As I pen this message, the federal government continues to debate the worth of investing in educators’ ongoing development; 800,000 DREAMers remain in peril; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is forced to tiptoe around asserting an “evidence base” for its recommendations—particularly as they pertain to some of our most vulnerable populations. The current condition illustrates a persistent reality: Federal advocacy requires constant vigilance.

As I have mentioned many times in this space, your voice is vital in crafting federal, state, and district policies that support the success of each student. NASSP is here to amplify your voice—both by bringing your concerns to federal policymakers and by empowering you to do the same. To that end, hundreds of you will gather in Washington, D.C., later this month for the NASSP Advocacy Conference, an annual event that refreshes your advocacy skills as a principal and allows you to put those skills immediately into practice with your members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

As a complement to those efforts, the Advocacy Conference will reveal the first round of features in the new NASSP Policy and Advocacy Center, the only national center of its kind devoted solely to the advancement of policies and practices that support school leaders.

The Policy and Advocacy Center will intensify and more strategically target efforts to influence policy at the federal, state, and district levels. We want to advance the national dialogue—not just to prevent policies that obstruct student success, but to assert a vision of student empowerment in education. The Policy and Advocacy Center, in turn, will build a solid foundation of policy research that empowers principals, assistant principals, and other advocates invested in effective school leadership.

This is a major advancement in NASSP’s policy and advocacy efforts, and we are excited to offer the Policy and Advocacy Center as a way to help you enlist policymakers as partners in fulfilling the potential of each student.

We will reach out in the coming weeks regarding the center, and we look forward to your engagement and feedback.

JoAnn Bartoletti

Executive Director, NASSP