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On October 8th and 9th, the George W. Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) will bring together over 80 leaders in education reform from throughout the country to advance its mission of ensuring there is an effective principal, able to significantly advance student achievement, at the helm of every school. 

Representatives from AREL’s Network of 28 innovatively designed principal preparation programs - including founders of influential nonprofits, charter management organization directors, school district chief executive officers and superintendents, and university chairs and departmental directors – will be among those attending.  Other participants will include policy makers, foundation directors, Bush Center leadership, and former members of the Bush Administration. 

Throughout the two-day convening, participants will engage in collaborative breakout sessions led by Bush Institute fellows, AREL staff, and AREL Network representatives.  Each session will focus participants on critical elements of quality principal preparation and allow for the sharing of best practices in the field. 

While sharing innovations and improvements in school leader preparation will be central to the convening, AREL Program Director Dr. Kerry Ann Moll sees the upcoming convening as one part of a larger movement to dramatically improve the way our Nation’s principals are prepared and supported. 

“AREL convenes education leaders from across the country not only to share best practices in education leadership, but also to demonstrate to the country that AREL’s vision to have a well-prepared principal for every child in every school is possible.  AREL and the programs in the Network are leading the way,” said Moll. “At the conclusion of AREL’s convening, programs will return home emboldened by aligned ideas and strategies gained during our time together, and be even more steadfast in our mission to prepare principals equipped to make transformative changes for schools, communities, and students.”

National leaders including Secretary Margaret Spellings, who recently began her tenure as President of the George W. Bush Foundation, will speak to the importance of school leadership during the convening. Ambassador Karen Hughes, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs under the Bush Administration, will address participants in a keynote speech on education and leadership. 

Through a combination of collaboration among reform leaders, professional development, and inspirational speeches from national leaders, Moll contends, “This convening will set a tone: school leaders are critical in the lives of our children and to the development of their teachers.” 

The convening can be followed using #ARELConvenes and on the Bush Institute’s blog


About the George W. Bush Institute:

The George W. Bush Institute advances freedom through education reform, global health, human freedom and economic growth. In all its programming, the Institute integrates initiatives that empower women and military service personnel. The Bush Institute is the policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the Presidential library, located on the campus of SMU in Dallas. For more information, visit www.BushCenter.org, Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheBushCenter) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheBushCenter).

About the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL):

Rooted in President and Mrs. Bush’s belief that “excellent schools must first have excellent leaders,” AREL was created to dramatically improve the way our Nation’s principals are prepared and supported.  AREL was the first program founded at the Bush Institute, signifying that school leaders are critical in the lives of our children. Because every child deserves an excellent principal, AREL shapes its ideas and actions around its mission of ensuring there is an effective principal, able to significantly advance student achievement, at the helm of every school. 

AREL convenes its Network of innovatively designed principal preparation programs, spotlights highly effective principals and the organizations that develop them, and influences policy that supports quality school leadership. AREL’s Network is composed of 28 principal preparation programs, spanning 15 states and the District of Columbia - including universities, nonprofits, charter management organizations, district partnerships and state-wide efforts. 

For our students to be prepared to compete globally, principals must be strong campus leaders who create cultures of achievement and develop highly effective teachers.  While AREL is centered on driving school success through quality school leadership, the Bush Institute firmly believes the ultimate goal of our education work is improving student achievement nationwide.