Thursday, June 14, 2018

LeaderShop Academy Symposium examines key issues in education

Best-selling author Phil Boyle led a key issues discussion at the symposium.
Defining public values and policy choices with a values-based approach, 60 school board members and superintendents participated in the eighth biennial LeaderShop Academy Symposium, presented by Phil Boyle, Pd.D., on June 9 in Naperville.

Titled “Visions, Values, Conflicts, and Decisions,” the workshop was based on Boyle’s best-selling book, Preserving the Public in Public Schools.

Boyle opened with “From Yesteryear to Yesterday,” a history of issues facing public education in the United States, noting that the same issues remain in modern discourse. Then participants got on their feet for a lively, often provocative, exercise. Directed by Boyle, they crossed the room to respond, reason, and explain their “yes, maybe, or no” answers to some of local public education’s most pressing questions.

Participants then reframed their reasoning around the public values concepts of liberty, prosperity, community, and equality. In the afternoon, the group took part in a series of problem-solving and decision-making exercises around a real-life policy question. Boyle’s solution-seeking work asks “How might we achieve the good we seek with the least harm to the good we have?”

Interspersed with Boyle’s discussion and the group work was a series of slides, alternatingly informative, humorous, and thought-provoking. The event tied values identification with solution-finding while emphasizing the need for the public body in public education.

Boyle is a public service faculty member in the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and a partner in Leading and Governing Associates, a public leadership and governance education consulting practice. The Symposium provides professional development for board members who have earned LeaderShop Academy Membership and are seeking advanced leadership skills.

For more information on IASB’s LeaderShop Academy, contact Peggy Goone, at or 217/528-9688 ext. 1103.