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 20 states and the District of Columbia to participate in the 2012 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute (PPI). The institute was cosponsored by George Washington University (GW) Graduate School in Education and Human Development (GSEHD). The 2012 PPI is the 3rd 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 engaged in dialogues with PPI participants. Here are a few of the national leaders and scholars who 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 of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services
  • 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, Director 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 sessions, facilitated discussions, 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 US Capitol to engage in a day of hands-on advocacy. The day began in the Rayburn House Office Building in a room sponsored by Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8). Participants enjoyed a continental breakfast and got an inside look at life on Capitol Hill through a question-and-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 Senator Richard Burr (R-NC); Kara Marcione, Education Policy Advisor, Education and the Workforce Committee; and Lindsay Fryer, Professional Staff Member for the Education and 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. More than 44 different offices of US senators and US 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