Final Review of the 2013 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

Policies and Practices that Promote Student Behavior and Learning: Directions for the Nation

From July 17–19, 2013, 61 school psychologists, teachers, school administrators, graduate students, and other interested people came to Washington, DC from 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to participate in the 2013 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute (PPI). The institute was cosponsored by George Washington University (GW) Graduate School in Education and Human development (GSEHD). The 2013 PPI is the 4th 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 nation's 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-training experience for all involved.

2013 PPI participants came from across the United States including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

PPI participants had the option of participating in a 3-day basic training (July 17–19) for NASP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit or a 5-day advanced training (July 17–19 and 22–23) for GWU Graduate Credit.

An amazing line up of national experts presented information and engaged in dialogues with PPI participants. National leaders and scholars who participated in this year's PPI included:

  • Michael Usdan, Senior Fellow and Past President, Institute for Educational Leadership
  • Jack Jennings and Maria Ferguson, Center on Education Policy
  • Joanne Cashman, Director of the IDEA Partnership
  • David Esquith, Director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, US Department of Education
  • Renee Bradley, Deputy Director of the Office of Special Education Programs
  • Howie Knoff and Matt Kamins, Project ACHIEVE
  • George Sugai, Codirector of the OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Several NASP leaders and staff also presented including NASP President Sally Baas; Government and Professional Relations (GPR) Committee Leaders Katie Eklund (AZ), Faith Zabek (GA), Trisha Pedley (CA), Nate von der Embse (NC), and Candis Hogan (OK); NASP staff Stacy Skalski, Director of Professional Policy and Practice, Kelly Vaillancourt, Director of Government Relations, Kathy Cowan, Director of Communications, Mary Beth Klotz, Director of Educational Practice, and Allison Bollinger Miller, Manager of Professional Relations. Carol Kochhar-Bryant, GWU Senior Associate Dean of GSHED, and Pamela Leconte, GWU Assistant Research Professor, also presented, led teamwork sessions, facilitated discussions, and led the “Wicked Problems of Practice” culminating activity for GWU credit participants. You can view the full agenda for both the 3-day and 5-day training experiences and see the entire line up of speakers below.

Capitol Hill Day, July 19, 2013

On July 19, 2013 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 George Miller (D-CA-11), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. 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 Amanda Beaumont, Education Policy Advisor for Senator Al Franken (D-MN); and Michael Gamel-McCormick, Senior K-12 Education Policy Advisor, Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions; for sharing their experiences working on Capitol Hill.

After the morning session, state teams ventured into the halls of Congress 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, GWU faculty, and NASP staff. Samples of some of the presentations are included here: