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Final Review of the 2012 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute
Creating Safe Supportive Conditions for Learning: Policy Directions for the Nation

From July 11-17, 2012, 56 school psychologists, teachers, school administrators, graduate students and other interested people came to Washington, DC from 21 states and the District of Columbia to participate in the 2012 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute (PPI). The institute was co-sponsored by George Washington University (GW) Graduate School in Education and Human development (GSEHD). The 2012 PPI is the third institute since the approval of a formal partnership agreement between NASP and GW that allows the PPI to be offered on an annual basis. GW is one of the nations' premiere graduate schools training future leaders in special education and education public policy. GW brings to the partnership resources, professional expertise, and professional connections that help make the PPI a rich public policy and advocacy training experience for all involved.

2012 PPI participants come from across the United States including Alaska, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

PPI participants had the option of participating in a 3-day training (July 11-13) for NASP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit or a 5-day training (July 11-13 and 16-17) for GW Graduate Semester Credit.

An amazing line up of national experts presented information and engage in dialogues with PPI participants. Here are a few of the national leaders and scholars that participated in this year's PPI:

  • Michael Usdan, Senior Fellow and Past President, Institute for Educational Leadership
  • Paul Wesckstein, Director of the Center for Law and Education
  • Kristen Harper, Policy Advisor to the Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary
  • Joanne Cashman, Director of the IDEA partnership
  • Renee Bradley, Deputy Director of the Office of Special Education Programs
  • Susan Swearer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Founder of Bullying Research Network
  • Jo Ann Freiberg, Consultant to the National school Climate Council, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • David Osher, Vice President of American Institute for Research
  • Jack Jennings, Founder of the Center on Education Policy
  • Daphne Pereles, Executive Director of Learning Supports, Colorado Department of Education

Several NASP leaders and staff also presented including NASP President Amy Smith; Government and Professional Relations (GPR) Committee Leaders John Kelly (NY), Barry Barbarash (NJ), Fulvia Franco (UT), Charlotte Smith (MO), and Laurie Klose (TX); NASP Staff, Stacy Skalski, Direct of Professional Policy and Practice, Kelly Vaillancourt, Director of Government Relations, Kathy Cowan, Director for Communications, and Mary Beth Klotz, Director of IDEA Projects and Technical Assistance. Carol Kochhar-Bryant, GW Associate Dean of GSHED and Pamela Leconte, GW Assistant Research Professor also presented, led teamwork session, facilitated discussion, and led the “wicked problems of practice” culminating activity for GW credit participants.

Capitol Hill Day, July 13, 2012

On July 13, 2012 PPI participants traveled to the U.S. Capitol to engage in a day of hands on advocacy. The day began in Rayburn House Office Building in a room sponsored by Rep. Chis VanHollen (MD-8). 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 Maria Worthen, Education Policy Advisor to the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, Chris Toppings, Education Policy Advisor for Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Kara Marcione, Education Policy Advisor, Education and the Workforce Committee and Lindsay Fryer, Professional Staff Member for the Education the Workforce Committee

After the morning session, state teams ventured into the halls of Capitol Hill to meet their elected officials and/or legislative staff. Over 44 different offices of U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives were visited that day. NASP materials and resources were presented and specific public policy priorities and issues were discussed.

Sample 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. Samples 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 Senior Associate Dean
  • NASP Advocacy Programs
    Presented by Stacy Skalski, Kathy Cowan, Kelly Vaillancourt, NASP Staff and John Kelly, GPR Committee
  • Hidden Legal Levers and Lenses for Fostering Positive Conditions for Learning
    Paul Weckstein, Center for Law and Education
  • Kids Count: The Status of America's Children Today and Tomorrow
    Florencia Gutierrez, Nation Kids Count, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • How Bullying Effects Student and School Success: Policy and Practices to Improve Student Outcomes
    Susan Swearer, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools

2012 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute Photo Gallery

As with any NASP event, staff, leaders and participants recorded their favorite PPI moments 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. To see additional photos check out the NASP Facebook Page.

Marketing and Planning for the 2012 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

View the original details leading up to the PPI