Articles tagged with Anne L. Bryant

Missouri businessman, MSBA announce $1 million incentive for Baldrige school district award

A Missouri couple will donate $1 million to the first public school district in their state that can win a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes organizations for achieving performance excellence. The award will be announced at the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) conference this weekend.

Larry Potterfield said he and his wife, Brenda Potterfield, are making the donation because they want to help improve public education in Missouri. “This is for the children,” he said. “We want to impact the educational system, to make the school districts more accountable, to better prepare and educate the next generation so that our nation can continue to compete in the global marketplace.”

The gift challenge will reinforce current efforts for measurable educational improvements among Missouri’s 520 school districts as they strive to achieve “role model status,” as defined by the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence. Each year, the President of the United States honors American organizations in business, health care, education, non-profit, and government that win a Baldrige Award, the nation’s only award for performance excellence.

Anne L. Bryant, who sits on the board of the Baldrige Foundation and is a former executive director of the National School Boards Association, said that Larry and Brenda Potterfield’s million dollar challenge has called upon the entire state of Missouri to “show the way” by encouraging every school district across the state to consider taking up the Baldrige quality and excellence program.

“Like all Baldrige Award winners, a school district that goes through the process is demonstrating to its students, faculty, staff, parents and entire community that it wants to be the best,” Bryant said. “I watched my neighboring district, The Montgomery County Public Schools (MD) go through the process and reach the national award with such pride and excitement. It reinforced to the community and the entire state that this public school district could be an example for all.”

Moreover, Bryant said that the Baldrige community is “thrilled by the Potterfield’s generosity but, even more importantly, by their foresight to focus on education…which indeed is the cornerstone of a state’s economy and future.

The $1 million gift will be stewarded by the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award until it is awarded.

“The million dollar unrestricted gift will be an obvious benefit to the school district that demonstrates outstanding performance,” said Potterfield, who is CEO of Midway USA, a company that sells hunting and gun supplies. “The school district will receive tremendous recognition for winning the Baldrige Award. Most importantly, the winner will have to demonstrate an improvement in educational outcomes because the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are results-driven.”

The Potterfields’ official announcement will be made at the 2013 MSBA Annual Conference on Oct. 5, 2013. The conference is held in cooperation with the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA).

“We’re delighted Larry and Brenda Potterfield chose the MSBA Annual Conference to announce their gift,” said Dr. Carter Ward, the MSBA executive director. “MSBA strongly supports school districts interested in utilizing the Baldrige Criteria to create a culture of continuous improvement ultimately aimed at providing the finest possible education for the students in our public schools.”

Dr. P. George Benson, chair of the Board of Directors of the Baldrige Foundation, called it “gratifying” for the Potterfields to link their donation to the Baldrige National Award for Performance Excellence.

“It demonstrates the faith and confidence that Larry and Brenda Potterfield have in the Baldrige Program,” Dr. Benson said. “For 25 years, we helped organizations in the public and private sectors reach their peak level of effectiveness, and honored the very best with a Baldrige Award. With their generous donation, the Potterfields are challenging Missouri school districts to provide a better education to their students.”

School districts must reach the highest level in the Missouri Quality Award, the state Baldrige-based program, to apply to the National Baldrige Performance Excellence Award Program. School districts will need to demonstrate performance results that are national benchmarks and better than their peer groups at comparably-sized school districts across the country. In so doing, they will be improving their budget and operations, as well as the education they provide in the classrooms.

