GLISI’s mission is to develop world-class education leaders who advance student achievement and organizational effectiveness.
Our mission is rooted in the understanding that effective school and district leaders are a key driver for improving educational outcomes for all students, and that improved educational outcomes lead to improved life outcomes for young people and communities.
The Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI) was founded in 2001 as an initiative of the state of Georgia with the backing of Governor Roy Barnes and a broad bipartisan coalition of voices representing the business, education, higher education, and state government communities. GLISI was established to strengthen the capacity of school leaders to drive improvement in outcomes for all students, drawing on best practice from business, K-12 and adult learning. In contrast to university-based programs for preparing school leaders, GLISI programs were developed with a central focus on performance – measuring, managing and monitoring performance to achieve results.
GLISI’s seed funding was provided in 2001 through a grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization had early success in attracting significant investment from other national funders such as the Wallace Foundation. In addition, the state of Georgia provides support each year in the Georgia Board of Regents budget.
GLISI’s flagship training program, Base Camp and Leadership Summit (BC/LS) was launched in 2002, targeting teams of school district leaders and key principals. The theory of change driving this program was and continues to be that district leaders create the sustained and systemic conditions through strong leadership that enable optimal performance by principals and teachers. Ultimately we understand that student performance will improve when classroom instruction improves, but classroom instruction can only improve at scale through intentional district leadership in creating a culture of high expectations for all students, structures for team work, strong processes for managing human capital, and systems for collecting and using data to measure, manage and monitor progress. These domains make up the content that district leaders and their teams learn at BC/LS. To date, 317 teams of district and school leaders have attended since the 2002-2003 school year, helping 4,320 leaders in Georgia districts to learn key management and leadership processes necessary to maximize student achievement.
Since the first cohort of leaders attended BC/LS in 2002, GLISI has developed and launched several other successful programs in partnership with Georgia districts to improve school and district leadership. Among the most well-known of those programs is the Leadership Preparation Pipeline LP2 program (formerly known as Rising Stars) which was launched in 2005 to help districts grow their own school leaders through performance-based preparation in real schools with real teachers, with the support of a trained coach and under the supervision of a school or district sponsor. To date, over 586 aspiring leaders have completed the program and nearly 50% of our first cohort of completers have been promoted to a school leadership position. In addition, GLISI’s cadre of performance consultants has provided on-site follow-up consulting support to district leaders that need additional guidance to implement best leadership practice with fidelity.
Today, GLISI has five full-time professional staff, two support staff and a doctoral fellow. We provide training and technical assistance to large, medium, and small districts throughout Georgia. Since July 2012, GLISI has operated as a 501(C)3 organization.In coming years, GLISI is looking to grow through three primary strands of work: 1) current services customized to address the critical leadership needs in high schools; 2) current services customized to help district leaders distribute leadership to a cadre of teacher leaders, such as specialized cohorts of BC/LS targeted for district leaders with teams of teacher leaders; and 3) current services augmented with state certification opportunities to take advantage of GLISI’s new status as a Georgia Professional Standards Commission-approved leadership preparation provider. In addition, we are developing a line of e-learning solutions to augment and improve follow-up learning across all of our programs.