School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Obama’s Plans for Education Will Rely on School Leaders

March 30, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I read the article “Rigor, Rewards, Quality: Obama’s Education Aims” (March 18, 2009) with great interest. President Barack Obama’s speech on March 10 laying out his plans for education echoes what the American Federation of School Administrators and other education professionals have said, time and time again, about the importance of investing in education.

Although not a new idea, this is refreshing to hear from our president, especially because he seems committed to providing the leadership required to transform a lofty goal into actual policy. Congress must work with him to make the ideal become a reality, and must do this quickly, concurrent with urgent actions in other areas.

The nation will not enjoy long-term prosperity unless and until it invests in education. The research is very clear: For every dollar we spend on successful early-childhood initiatives, we get nearly $10 back in reduced health-care costs, decreased spending on crime and prisons, smaller welfare rolls, and greater productivity by members of our communities and society as a whole. Early-childhood education, including day care, is not baby-sitting, and we must make certain that providers are certified educators—teachers and administrators.

President Obama said: "[P]olitics and ideology have too often trumped our progress. ... Too many in the Republican Party have opposed new investments in early education, despite compelling evidence of its importance.” Regardless of political affiliation, this is a nonpartisan issue. All Americans will benefit from an investment in education.

The AFSA, the national union for school administrators, will continue to support major reform across all levels of federal education policy as long as those policies are supportive and not punitive, research-based, and built upon our collective wisdom and experience. We call on President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to remember that schools, like the nation itself, require exemplary, thoughtful, and knowledgeable leadership. As part of accomplishing that, we anticipate a future focus on school principals and other supervisory personnel. And we look forward to such a dialogue.

Jill S. Levy


American Federation of School Administrators

Washington, D.C.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 01, 2009 edition of Education Week as Obama’s Plans for Education Will Rely on School Leaders


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
How to Leverage Virtual Learning: Preparing Students for the Future
Hear from an expert panel how best to leverage virtual learning in your district to achieve your goals.
Content provided by Class
English-Language Learners Webinar AI and English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know
Explore the role of AI in multilingual education and its potential limitations.
Education Webinar The K-12 Leader: Data and Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know
Which topics are capturing the attention of district and school leaders? Discover how to align your content with the topics your target audience cares about most. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Explainer What Does a School Principal Do? An Explainer
Learn about the principal workforce, what makes principals effective, and how schools can retain the best leaders.
Image of staffing.
Andrii Yalanskyi/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Running for a School Board Seat? This Is the Most Powerful Endorsement You Can Get
New research shows that this endorsement in school board races is more influential than any other, with virtually no downside.
5 min read
People in privacy booths vote in the midterm election at an early voting polling site at Frank McCourt High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City on Nov. 1, 2022.
People in privacy booths vote in the midterm election at an early voting polling site at Frank McCourt High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City on Nov. 1, 2022.
Ted Shaffrey/AP
School & District Management High Pace of Superintendent Turnover Continues, Data Show
About one in five large districts lost a superintendent last year, researchers found.
2 min read
Image of exit doors.
School & District Management Finding the Source of PCB Contamination in Schools Just Got Easier
Researchers say they have found a promising method to determine where in school buildings the PCB contamination is greatest.
7 min read
Image of a brick wall and glass blocks.