Graduate School

Dean Virginia Roach Recognized for Policy Excellence

Posted by Nick Gray on April 17, 2012

Virginia Roach and Linda SkrlaOn April 15, a major national research organization recognized Virginia Roach, Dean of the Graduate School, for her scholarly work in educational policy research.

The  University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) presented Dean Roach with the William J. Davis Award at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each year, the award goes to contributors of “the most outstanding article published in Educational Administration Quarterly (EAQ),” UCEA’s journal focused on critical school leadership and policy issues.

Dean Roach’s winning study, “School Leadership Policy Trends and Developments: Policy Expediency or Policy Excellence?,” examines how a conforming approach to educational policy often pulls focus from improving education through innovation and instead serves to reinforce the status quo. Rather than asking what works, “state policy makers copy the work of their colleagues across states to create a sense of legitimacy,” the study explains.

Terry Orr

Co-authored by L. Wes Smith and James Boutin, Dean Roach’s article appeared in the November 2011 issue of EAQ. Margaret Terry Orr, director of Bank Street’s Future School Leaders Academy, edited the special issue, which examined current research on effective school leadership preparation.

According to Orr,

The special issue is an outgrowth of the Taskforce on Evaluating Educational Leadership Preparation Programs, jointly sponsored by UCEA and AERA. Over a 10 year period, the Taskforce endeavored to establish empirical research evidence on the effectiveness of quality leadership preparation, by developing a research-grounded conceptual model, measures, and a survey research database to test assumptions about preparation’s influence on leaders and schools.

As a data-driven inquiry into the driving forces and effects of standardization in policymaking, Dean Roach’s article provides an empirical complement to Bank Street’s emerging role as a major voice in educational policy conversations

Members of EAQ’s editorial board select the winners of the Davis Award. Of Dean Roach’s work, the selection committee noted:

This article addresses a timely and significant issue by providing a framework through which to analyze current and future policy trends shaping leadership preparation... [It] is an exemplar of the outstanding scholarship contained in that special issue of the journal. We anticipate this article will be frequently cited and will inform future scholarship related to educational leadership policy.