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Political Influence and Governance

Political Influence and Governance Philosophy Statement

            At the heart of my political influence and governance philosophy is the inclusive school governance model.  Weishaar, Borsa, and Weishaar (2007) define this type of governance model as "a school organization that focuses its governance on providing a seamless instructional format that assists all educators to work effectively with children displaying a wide range of abilities and disabilities" (p. 17).  In this model, a child would receive assistance without being singled out or labeled as needing special services (Weishaar, Borsa & Weishaar, 2007).  This model definitely has its challenges associated with implementation, but I do believe that the field of education is ultimately moving in this direction.   

             This change in direction has been evident in policy shifts at both the state and federal levels.  According to Weishaar, Borsa, and Weishaar (2007), "the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 supported the idea of providing effective, research-based instruction to all children, a mandate to focus on outcomes for all children, promoted flexible use of funds to benefit all children, and emphasized that all teachers should be highly qualified" (p. 19).  Furthermore, in 2004, when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized, "it emphasized (1) prevention and early intervention by promoting research-based approaches in the instruction of all children, (2) whole-school approaches and interventions to limit the need for labeling, and (3) highly qualified teachers in special education" (Weishaar, Borsa, & Weishaar, 2007, p. 19).  Most recently, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and is a bipartisan measure that reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation's national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. All three policies have emphasized meeting the needs of all children, which is the goal behind the use of the inclusive governance model. 

            In order for an inclusive governance model to operate effectively, stakeholder groups will need to be involved throughout the development and implementation process.  Superintendents need to elicit input from stakeholder groups and look for trends in the data to prioritize needs.  Effective superintendents will then take the identified needs and put together an action plan to address the needs.  In addition to involving stakeholder groups, superintendents must also work closely with social agencies and human services.  Collaboration among agencies is essential in order to support the academic achievement and healthy social-emotional development of children (Adelman & Taylor, 2006).  Therefore, in order to truly reach the goal of inclusive school governance model - meeting the needs of all children, superintendents must develop strong working relationships with other agencies.

References

Adelman, H. S., & Taylor, L. (2006). The school leader's guide to student learning supports: New directions for addressing barriers to learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Weishaar, M.K., Borsa, J.C., & Weishaar, P.M. (2007). Inclusive educational administration: A case-study approach (2nd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.

B. Political influence and Governance

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the role the political process plays in public education and the connection between these;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of how to interact with local and State government;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the roles played by other community leaders in the school district.

Artifacts

The following artifacts demonstrate my competency in the area of political influence and governance:

 

This artifact demonstrates my understanding of the role the political process plays in public education and the connection between these (B1). During my superintendent field experience, I had the opportunity to attend several events focused on understanding the implications of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on our schools. In addition to the "Moving from ESSA Policy to Implementation" event at the University of Minnesota, I also attended an ESSA regional meeting at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to learn more about the specifics of the Minnesota ESSA plan including statewide goals, accountability, indicators, and student groups.   Through these experiences, I gained an increased understanding of how this federal legislation will be implemented at the state and local level.

The artifacts above demonstrate my understanding of how to interact with local and State government (B3). During my superintendent field experience, I had the opportunity to host a legislative forum for the SCRED member districts and local legislators, participate in Schools for Equity in Education (SEE) meetings, hear presentations on proposed, vetoed and passed educational legislation, assist in the development of the Minnesota Administrators for Special Education (MASE) legislative platform, participate in a Chisago County Board Meeting to speak to the funding inequities our schools face, and advocate for education at the state capitol. Through these experiences, my understanding of the legislative process has grown immensely and I feel very comfortable advocating legislatively for our students and schools.

 
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