its strategic planning session at the summer conference in Camarillo, California, hosted by CAPEA and Gary Kinsey from California State University Channel Islands, in preparation for the long-range planning for membership held every five years.  The Whithers Session provided members with an opportunity for input and information for NCPEA’s direction from new initiatives identified in 2014, ahead of the next Washington, DC Summit held every five years on the “5’s and 0’s.”  One sub-committee is actively meeting to work on membership proposals ranging from institutional membership (see the upcoming NCPEA December Newsletter from Jim Berry) to student ambassadors and current practitioners – who may be transitioning to professorial roles.  Another initiative, leading to an EB sub-committee, proposed an inaugural application process to grant a total of $5,000 to quality proposals seeking to implement the mission and vision of NCPEA to “advance the field” and “serve the needs” of educational administrators and professors (see the upcoming newsletter).  The EB identified this as a strategic initiative aligned to our non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service.  This is a tangible way to give back to the field a portion of revenues from the annual conference and our publications through recognizing and encouraging deserving work to improve the preparation of future leaders and the professional development of current leaders aligned to the NCPEA’s mission and vision.  Hopefully, this grant amount will continue to grow as NCPEA members expand their reach through presentations at our conferences, publishing through our journals in NCPEA Publications, and books in the NCPEA Press.
The work of 2014 culminated officially with our final meeting of the EB on December 15th and it will continue into 2015 under the leadership of NCPEA president Carleton Holt (University of Arkansas).  But we know that it actually continues immediately day-to-day with the quality and consistent work of Jim Berry, our executive director from Eastern Michigan University.  On behalf of the NCPEA Executive Board, thank you for you work to serve the organization, its members, and others in your roles throughout the United States and the world.  We are committed to the quality preparation of educational leaders and this work is best accomplished through professors in programs who seek to be accountable to those that we serve with and to those we serve.  The National Council of Professors of Educational Administration is a great place to learn, to share what we learn with our colleague professors, and to use what we learn and share to better prepare aspiring and practicing educational administrators.  May you be blessed throughout the upcoming holiday season and have a prosperous New Year 2015, one in which you and our organization thrives.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

State Affiliate Operation and Directory

September 2014 NCPEA Blog
Dr. Carleton R. Holt, President & Executive Board Member
Beverly J. Irby, Executive Board Member
At the NCPEA Annual Summer Conference in Camarillo, California, the State Affiliate gathering was held in the Grand Salon on Friday, August 8, 2014.  Dr. Marc Shelton welcomed attendees, reminding those from states not already organized that NCPEA has a State Affiliate Website Section located at with twelve states identified.  If your state is organized, you can contact Lauren Shackleford,, to add your NCPEA institutional affiliate information.  In addition, President Shelton shared NCPEA’s history of state affiliates co-hosting our summer conferences since 2004 and announced that NCPEA will begin hosting with the Washington DC summit in 2015.  He stressed a desire for an expanded communication effort with representatives from the State Affiliates on a semester basis as a part of NCPEA’s Strategic Plan for future operations.  New President Holt and Dr. Irby from the Executive Board will be leading this effort using online meetings with camera and microphone connection to share events, actions, conflicts, or questions to update representatives from other states.  This should provide timely information and help on a regular basis instead of annual discussion.  Dr. Holt distributed an information form created by Dr. Irby, with each of the eleven states in attendance to identify a contact representative to participate in this new venture.  Each state was asked to indicate two significant actions that their state covered since our last joint meeting a year ago in New Jersey:
Arizona Professors of Educational Administration – Held annual Leadership and Research Conference, and Higher Education Division met monthly with all divisions of the ASA.
Arkansas Professors of Educational Administration – Use of online conferencing to unify our voice for influencing policy and legislation.  Held annual state conference, worked with state department to deal with desired changes to administrative licensure.
California Association of Professors of Educational Administration – Advocacy for strong voice for “no test,” and has NCPEA publishing their professional journal.
Florida Association of Professors of Educational Leadership – Held two association meetings, and has associated with the Florida Association of School Administrators to begin a series of new initiatives.
Georgia Educational Leadership Faculty Association – Founded state approved programs to offer certification.
Illinois Professors of Educational Leadership – Working on implementing a new statewide licensure program while addressing declining university enrollment.
Michigan Association of Professors of Educational Administration – Sponsored an annual Virtual Research Symposium, provided opportunities for technical support for state program re-authorization, and began the planning for hosting the NCPEA 2016 Conference in Detroit.
Missouri Professors of Education Administration – Have re-written leadership standards, and written a new performance based test with student uploaded artifacts.
Oregon Professors of Educational Administration – Partnerships: state licensing commission to revise preparation standards based on the ELCC refresh, Oregon’s principal professional organization alignment (Concordia of Chicago) with ORPEA’s program design, and conducting a statewide satisfaction survey to collect updated data from previous surveys in 2002 and 2009.  
Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration – Conducted the Graduate Research Exchange, and operates the TASA/TCPEA peer reviewed journal named the School Leadership Review.
Virginia Professors of Educational Leadership – Key work of the year has been linking with professors of educational leadership throughout the state.