“Schools and districts interested in pursuing a Baldrige award can access resources through the recently launched Missouri Network for Educational Improvement (MNEI),” says Daniel L. Clay, dean of the University of the Missouri College of Education. “The network will help schools and districts strategically coordinate continuous improvement efforts.”  The MNEI is led by the Hook Center at the University of Missouri College of Education, in partnership with MSBA, MASA and districts around the state.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|October 4th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Board governance, Educational Research, School Board News, School Boards, School Climate, School District Reorganization, School Reform, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , , , , |

NSBA President honors Anne L. Bryant

Editor’s note: C. Ed Massey, president of the National School Boards Association, (NSBA) sent the following letter to NSBA staff, board members, and affiliates earlier today:

Dear Colleagues:

Today, our extraordinary Executive Director for the past 16 years will spend her last hours as the leader of our association.  Dr. Anne Bryant has led NSBA through challenging times and through changing times.  She helped raise the national stature of NSBA and became the impetus behind NSBA’s growth and recognition as the national voice on public education.

Throughout her time at NSBA Anne has had many personal and professional accomplishments. Anne came to NSBA in 1996 after serving the previous 10 years as Executive Director of American Association of University Women.  After joining NSBA, the organization continued to be a leader in the legislative advocacy on Capitol Hill, through the contentious reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), completed in 1997, then the reauthorization of the Elementary Secondary Education Act in 2001-02. She was a founding member of the Learning First Alliance, an important organization that has brought together the nation’s leading public education groups, in the late 1990s.  Under her leadership, NSBA launched the first “Key Work of School Boards” in 1999  and a revised edition in 2009, and the Center for Public Education in 2006.  And NSBA has become the go-to source for legal information on education, filing more amicus briefs than any other education associations (In 2007 NSBA participated in two groundbreaking cases before the United States Supreme Court–Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1 and Morse v. Frederick).  In 2010 the Center for Public Education launched the Data First website.  Between 2011 and 2012, Anne worked in concert with the Board of Directors to establish the strategic plan that drives NSBA’s current work and lays the groundwork for the next Executive Director and board to continue NSBA’s leadership in legal, legislative, and public advocacy.

In addition to these accomplishments, Anne has received numerous honors:
*1997: Appointed to Universal Service Administrative Company Board of Directors
*1998-2002: Serves on the Baldridge Board of Overseers
*2002: Award from American Society of Association Executives Foundation for exceptional work
*2005: Awarded Association Trends Association Executive Director of the Year Award
*2006-2007: Serves as Chair of Learning First Alliance
*2007: Accepts seat on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award
*2012: Presented the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training Community Builder Award
*2012: Receives the Women Who Advance Excellence in Associations Lifetime Achievement Award from ASAE

Her commitment to public education is shown by her works and her leadership during her tenure at NSBA.  She has been a passionate advocate for local school boards and the communities they serve.  Anne has assisted in making NSBA a recognized association in Washington.  Evidence of her work on behalf of public education will be visible for years to come and the foundation that has been laid will give her successor a solid springboard for future work on behalf of America’s school boards.

As President of NSBA I wish Anne the best in all of her future endeavors.  I am certain that neither her work nor her heart will be far from public education.  I will also miss the scarves that have become her fashion trademark.  Thank you, Anne, for all you have done on behalf of NSBA.

With warm regards,

C. Ed Massey
President – NSBA

Joetta Sack-Min|September 28th, 2012|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , , , |

NSBA president queries Romney on role of school boards

C. Ed Massey, president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), queried GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney this morning during a session at NBC’s Education Nation Summit.

C. Ed Massey

Massey asked for details about the candidate’s views on local school boards and parental involvement. Romney spent much of the session speaking about the need for parental involvement.

Romney used the question to further promote his beliefs that education begins at home and parents should be heavily involved in their child’s education. Romney has proposed a plan that would give students from low-income families or students who receive special education services—about 50 percent of all public school students, he estimates—access to the average per-pupil amount of federal funds under Title I or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to use at any school that best meets their educational needs. Currently the funds are given to states to distribute to local school districts by formulas based on need.

After the session, Massey said he was pleased with the opportunity to meet Romney and be able “to make sure he knew that school board governance was the critical factor in meeting the needs of the local community.”

“What I liked about [Romney’s remarks] was he did recognize the importance of parental involvement,” Massey said. “What he didn’t say much about was how that’s correlated through school boards.”

