Between October 2000 and September 2001, IEL released a four-part series, Leadership for Student Learning. It was the product of IEL’s School Leadership for the 21st Century initiative, which raised public awareness about the critical problems facing education leadership by engaging partners from education, government, business, civic groups, and other organizations. Each report in the series was created by a task force, comprised of practitioners and leaders from around the country, hat focused on leadership at the state, district, principal, and teacher levels.
The series’ findings are salient to today’s discussions on education leadership. The series addresses how educational leaders can be effective to lead successful students and schools. The Initiative successfully brought many of the challenges facing school leaders into the spotlight of public policy and worked to spark a spirited national debate about the future of our students, schools, and leadership. Although the series is now over a decade old, many of the recommendations made by the task forces are still relevant today, such as providing effective professional development for teachers and principals, professionalizing teaching, political and policy challenges like bipartisanship, and dispelling myths about the challenges of leading urban districts. Following these persistent issues over the last several years through reports like Leadership for Student Learning and seeing how they have changed can help us better understand how to address them moving forward.