President's Message

Moving from Advocacy to Influence 

On June 27th I traveled to the NAESP offices in Alexandria, VA to meet up with NAESP’s Chief Policy Analyst, Kelly Pollitt. Kelly and I took an Uber to Washington, DC where we participated in a Congressional briefing that had been organized by NAESP, NASSP, and LPI (Learning Policy Institute). 

Kelly moderated discussion and questions centered on the proposed elimination of over 2 billion dollars in Title II, Part A of ESSA in President Trump’s draft education budget.  This is the part of ESSA that provides federal funds for professional development for teachers and administrators. A representative from LPI, a teacher from DC Public schools, and myself composed a panel that spoke passionately in support of full funding for teacher and principal professional development through ESSA. 

When I was invited to participate in this event, my initial instinct was to decline. I’m just a school principal, I thought, I don’t belong on Capitol Hill, and what could I possibly say that would make a difference?  The reality was that congressional staff was interested in what we had to say and asked many questions about what quality PD for principals looks like and what the implications might be for students if that funding was eliminated. I have always considered myself an advocate for principals and the need for quality professional development that builds leadership capacity and enables us to lead for the future. My experience on Capitol Hill showed me that the voice of one school principal who was willing to speak up was not only heard by people making education policy decisions but was also tweeted across the country within minutes of my words being spoken! 

I encourage you to join us at MAESP as members, as advocates, and as influencers. There are rapid changes occurring in education right now. If we don’t speak up those changes will be made without our input. Who better to stand up and speak out than the educational leaders who are doing the job every day?


Beth A. Allshouse |  Principal  

MAESP President
Building a Community that Inspires Curiosity, Creativity, and Achievement.
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