Massey and NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant are attending the event, held Sept. 23 to 25 in New York City. Watch the video (Massey appears at position 32:06) or read a transcript of the exchange:

MASSEY: Good morning. Ed Massey from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I serve as president of the National School Boards Association and sit on the National PTA board, as well. And I want to know a little more in detail how you view local school boards and parental involvement in the process of educational reform.

ROMNEY: Well, we have great organizations that represent the teachers. We have great organizations that represent the parents. But I’d like to see them have more clout. I’d like to see parents very much involved in evaluating the success of schools. If we had a more transparent system for evaluating the success of a school A through F, I think schools ought to have report cards the way they do in Florida. And if we had that, then if parents saw their school get a C or D or worse, those parents are going to be outraged. And they’ll want to gather together, become part of PTA organizations and talk about taking back the school. We can’t say and you have choice to go somewhere else. That’s a good thing to have that choice, but we also have to fix the school itself and parents are oftentimes going to be the impetus, the energy behind real change which must occur in a lot of our local school districts. I imagine you found the same thing. Is that right?

ED: I have. And sitting on a local school board for 16 years, I’ve found that the community engagement is so powerful, if you have parents in schools and you’ve engaged your community, the school will be successful. Regardless of the circumstances. That’s what I’ve found.

ROMNEY: That reminds me about the point about the Boston teachers who said if the parents show up at parent/teacher night, the kid will do just fine. And that just underscores the impact of parents. The idea that somehow schools are entirely separate from the home, from the economic circumstances of the home, from the social experiences of the home that’s just not reality. The home is an integral part of the education system and the best teachers in the world can’t possibly overcome a home pulling in the different direction. That’s why I propose in my state that the parents had to go to a training program to learn about the impact of education. I wasn’t able to get it done. It’s something I wanted to do and something that has merit. We have to pull the parents into education because they are an essential part of the education experience of their child.

ED: Thank you, governor.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 25th, 2012|Categories: 2012 Presidential race, Leadership, School Board News, School Boards, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |

“Won’t Back Down” misses that turning around a failing school is everyone’s business

NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant is attending NBC’s Education Nation event this week in New York City, and part of the exclusive event included a red-carpet screening of the new film “Won’t Back Down.”

The film, which conveys a fictional story of a mother who seeks to enact a parent-trigger law on her daughter’s underperforming school, seeks to elicit more discussion about that type of law. However, Bryant cautions that research shows different strategies may be more effective in a Sept. 24 blog for Transforming Learning, a blog by members of the Learning First Alliance that is hosted by Education Week.

“While we wouldn’t expect a Hollywood production about public schools to be grounded in research-based facts, there are many reasons to be concerned about the images of educators portrayed in the movie and the fanfare surrounding this type of law — which so far has only been used in one instance but has piqued the interest of legislatures in several states,” Bryant writes. “While ‘parent involvement’ always sounds agreeable, we have research showing that certain parental strategies work much better than others — and parent trigger laws are far from being a proven methodology.”

What works, she notes, are school boards that hold administrators accountable for student performance and engage parents and community members. Bryant also discusses research from the Center for Public Education that shows which parental involvement strategies show the most impact on their children’s learning.

Read more at Education Week’s website.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 25th, 2012|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , |

NSBA announces Thomas J. Gentzel as new Executive Director

Thomas J. Gentzel

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) Board of Directors unanimously selected Thomas J. Gentzel to be the next NSBA executive director late last week. Gentzel is the executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA).

“I am honored to lead NSBA at such an important time for the organization and for public education,” said Gentzel. “I am deeply committed to community ownership of public schools, which is the essence of school board governance. We will build on a strong foundation, taking an active role in shaping education policy and ensuring a quality education for all children in America.”

