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Quality Leadership Matters

The University Council for Educational Administration is a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. We welcome you to our knowledge portal.


Considering the Differential Impact of the Sequester and its Impact on Community

I recently learned that Texas will lose if $67.8 million if sequestration (automatic cuts) goes into effect on March 1. The vast majority of that ($51 million) will result in a decrease of funding for children with disabilities, including firing 620 staff members who aid these students.  After seeing this, I started to consider the theme of this 2013 UCEA Convention: Seeking New Understandings to Persistent Challenges: A Call to Action to (Re)Unite Research, Policy and Practice with Community. It brought up a couple of questions for me, particularly as they relate to building community support to achieve a goal. Given my strong predilection to question how the work I am doing is actually benefiting children in schools, I asked myself what is the intersection of community and leadership preparation work, and its ability to make an immediate impact in schools? How does the sequestration debate in Washington, which has the potential to have profound effects on the lives of children, challenge the practice of educational leadership professors?

If you have been paying attention, you may have noticed the cuts will have a disparate impact in this country, depending largely on where you and your social status. For example, Los Angeles USD, the nation’s second-largest public school district, would lose $37 million in federal funding. John Deasy, the superintendent, stated that amounts to about $100,000 per school and that the budget cuts would detrimentally impact programs that help impoverished students, many of whom speak Spanish, prepare for kindergarten and learn to read. He also added that “It affects the youth who live in greatest poverty much more so than just across the district”. That quote is revealing because it partially explains what ostensibly seems to be a great deal of apathy about these cuts. In fact, many will not even know the cuts are happening. Closer to the truth is that the cuts amplify the differences between the haves and have-nots.  If you are part of the insulated and empowered, then you will go on doing business as usual on March 2 because your life is not likely to be affected.  On the other hand, if you are within the ilk of impoverished kids and families of color, you will likely start to see the cuts in your school community and feel their incisive impact. Indeed, these cuts, like so much in the country, truly diminish a chance at a sense of building community. Those most affected may be less informed and less empowered to do anything about these cuts. However, those informed and empowered (that includes professors) will need to take a stand on this issue for the sake of the voiceless. This is a persistent issue. If I may return to the theme, we are truly being called to seek new challenges to these persistent challenges. This is a call to action to (re)unite research, policy, and practice with community. What will you do in your state?


Sequestration Countdown: 4 Days to Automatic Cuts (March 1)

The White House on Sunday detailed how deep spending cuts ($85 billion) scheduled to begin Friday of this week (March 1) would affect programs in every state and the District, as President Obama launched a last-ditch effort to persuade congressional Republicans to compromise on a strategy to stop the across-the-board cuts.

According to fact sheets, Virginia, Maryland and the District cumulatively would lose $29 million in elementary and high school funding, putting at risk 390 teacher and teacher's aides jobs and affecting 27,000 students. About 2,000 poor children would lose access to early education, and less funding would mean 31,400 fewer HIV tests. Nearly 150,000 civilian Defense Department personnel in the area would face furloughs through Sept. 30.

Although congressional Republicans and Democrats ready themselves to introduce a range of legislative proposals to avert the spending cuts, known as the sequester, neither side expects the symbolic measures to get enough support to pass Congress.

Regardless of the dire consequences, the US public are paying the matter little attention. According to a Pew Research Center Poll released last week, only twenty-seven percent of the people surveyed had heard “a lot” about the matter, forty-three percent knew “a little” and another 29 percent knew nothing at all.


CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting Releases Draft Recommendations for Public Review

The CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting released for public review its draft recommendations for the next generation of accreditation standards for educator preparation. Comments will be accepted at February 22- March 29, 2013.

The Commission was charged with developing - for all preparation providers - the next generation of accreditation standards based on evidence, continuous improvement, innovation, and clinical practice. The Commission also was charged with recommending transparent CAEP public accountability reporting with multiple measures, including those directly linked to student achievement.

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the new sole accreditor for educator preparation in the United States. More than 900 educator preparation providers will initially participate in the CAEP accreditation system, which serves all providers currently accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). 


2013 Convention: Call for Video Submissions

The 27th annual UCEA Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Convention will commence Thursday, November 7, 2013 and will conclude Sunday, November 10, 2013. The 27th Annual UCEA Convention theme is “Seeking New Understandings of Persistent Challenges: A Call to Action to (Re)Unite Research, Policy and Practice with Community. 

The 2013 UCEA Convention will play host to the second annual UCEA Film Festival! UCEA has opened an opportunity for submissions of 5-minute videos that explore broadly the landscape of quality leadership preparation, including our research and engaged scholarship, our preparation program designs and improvement efforts, our policy work, and the practice of educational leaders. 

  • Video Running Time - 5 minutes or less
  • Deadline for video submissions – July 31, 2013
  • Video Quality – Filmmakers are encouraged to create the videos using High-Definition (HD) video (higher resolution than Standard-Definition (SD) video). 
  • Audio Quality--Filmmakers are recommended to use a high quality microphone to capture sound, such as a lapel or lavalier mic for individual speakers or a microphone on a boom pole to record group interviews or classroom instruction.
  • Rights and Clearances--Filmmakers must secure all rights, licenses, clearances, and releases necessary for participants, music, and locations for conference exhibition and web streaming. 
  • Filmmakers will be notified of the videos selected for the 2013 UCEA Convention by September 1, 2013. Video submission materials WILL NOT be returned.    
  • Note: In order to create a video with high production value (professional filming, clear audio, editing and post-production), we suggest partnering with the film production programs. 
  • Videos must be submitted on a DVD formatted in MPEG video Region1/North America. Each DVD must be accompanied by a completed and signed submission Form. Mail and DVD and Submission form by July 31, 2013 to: 

Jennifer Friend, Associate Professor, ELPF

University of Missouri-Kansas City

328 Education Building, 5100 Rockhill Road

Kansas City, MO 64110

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please contact Dr. Julia Ballenger by May 1, 2013. Contact information:  936.554.9300


AREL Report Leaves Much In The Dark

On February 5, 2013 the George W. Bush Institute released a new report focusing on the state's role in fostering quality leadership preparation, Operating in the Dark:  What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership.  

UCEA Headquarters has prepared a response to the report's recommendations, AREL Report Leaves Much in the Dark. The response is a research-based appraisal of recommendations made in report, developed in an effort to inform policy conversations and initiatives concerning the role of state education officials and policymakers in supporting a high-quality educational leadership pipeline.

UCEA supports the effort to encourage the participation of state education officials in ensuring high-quality principal preparation programs and the call for states to collect both more and better data about school leaders and their preparation programs. However, UCEA does not agree with and will not support recommendations that simplify program quality to a handful of weakly related measures. Nor does UCEA agree that that the simple collection of data will lead to policies that improve the quality of the principal pipeline. 

Supporting high quality educational leadership preparation requires an evaluation system that reflects the complexity of leadership, teaching and learning.  Simple indicators, such as retention rates, are woefully inadequate. Through its work with stakeholders and scholars in the educational leadership field, UCEA has turned up the lights on how to collect and examine program, candidate, and graduate data in sophisticated and rigorous ways. UCEA’s program evaluation planner, Developing Evaluation Evidence, and the SLPPS suite of program evaluation surveys are two important examples.

UCEA welcomes the opportunity to work with stakeholders in supporting the development of educational leaders throughout their professional careers. Please feel free to contact UCEA headquarters if you have any questions: