Second Phase State Initiative Education Leadership

November 21, 2003

Contact: Jessica Schwartz
Senior Communications Officer

The Wallace Foundation to Launch Second Phase of its State Initiative in Education Leadership 
Requests for proposals sent to all 50 states, including 15 states currently participating in the State Action for Education Leadership Project (SAELP I).

NEW YORK, NY, November 21, 2003 – The Wallace Foundation has invited all 50 states to submit proposals for the second phase of its state-based project aimed at improving the preparation of education leaders and the working conditions that support their success in raising student achievement. Up to 20 states will be selected by June 2004 as partners in the State Action for Education Leadership Project or SAELP II to receive a total of up to $24 million over the next three years.

SAELP is one of the cornerstones of the Foundation’s long-term commitment to developing and sharing innovative ideas and practices that can help make leadership a powerful catalyst to improving the learning of all the nation’s children, especially those with the greatest needs. This work is centered on developing state-district demonstration sites that link policy changes at the state level with improvements in district and school leadership.

“As we learn more about how leadership influences student learning, we are also learning the importance of creating policies and incentives at the state and district level that form the conditions in which leaders can be effective,” said Richard Laine, The Wallace Foundation’s Director of Education Programs. “We are looking for states to lead policy change that positively affects the quality of education leadership and, in turn, the entire education system – from state laws to classroom practices – that will offer valuable lessons to the rest of the country and result in better learning for all children.”

Each state must demonstrate how proposed reforms contribute to and connect current leadership policies and practices at the state, district, school and classroom levels. State proposals are to concentrate on two to three “breakthrough ideas,” which will challenge the status quo, align leadership development with changes in conditions affecting leadership, and be measurable and sustainable.

The initiative, launched in spring 2001 with $8.9 million in funding, was managed by a national consortium consisting of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Governors Association. SAELP II states will receive ongoing expertise and assistance by the national consortium.

Proposals will be accepted from the 15 states participating in SAELP I, which concludes December 2003. SAELP I states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. The proposal deadline for current states is January 30, 2004, and for new states, March 19, 2004.

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The Wallace Foundation is an independent private foundation established by DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, the founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. Its mission is to enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. It does this by supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices. To achieve this mission, The Wallace Foundation has three objectives:

  • Strengthen education leadership to improve student achievement;
  • Improve after-school learning opportunities; and
  • Expand participation in arts and culture.