In his current role at PSBA, Gentzel represents and serves more than 5,000 school directors, administrators, and other officials from school entities throughout Pennsylvania. He joined the PSBA staff in 1980 as a lobbyist and, five years later, was promoted to head the organization’s Office of Governmental and Member Relations–a position he held until being promoted to Executive Director in 2001. He is also the Immediate Past Chair of NSBA’s Organization of State Association Executive Directors. Before joining PSBA, he served as the county administrator for Pennsylvania’s Centre County Board of Commissioners and, later, as Assistant Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

In addition, Gentzel has served as Vice President at Large for the National School Public Relations Association and as a member of the Outreach Advisory Board for The Pennsylvania State University. He was appointed by Gov. Tom Ridge and reappointed twice by Gov. Edward Rendell to the State Advisory Panel on Special Education. In 2009 he was named by Rendell to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council. He previously chaired the Pennsylvania Coalition for Public Education and was founder and coordinator of the Alliance for a School Aid Partnership.

NSBA President C. Ed Massey noted that NSBA’s search committee had undertaken a comprehensive selection process to choose Gentzel, who received the committee’s unanimous recommendation before the board’s vote.

NSBA’s Executive Director reports directly to  the organization’s Board of Directors and is responsible for guiding the development and implementation of the strategic plan, programs, policies, and practices of the association. The Executive Director is responsible for the management and development of nearly 100 employees and an annual budget of more than $20 million.

NSBA’s current Executive Director Anne L. Bryant said, “Tom Gentzel brings extraordinary insight into NSBA. He will not only have 100 percent support from our state associations across the nation, he has the vision for the leadership role of school boards and school board governance in public education.”

Gentzel will begin his new role on December 1. Bryant is retiring at the end of this month after more than 16 years as Executive Director.  Joseph S. Villani, NSBA’s Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operations Officer, will serve as Interim Executive Director from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 2012.

Joetta Sack-Min|September 24th, 2012|Categories: Announcements, School Board News|Tags: , , , |

Is your district prepared for a natural disaster?

Hurricane Isaac left floods and power outages across the Gulf Coast this week, but officials at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) say damage to schools remains minimal.

“We’ve reached out to our colleagues in the states that were affected by Hurricane Isaac,” said NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. “Although many families and schools have been affected by the torrential rains and wind, at this point there have been no fatalities related to schools.”

Public school buildings are often used as safe havens during storms and other disasters, and schools canceled classes and activities in many parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama this week.

American School Board Journal has a compilation of stories with advice on handling natural disasters in its topical archives.

Joetta Sack-Min|August 31st, 2012|Categories: American School Board Journal, Crisis Management, Environmental Issues|Tags: , , |

New voucher study doesn’t live up to hype, NSBA says

A new study released today by the Brookings Institute and Harvard University researcher Paul E. Peterson shows that low-income students who participated in a three-year voucher program in New York City in the late 1990s overall fared no better in college enrollments than their peers in public schools. However, the study found that African-American students did attend college at higher rates than those who did not receive vouchers.

Although the study was relatively small and narrowly focused, the authors and voucher proponents are using it to lobby for expanding voucher programs across the country. Peterson and researcher Matthew M. Chingos published an editorial in The Wall Street Journal calling on the Obama administration to support the voucher program for students in Washington D.C. Their claims have been challenged by the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

“The grandiose statements made in the executive summary are not substantiated by the data,” said NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant. One undetermined factor, she added, is the level of parental involvement with a child’s education, which research shows makes a significant difference in the child’s academic achievement.

“Clearly the parents who chose this program were dedicated, and parent involvement is key,” Bryant said.

The study examined longitudinal data from the privately funded New York School Choice Scholarships Foundation Program, which offered three-year scholarships of up to $1,400 each year to as many as 1,000 low-income families. Those vouchers were primarily used at Catholic schools, and in most cases parents also paid a portion of the tuition. However, 22 percent of the students who were offered a voucher never used it, and most of the students returned to public schools for reasons unknown, some after the first or second year, noted Jim Hull, senior policy analyst for NSBA’s Center for Public Education.

