Press Release

Leading Educators Joins Forces with Oakland Unified School District, EL Education to Boost Learning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Adan Garcia, Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827, marketing@leadingeducators.org

LEADING EDUCATORS JOINS FORCES WITH OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, EL EDUCATION TO BOOST LEARNING

Partnership will strengthen students’ opportunities for engaging learning in English language arts

September 5, 2019

OAKLAND, CA -  Starting this fall, Leading Educators will partner with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and EL Education to support engaging English Language Arts experiences for middle school students.   

OUSD has launched a three-year effort to adopt high-quality curricula across all subjects so teachers can ensure every student experiences challenging, grade-appropriate learning that prepares them to succeed.  OUSD has also built a strong leadership infrastructure that provides site-based instructional support roles known as Teachers on Special Assignment (TSA) in middle school. Through this partnership, Leading Educators will work with OUSD to align school-based professional learning for teachers to new curricula so teachers have consistent opportunities to strengthen their skills and apply new knowledge to lessons alongside peers. By enabling structural changes across the district that focus on creating consistently strong learning experiences, teachers will have more support to teach and inspire diverse learners to high levels no matter their starting place.

During the first year, Leading Educators will work with district and school leaders to establish supportive conditions that are foundational to continuous improvement across 11 middle schools.  These include diverse and distributed instructional leadership, time for teachers to learn and practice with the EL Education curriculum, limited priorities, and aligned assessments. Leading Educators staff will also consult on professional learning design for TSAs by leading experientials, sharing materials, and offering feedback on OUSD plans. These materials will help TSAs to lead curriculum-specific learning cycles for ELA teachers at their schools, building capacity for frequent reflection on student progress, practice with grade-level standards and content, and co-planning.  When teachers have the opportunity to set and reach a high bar for instruction together, students can expect to be challenged and supported to succeed regardless of classroom. 

“Districts like Oakland are often faced with the question: how effective is our teacher collaboration time to actually grow teacher capacity  and student achievement? We know that the surest way to improvement is by increasing our collective efficacy, which means content PLCs are our most important lever for change. We know that the Professional Learning Partnership with EL Education on quality curriculum and with Leading Educators on our content cycles will be transformative for us as a District,” said Abbey Kerins, Secondary Literacy Coordinator at OUSD.

Leading Educators is a notable partner to many pioneering school systems who have adopted equity-centric instructional approaches that connect high-quality curriculum to aligned professional learning and supportive conditions.  Other current partners within the Leading Educators network include Atlanta Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District, several systems in Greater Grand Rapids and New Orleans, and Tulsa Public Schools. 

Chong-Hao Fu, CEO at Leading Educators, shared, “This collaboration with Oakland Unified School District and EL Education is an exciting opportunity for growth in the opportunities students and teachers have to engage in incredible learning.  By ensuring teachers have the high-quality materials, leadership, and professional learning they deserve, we hope they will feel empowered to foster equity and inspire every student to reach new heights.” 

EL Education brings deep expertise in design and implementation of top-rated curricula to this partnership.  The organization’s approach, which has a track record of student impact, prioritizes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work. 

This partnership is made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative, an effort to advance professional learning (PL) services which will support the equitable implementation of high-quality instructional materials.  Collaborative design will begin in October with a planned roll-out of school-based support to pilot schools in June 2020.

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ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators supports education leaders to foster sustainable environments where teachers and students thrive, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts.  We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design curriculum-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools--helping teachers create excellent and equitable student experiences every day.  www.leadingeducators.org

Leading Educators will Support Baltimore City Public Schools' Efforts to Strengthen Math Instruction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Adan Garcia, Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827, marketing@leadingeducators.org


LEADING EDUCATORS WILL SUPPORT BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN MATH INSTRUCTION
Partnership will expand math content experts’ opportunities to accelerate growth

August 27, 2019

BALTIMORE, MD -  This fall, Leading Educators will launch a partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools to strengthen the district’s capacity for continuous growth in math. 

This partnership will strengthen City Schools’ district math team and Academic Content Leads’ (ACLs) support to middle school teachers as they use the Eureka math curriculum.  Strong professional learning opportunities and high-quality instructional materials empower teachers to bring engaging lessons to life that help students gain the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to thrive in school and in life.  City Schools has established a strong foundation of teacher leadership and collaborative learning that holds potential for accelerating the success of black, Latinx, and economically-disadvantaged learners. This initiative stems from City Schools’ Blueprint for Success, a strategy designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to meet their future aspirations.  

