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Institute for Educational Leadership records

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RG0128

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains memoranda, newsletters, publications, brochures, correspondence, announcements, surveys, programs, and posters. They range in date from 1972 to 1984. The materials concern the Institute's seminars, fellowships, and other programs while located at The George Washington University.

The materials in this collection concern the Institute for Educational Leadership, seminars, workshops, fellowships, conferences, and the "Monthly Memo."

Formerly vertical files


  • Creation: 1972-1984


Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) works through three nation wide programs: developing and supporting leaders; connecting schools, families and communities; and improving the policies and systems serving children and youth. Their programs and partnerships include the "Education Policy Fellowship Program" (EPFP); the "School Leadership Learning Community"; the "Coalition for Community Schools"; the "Network for the Advancement of Secondary Education" (NASE); the "Systems Improvement Training and Technical Assistance Project"; "Partnership for Student Success"; the "National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform" (NCCSR); and the "Center for Workforce Development". The IEL works with educators, policymakers, and others whose decisions affect children.

During the 1960s, The George Washington University (GW) had two established programs, the Washington Internships in Education (WIE) and the Educational Staff Seminar (ESS). Between the two programs the Institute for Educational Leadership was founded in 1971 at The George Washington University. IEL served as a non-partisan catalyst for communication, problem solving, learning, and action between anyone involved in influencing the outcomes of children and youth including educations and policy makers. The WIE, established by a Ford Foundation grant, was created to expose participants to federal activity for a year . Donald P. Mitchell was the first director of WIE. WIE would eventually emerge as the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) as the candidates were nationally recruited to learn about policy, including women and minorities that were normaly excluding in 1975. In 1982 the EPFP became in-service programs instead of Washington-based. The Educational Staff Seminar (ESS), established by a Ford Foundation Grant in 1969, provided a bi-partisan, impartial environment for policymakers to freely discuss policies and public education without political baggage. Also, the ESS took trips to explore Indian Reservations and foreign developments.

IEL founders included Edward J. Meade (Ford Foundation Program Officer); Frank Keppel and Harold Howe (former Commissioners of Education); Don MItchell (WIE director); Samuel Halperin (ESS director); Stephen Bailey and Lawrence Cremin (National Academy of Education); Lloyd Elliot (President of GW); and Professors Louis May and Carl Lange. The founders chose the operational model to be impartial turf to reach a wide variety of educational communities with the goal of improving the quality of education and life. IEL then became a "semi-autonomous institute" of GE with an advisory board. The first director was Norman Drachler. The kinds of people that are invited to IEL include education policymakers, legislators, budget officers, federal, state, local senior administrators, governing board members, top bureaucrats, theorists, researchers, journalists, teachers, program directors, principals, and more.

The IEL created The Associates Program (TAP) in 1972 to provide technical assistance with state policymakers, which eventually was re-named the State Education Policy Seminars in 1981 as the Commission of the States assumed primary responsibility.

IEL launched "Educational Times" in 1981 for a few months before "Education Week" arrived, and quickly ceded to the competition.

The Family Impact Seminar(FIS), created during the Carter Administration, brought policymakers and experts to asses the impact of public policies on family-related issues and issue "family impact statements" or recommendations for improvements. Sidney Johnson was the director for FIS.

IEL stayed at GW, its institutional home until July 1981. IEL had conformed to the university's priorities with its own funding, however, irreconcilable differences occured over the action orientation of IEL and the reflection emphasis of GW. In 1981 IEL became independent, non-profit organization with its own governing board of directors, although GW remains a partner.

During the Regan administration credibility was challenged as being more democratic than bi-partisan, but was thought more objective under the careful leadership of Michael Usdan. Under Usdan, IEL explored business-education relationships and collaborations. During this era, funding was cut in some areas until 1983 the support of IEL shifted to philanthropic specifically with corporate foundation after the publishing of Terrel Bell's "A Nation at RIsk".

From the 1980s to the present IEL studied and published reports on school boards, school leaders, superintendents, equality, and more. Additionally, IEL sponsored lectors and the Washington Policy Seminar. In 2001 IEL ran the Leadership for Educational Administration Development (LEAD) Program Network with the U.S. Department of Education to create a support network among program directors.

In 1986, IEL published their best know work, "School Boards: Strengthening Grass Roots Leadership". The following year their published "Governing Public Schools: New Times, New Requirements". In 1985 IEL published Hodgkinson's "All One System: Demographics of Education, from Kindergarten through Graduate School". In 1989, they published "Who runs Our Schools: The Changing Face of Educational Leadership". At the end of 2001 IEL issued a series of five reports, "Leadership for Student Learing".

In 1991, IEL created the "Center for Workforce Development" which concentrates on preparing young people for the workplace by connecting the world of education to training, and schools to employers.

In the late 1990's IEL, GW, and the Council for Basic Education established the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform (NCCSR). NCCSR is a Web-bases system to collect and disseminating information to schools to raise academic achievement. Later they established the "School Leadership for the 21st Century Initiative" to educate policymakers on educational leadership challenges.

Some of other important people to work with IEL or its programs include Michael O'Keefe, Paul Schindler, Michael D. Usdan, Harold "Doc" Howe, William Woodside, Jacqueline P. Danzberger, James Renier, Harlod "Bud" Hodgkins, and, Joan Wills.

From "IEL at 40: Passing the Test of Time". Institute for Educational Leadership, 2003.


1 Cubic Feet (1 bankers box)

Language of Materials



This collection contains memorandums, newsletters, publications, brochures, correspondence, announcements, surveys, programs, and posters. They range in date from 1972 to 1984. The materials concern the Institute's seminars, fellowships, and other programs while located at The George Washington University.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition data is unknown.



Preliminary Guide to the Institute for Educational Leadership records, 1972-1984
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America