Several of the report’s methodologies are particularly troublesome, he noted:

  • The study neither isolates the impact of private schools nor school choice on students going to college;
  • The study never took into account what happened to those students who left the voucher program to return to the public school;
  • Results do not show that expanding vouchers programs will necessarily result in higher college going rates for low-income students in urban schools, even black students;
  • While the findings about African-American students appear impressive, the actual impact may in fact be minimal due to a large margin of error. An offer of a voucher may only increase a black student’s chances of going to college by as little as .4 percentage points but could be as large as increasing their chances by 13.8 percentage points. A more robust study is needed to more precisely determine the true impact that a voucher offer has on the enrollment of black students in college;
  • The more years a student uses a voucher does not necessarily mean a student is more likely to go on to college.

NSBA opposes publicly-funded vouchers for private schools because such programs abandon public schools, which are required to serve all students regardless of abilities, and eliminate public accountability for those tax dollars. Read more in NSBA’s issue brief.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Budgeting, Center for Public Education, Center for Public Education Update, Federal Advocacy, Legislative advocacy, Policy Formation, Reports, School Board News, School Vouchers|Tags: , , , , , , |

NSBA backs University of Texas in diversity case

The National School Boards Association, the College Board, and 11 other national educational groups today filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court strongly supporting the University of Texas’ use of race as one of multiple factors in admission decisions.

In January, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously for the defendants in Fisher v. University of Texas. The plaintiffs then appealed to the Supreme Court, which accepted the case in February, thereby signaling its willingness to revisit diversity law. Legal experts say that a high court reversal of the earlier decision would represent a profound change in affirmative action law and a serious setback to school districts and universities seeking to diversity their programs.

“I think it’s ominous,” Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, told the New York Times earlier this year. “It threatens to undo several decades of effort within higher education to build a more integrated and just and educationally enriched environment.”

The case is being closely watched by public school leaders as well. Among those groups joining NSBA in today’s brief are the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Texas Association of School Boards Legal Assistance Fund.

“The National School Boards Association is committed to the principle that diversity promotes the educational achievement of all students,” NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant said today. “Preserving the ability to develop sound, academically driven diversity policies is in the best interests of all students in our public schools and beyond.”

Bollinger was president of the University of Michigan in 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Grutter v. Bollinger that the university’s use of race was constitutional as long as it was part of a “holistic” assessment of candidates that included other factors. It was that decision that has guided the University of Texas and many other educational institutions as they try to diversity their academic programs and prepare a workforce for the 21st century.

Under a 2004 state law, all Texas high school seniors in the top 10 percent of their classes are automatically admitted to the Texas state university of their choice — a requirement that accounted for 81 percent of the 2008 freshman class at the University of Texas, according to a recent College Board report. (The university limits out-of-state residents to 10 percent of the freshman class.)

The remaining in-state candidates are then evaluated on both academic and personal achievement indexes. Among the personal achievement indexes – which include socioeconomic status, and family status and responsibilities – is race. “No element of the personal achievement score is considered separately or given a separate numerical value,” the report said.

The College Board report was written by attorney Arthur L. Coleman, who wrote the court brief filed today. Coleman also collaborated with Katherine E. Lipper and NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón Jr. on the 2011 publication Achieving Educational Excellence for All: a Guide to Diversity-Related Policy Strategies for School Districts.

 

Lawrence Hardy|August 13th, 2012|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Diversity, School Law, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , , , , , |

NSBA: Fordham survey misses the mark on school funding

The National School Boards Association Executive Director Anne L. Bryant was asked to comment on a new survey by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation that shows how members of the public would cut funding for public schools. The survey found that many would prefer to downsize the ranks of administrative staff rather than teachers, freeze teacher salaries, or lay off teachers based on factors other than seniority. Bryant’s response is below.

Looking at the new Thomas B. Fordham Foundation’s survey, “How Americans Would Slim Down Public Education,” it’s abundantly clear that Americans are interested, engaged and supportive of their local schools. There is also an overriding sense that many of these hard choices must be made at the local level with a community’s input–thus showing clear evidence for the need for local school boards.

