Letter from Diann Woodward to Representative Sarbanes

September 18th, 2012

The Honorable John Sarbanes

2444 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Sarbanes:

As President of AFSA, I am pleased to extend our endorsement of the Instructional Leadership Act of 2012, HR 6376.

As the instructional leaders of schools, principals are responsible for helping teachers teach and students learn, and are increasingly being held accountable for student achievement. Yet, for far too long, principals have been denied the support, training, and resources they need to succeed.

Research shows that principals are second only to teachers in impacting student achievement, and that principal effectiveness has a tremendous influence on teacher recruitment, retention, and effectiveness. The Instructional Leadership Act of 1012 correctly recognizes that professional development for teachers alone cannot ensure success for our schools.

As both the school administrator and instructional teacher, principals need mentoring and ongoing training and support. The Instructional Leadership Act of 2012 would not only provide this much needed support, but also incorporate instructional leadership standards into certification requirements.

For many years, AFSA has called for meaningful, high quality professional development opportunities for principals. I thank you for recognizing the great importance of supporting our nation’s principals and public schools by introducing the Instructional Leadership Act of 2012.


Diann Woodard

AFSA National President