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Final Review of the 2010 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

From July 7-13, 2010, 75 school psychologists, teachers, school administrators, graduate students and other interested people came to Washington, DC from 22 states and the District of Columbia to participate in the 2010 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute. This institute was co-sponsored by George Washington University, Graduate School in Education and Human Development (GSEHD). The 2010 PPI represented the first institute since the approval of a formal partnership agreement between NASP and GW that will allow the PPI to be offered on an annual basis. GW is one of the nation’s premiere graduate schools training future leaders in special education and educational public policy and brings resources, professional expertise, and connections that help make the PPI a rich advocacy training experience for all involved.

2010 PPI participants came from across the United States including California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

PPI participants had the option of participating in a 3 day training (July 7-9) for NASP Professional Development Credit or a 5-day training (July 7-9 and 12-13) for GW Graduate Semester Credit.

An amazing line up of national experts presented information and engaged in dialogues with PPI participants. Here are a few of the national leaders that participated in the PPI:

  • Kevin Jennings, Asst. Deputy Secretary, US Department of Education, Safe and Drug Free Schools
  • Alexa Posny, Asst. Secretary of Education, US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • Dewey Cornell, Director, University of Virginia Youth Violence Project
  • Linda Kanan, Director, Colorado School Resource Safety Center
  • Laura Beavers, Project Coordinator, National KIDS COUNT, Annie E Casey Foundation
  • Michael Usdan, Senior Fellow and Past-President, Institute for Educational Leadership
  • Samantha Harvall, Senior Director of Early Childhood and Juvenile Justice Policy, First Focus
  • Lindsay Pinkus, Policy Manager, Data Quality Campaign and former Director of the Strategic Initiative, Alliance for Excellent Education
  • Gene Carter, Executive Director, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Cyndy Erickson and Barbara Ohlund, Consultants for the Comprehensive Learning Supports Program, Iowa Department of Education
  • Joanne Cashman, Director, IDEA Partnership, National Association of State Directors of Special Education

Several NASP leaders and staff also presented including NASP President Kathy Minke; Government and Professional Relations Committee leaders John Kelly and Sally Baas; positive psychology interest group coordinator Terry Molony; and NASP staff, Stacy Skalski, Director of Public Policy, Kathy Cowan, Director of Communications, and Deitra Reiser, Public Policy Fellow. GPR committee members Medina Mojaddedi and Fulvia Franco also helped facilitate state team planning through daily regional networking sessions. GW Asst. Dean of GSEHD, Bob Ianacone and Professor Carol Kochhar-Bryant also presented, led teamwork sessions, facilitated discussions, and led the “wicked problems of practice” culminating activity for GW credit participants.

Capitol Hill Day, July 9, 2010

On July 9, 2010 PPI participants traveled to the U.S. Capitol to engage in a day of hands on advocacy. The day began in a beautiful room in the Rayburn House Building that was sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2). Participants enjoyed a continental breakfast and got an inside look at life on Capitol Hill through a question-answer session with legislative staff. Our thanks to Spiros Protopsaltis, Legislative Director for Rep. Polis; Emily Hildebrand, Legislative Correspondent for Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR); Kara Marchione, Public Policy Advisor for the House Health, Education Labor and Pensions committee; and Rachel Fenton, Legislative Director for Rep. Vernon Ehlers (MI-3).

After the morning session, state teams ventured into the halls of Capitol Hill to meet their elected officials and/or legislative staff. Over 80 different offices of Senators and Congressmen were visited that day. NASP materials and resources were presented and specific public policy priorities and issues were discussed.

Sample 2010 Presentations

Annotated Description of Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are accessible to current NASP members only. Please log in to see the links.

PPI sessions included presentations from national experts, school psychology leaders, GW faculty, and NASP staff. A sampling of some of the presentations are included here:

Selected 3-day Presentations:

  • Introduction to the PPI. Presented by Stacy Skalski, NASP staff and Carol Kochhar-Bryant, GW Professor.
  • NASP Advocacy Programs. Presented by Stacy Skalski & Kathy Cowan, NASP staff and John Kelly & Sally Baas, GPR Committee.
  • Keynote Presentation. Presented by Kevin Jennings, Asst. Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
  • KIDS Count: The Status of America’s Children. Presented by Laura Beavers, National KIDS COUNT Project Coordinator, Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Selected 5-day Presentations:

  • Learning Supports in Iowa: Enhancing a Continuum of Integrated Supports for Learning. Presented by Cyndy Erickson and Barbara Ohlund, Consultants, Iowa Department of Education.
  • Standards Based Education: Do we need school climate standards in America? Presented by Stacy Skalski, NASP staff.
  • Effects of Safe Environments on Learning and Development: How one state responded to tragedy. Linda Kanan, Director of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center
  • How Positive Psychology Programs Create Cultures of Caring and Connection. Presented by Terry Molony and Janice Reisman, Cherry Hill Public Schools, NJ.

Evaluation of the 2010 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

Three-day participants and five-day participants were asked to rate the quality of speakers, arrangements, and materials at the conclusion of the institute. GW credit participants also completed the required course evaluation.

PPI Evaluation Survey

Additionally, participants were asked to evaluate all aspects of the PPI in terms of the organization of the PPI, session and speaker quality, and overall facilities. Generally, the results of this evaluation were overwhelmingly positive with session ratings ranging from 3.2-5.0 (5=very helpful and informative). The average rating of all presentation sessions combined was 4.1, suggesting that participants were generally very pleased with the quality of the presentations and discussions.

Summary of 3-day Evaluations

Summary of 5-day Evaluations

2010 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute Photo Gallery

As with any NASP event, staff, leaders and participants recorded their favorite moments from an event in pictures to share. The following pictures are posted for your enjoyment and to give you a sense of what PPI participants experienced first hand.

School psychologists gather together as they head out for their day on Capitol Hill. Picture provided by Sally Baas.
Two “stragglers” missed the group photo because they needed their morning coffee. Picture provided by Sally Baas.
NASP Executive Director, Susan Gorin, introduces our keynote speaker. Picture provided by Bob Incaone

Marketing and Planning for the 2010 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

View the original details the planning information leading up to the PPI.