‣ Founder & CEO, The Education Policy & Practice Group
‣ McLean Affiliate of Harvard Medical School Institute of Coaching Fellow
‣ Leading Thought Leader & Author on Education Reform
Kate Anderson Foley is a transformational leader with significant experience leading public school districts and states toward equitable and integrated services for all learners. Her work has been grounded in social justice and for breaking down the barriers for children who have historically been marginalized. She has led organizational change utilizing a strategic framework that ensured guaranteed and rigorous learning leading to college and career readiness for all students. Her work focused on creating conditions that fostered high expectations of adults for students and innovation which catalyzed equitable opportunities for each learner. Kate’s deep commitment to creating nimble and responsive systems that supported the whole child led her into administration where she advocated for local, state, and federal reform. That experience with large-scale reform led to improved academic and social emotional outcomes for students, fair funding models, innovative healthcare models, and efficient operations.
As a senior educational leader for the State of Illinois, Kate’s vision of fulfilling the promise of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was nested within the Every Student Succeeds Act. She was an expert contributor to the State Plan where the deficit-based system was interrupted and a preventative and nimble system was created to intentionally addressed opportunity gaps of all learners, regardless of background or circumstance. Her deep understanding of equity-based school funding also contributed to a legislative reform model for the state of Illinois.
As the founder and CEO of The Education Policy & Practice Group, Kate partners with local, state, and national organizations, education agencies, and various industries providing her expertise with the improvement process, professional learning communities, strategic planning, asset-based education policies and practices, special education, and consulting. Kate teaches a graduate level Special Education Law course to aspiring principals and superintendents. Kate works closely with senior leadership across various sectors providing executive coaching aimed at creating growth-minded organizational cultures (www.edpolicyconsulting.com). Kate is the author of numerous articles and books. Her latest contribution is the book, Fearless Coaching (2023).
Radical Excellence in School Leadership for Optimal Student Outcomes
BY Prof. Kate Anderson Foley
What does “daring to dare” look and sound like for district and school leaders? What student- centered discussions at the district, school, and the classroom levels are taking place? What sources of evidence are being analyzed to determine if students are learning what it is they are meant to learn? What shifts are being implemented to respond to the effects of the pandemic?
These are the topics that will be explored, along with practical resources that, when comprehensively implemented, can lead to improved outcomes for each student.
This masterclass will provide district and school leaders with a bold blueprint for designing, implementing, and monitoring a comprehensive improvement process that leads to radical improvement that keeps students at the center of it all.
The purpose is to assist leaders and their teams identifying the gaps that are keeping ambitious instruction out of reach for every student, including students with disabilities, and others furthest away from opportunity.
The elements of a comprehensive System of Support will be described, and teams will leave with a new design that can be incorporated into their improvement process.
Here are some of the important dimensions of the system that will be a part of the day:
A Clear Definition
• A nimble and responsive System of Support (SoS) serves as the overarching frame which encompasses the academic and social dimensions of learning.
• The SoS provides the foundation for the broader school improvement process by supporting all learners and for ensuring equitable access to a high-quality education.
• Implementation is the collective responsibility of all educators, staff, families, and
• The adult skills needed for meeting the wide spectrum of learners is provided by, supported,
and monitored by district and school leadership teams.
• There are high expectations of the adults for students.
• The design is nimble to allow educators to make data-informed decisions that meet the needs of students from different backgrounds, levels of language proficiency, learning complexities, and levels of attainment.
• The tiers used to label students are banned. Instead, strategies are identified that address needs.
• Academic and behavioral instruction and support is implemented with stretch inside the classroom.
• Educational, financial, and human resources are allocated with intentionality and coordinated across and within the system and in every classroom.
• A strength-based approach that meets the needs of students, including those with complex needs and disabilities, is designed, implemented, and monitored for effectiveness.