Online Contact Information:
Arizona – Michael Schwanenberger, Northern Arizona U,
Arkansas – David Bangs, Harding U,
California – Delores Lindsey, CSU San Marcos,
Florida – Daniel Reyes-Guerra, Florida Atlantic U,
Georgia – Don Leech, Valdosta State U,
Illinois – Karen Carlson, Dominican U,
Michigan – Barbara Klocko, Central Michigan U,
Missouri – Ginny Altrogge, Webster U,
Oregon – Marc Shelton, George Fox University,
Texas – Sandy Harris, Lamar U,
Virginia – Ted Price, Virginia Tech,
In closing, I encourage the above organizations to respond to our first online meeting in support of this new NCPEA Communication Strategic Plan.  If others would like to join at this time, please contact us and we will add you to this expanded effort.

Carleton R. Holt, NCPEA President, University of Arkansas,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

State Affiliate Operation and Directory

February 2014 NCPEA Blog
Dr. Carleton R. Holt, President-Elect & Executive Board Member
Dr. Pauline Sampson, Executive Board Member
State Affiliate Operation and Directory

At the NCPEA Annual Summer Conference in the Meadowlands, New Jersey, the State Affiliate gathering was held in the ballroom on Tuesday, August 6, 2014.  Dr. Pauline Sampson welcomed attendees, reminding those from states not already organized that NCPEA has a State Affiliate Website Section located at with twelve states identified.  If your state is organized you can contact Angela Elkordy,, to add your NCPEA institutional affiliate information.

Pauline introduced Dr. Carleton Holt from Arkansas who shared their website information while reviewing their organizational purpose, development of constitution, by-laws, and connections with established committees of the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, the Secretary of Education, and legislative committees.  Other affiliates may also use this website at as an example for developing similar operations with other institutions in their home states.

Dr. Ted Creighton at reported that NCPEA will publish a state journal for $450.  We have nine state contacts in the research directory.  While enjoying refreshments the following representatives shared information about their State's operation:

Michigan stated that they have 18 institutions with educational leadership prep programs.  Michigan reported on  a successful virtual graduate symposium for their students to present and get feedback on research papers.  They feel the need for a new website and are working on redoing their by-laws.  They have a representative from the state who is at their meetings every time.   They have changed standards and done crosswalks for certifications.  Alternative certification is most challenging now.  It is time consuming and takes away from the programs.  They are working with the Wallace Foundation for outreach.  They also are going to professional meetings to have a presence.  They are looking at teacher leadership as part of the education leadership.  They have 14 institutions with educational leadership.  They use credit cards for membership.  They have two meetings each year with 200 members last year.

Oregon has nine institutions with educational leadership programs.  They have contracted with Concordia.  They have been able to work with the Commissioner to make sure they are at the table.

Texas reported that they have a journal which is published three times a year and that they meet two times a year and present in conjunction with two state major conferences of Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards.

Florida has new accountability standards.  They are using the value added for school principals.   Since graduates take awhile to get administration positions, their concerns are alternate routes to certification.  School districts such as Miami Dade may do own programs of certification.  Therefore the numbers at public universities with educational leadership programs are down.  Teachers are not given increases in salary stipends unless they go into administration.  Universities are not hiring as many tenure track positions.

Ohio is similar to Florida in concerns.  They are watching conservative ideas from Race to the Top.  The number of students in the Master’s programs is decreasing. The teacher leader endorsement has picked up.

New York stated that they had 56 institutions with education leadership programs working together on a presentation.

California is working on a fall conference and inviting doctoral students to come and do poster presentations.  Darling Hammond is their State Teacher Credential Person who recommends administrator performance expectations.  They no longer have opportunities for teachers to just take an exam in order to get an administrator certification.  They will be hosting NCPEA in 2014 in Channel Islands.

Virginia has 19 institutions that have educational leadership programs.  They are loosely organized.  They have two meetings each year.  They are realigning their competencies and had to send all their syllabi to the state to make sure the courses connect with the state.  They have a new principal evaluation instrument.  They are working on the superintendent assessment.  They have some in-service during each meeting.

Alabama has 14 institutions in the state that have educational leadership programs.  They have planned activities for the year.  They have started advisory councils to discuss issues that impact the programs.  Their fall meeting had record attendance.  They also have a spring conference with more graduate students presenting.  They will have a journal published in spring 2014 by NCPEA.  They publish two newsletters each year.   They are working with the governor who has started to use their organization to insure that memos are sent to all institutions.

The next scheduled NCPEA State Affiliate Meeting is planned during the California Summer Conference to be held on Friday, August 8, 2014 from 8:00-9:15 am on the campus of California State University – Channel Islands in Camarillo, California.  So, come for the Continental Breakfast that morning at 7:30 am, and then share your state’s information with others in attendance.
If this review of NCPEA’s State Affiliate information appears to be of value to circumstances occurring in your location, please consider talking with other institutions in your state, taking a look at the Arkansas Professors of Educational Administration’s website, and start a joint effort to meet the challenges facing Educational Leadership Programs of Study.


Carleton R. Holt