The authors have created a scenario of choosing between critical programs and staff for public schools—choices such as laying off teachers, instructional leaders, arts and music classes and extracurricular activities. However, this survey is about four years late–many public schools are already operating on a bare-bones administration and have been forced to make tough choices to lay off teachers and cut academic programs. And with the federal government looking to implement sequestration this January, K-12 programs may see further across-the-board cuts.

While reducing the number of administrators seems like the obvious answer, as 69 percent of respondents chose, many of these officials play key roles in developing curriculum, managing services, and performing other duties that are directly tied to student achievement. Like any business, school districts need officials to manage budgets and operations to ensure that students are safe and teachers and principals can focus on their jobs.

The public sent a clear message that they prefer forgoing raises or slight salary cuts for teachers and other staff in lieu of layoffs. We’ve seen many examples of school boards, administrators and union representatives working together to navigate these budget choices. For instance, school board members and officials in the Boone County Public Schools in Florence, Ky., worked with their teachers union on a plan to forgo raises in lieu of layoffs, so that student/teacher ratios could be maintained. The labor-management relationship “is truly a relationship built on trust, accountability and respect,” as school board member and current President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) C. Ed Massey recently told me, and the board has brought in coaches to help all teachers improve their skills. That’s an investment that has paid off in continuous improvement in student learning and college and career readiness, as evidenced by average ACT scores that have climbed from 19.5 in 2008 to 20.9 in 2012.

Fordham should not be at all surprised at the tepid response for full-time cyber schools, as too many at-risk students are performing poorly, or simply not logging in. The Center for Public Education found in its recent report, “Searching for the Reality of Virtual Schools,”  that emerging research shows dismal results for some schools and there is little accountability for public funds.

One aspect of the survey is particularly flawed. The questions related to support for special education services show that, among other findings, 71 percent say programs should be evaluated on their effectiveness and “replaced” if deemed not effective.

The survey questions ignore the landmark 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)  law that mandates a “free appropriate public education” in “the least restrictive environment” for every student identified with a disability. This was a major victory for students with disabilities who previously had been denied an education or received inferior services. Since the law’s passage the numbers of students with disabilities have increased tremendously, largely because of better diagnoses of conditions such as autism and in part because better medical treatments have allowed some severely disabled students to live and attend mainstream schools. More recent reauthorizations of the law have instilled new accountability requirements onto school systems to ensure that students with disabilities are meeting high expectations.

Yet the federal government has never come close to funding the 40 percent of excess costs for educating these students as lawmakers had promised in 1975. Each year NSBA and thousands of school board members and educators lobby the U.S. Congress to request full funding; however, funding currently stands at $11.5 billion, or about 17 percent, and is in danger of being reduced by $900 million through sequestration. This program has been a priority of both parties, as it frees up state and local funding to be spent on programs that each community deems to be its priorities.

A strong public education system attracts and retains businesses that are essential to local economies. Public schools must have the resources to give our students the knowledge and skills needed for long-term global competitiveness. Our nation’s future economic success depends on how smartly and adequately all levels of government invest in public education today.

Erin Walsh|August 2nd, 2012|Categories: Educational Finance, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Boards, Special Education, Teachers|Tags: , , , , , |

NSBA leaders share “Five things I’ve learned”

NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant and Director of Education Technology Ann Flynn give their insights on policy and practice for a new feature of the Pearson Foundation’s website,  “The Five Things I’ve Learned.”

This new media project shares personal lessons learned and practical reflections from researchers, policymakers, and leaders in the education realm.

Bryant, for one, notes that school boards can be drivers of change, and busting myths is really fun. Flynn advises, “Tell your story.”

The project currently includes 54 contributors from across education, and will be adding new voices each week, according to the foundation.

Joetta Sack-Min|July 2nd, 2012|Categories: NSBA Opinions and Analysis|Tags: , , |
Page 1 of 212