During the first year, Leading Educators will design professional learning cycles for 6-8th grade teachers mapped to the Eureka math curriculum. School-based content experts will use these resources to facilitate recurring learning and planning for their peers based on student data and teacher practice evidence.  Together, Leading Educators and City Schools will provide instructional leadership training and coaching for three pilot schools, observing these activities to make design adjustments before expansion to additional school sites. City Schools staff will lead these design, training, and coaching activities with eight additional schools by the second year with Leading Educators supporting with co-design, shadowing, and feedback.

Leading Educators has a strong reputation for developing scalable, equity-centric instructional approaches that connect high-quality curriculum and aligned professional learning.  Previous and ongoing partnerships with districts including DC Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools have strengthened conditions for teacher growth, expanding teachers’ access to opportunities to build comfort using high-quality instructional materials.  Student achievement has accelerated as a result. This partnership with City Schools will work toward similar outcomes on a two-year timeline, paving a path toward effective improvement options for school systems that maximize existing resources. 

Janise Lane, Executive Director of Teaching at Learning at City Schools shared, “We are excited by this opportunity to partner with Leading Educators to maximize our professional learning in math. As we continue to build momentum for change in ELA, we now are granted the same opportunity in math classrooms. While the high-quality curriculum has ensured a foundation for equity in our classrooms, we can now ensure, through professional learning, that the implementation is providing accelerated outcomes for each and every student in City Schools.”

Chong-Hao Fu, CEO at Leading Educators, shared, “Baltimore City Public Schools is on the forefront of so many incredible innovations in improving educational equity - from deep commitments to accelerating students’ opportunities in literacy to adopting continuous improvement practices - and we know this partnership will help students and teachers alike to rise to great heights.” 

This partnership is made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative, an effort to advance professional learning (PL) services which will support the equitable implementation of high-quality instructional materials.  Collaborative design will begin in October with a planned roll-out of school-based support to pilot schools in January 2020.

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ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators is helping education leaders build sustainable environments where teachers and students thrive, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts. We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design curriculum-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools--helping teachers create excellent and equitable student experiences every day. www.leadingeducators.org

Leading Educators Partners with Atlanta Public Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Adan Garcia, Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827, marketing@leadingeducators.org

LEADING EDUCATORS LAUNCHES MATH TEACHING  PILOT WITH ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Professional learning approach will help teachers bring engaging math lessons to life

August 12, 2019

ATLANTA, GA -  As Atlanta Public Schools (APS) students return to school today, math educators from some of the district’s schools have new supports to help them create excellent and equitable student experiences every day.

The Math PLC Pilot Program, launched in partnership with Leading Educators, focuses on strengthening professional supports for teachers within schools as they implement the Eureka Math curriculum.  To accelerate student learning outcomes, APS has made big bets on scaling adoption of higher-quality instructional materials and deepening teachers’ knowledge of math content, simultaneously building their awareness of implicit biases that affect teaching decisions and providing pedagogical approaches to address them.  Research demonstrates that teaching is the most influential within-school factor on a students’ success. Leading Educators will support APS leaders to foster alignment around a vision for excellent math instruction and work to strengthen the conditions for exponential student growth across classrooms and schools.

Over the next year, Leading Educators and APS will collaborate around the professional learning key lever in the APS Academic System.  The school-based professional learning approach provides weekly opportunities for math teachers to co-plan, practice teaching approaches, and analyze data with the guidance of “PLC leaders” in their building to implement the Eureka Math curricular program.  These school-based leaders will have access to supports including professional development workshops focused on refining the skills necessary for facilitating learning for their peers, and leadership coaching.  

Leading Educators is a rapidly growing innovator of equity-centric instructional improvement for school systems across this country.  In addition to APS, the organization currently serves students in Chicago, Detroit, Greater Grand Rapids, New Orleans, and Tulsa Public Schools.

Earlier this summer, school teams enrolled in the pilot program participated in summer professional learning designed to prepare them for instructional leadership through an equity lens.  School-based professional learning activities begin this fall. 

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ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators is reinventing professional development for teachers, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts. We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design curriculum-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools--helping teachers reach more equitable student outcomes every day. www.leadingeducators.org

Leading Educators Launches Partnership With Detroit Public Schools Community District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Adan Garcia, Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827, marketing@leadingeducators.org

LEADING EDUCATORS LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMMUNITY DISTRICT
Professional learning approach will help teachers bring engaging English language arts lessons to life

July 22, 2019

DETROIT, MI -  This week, master educators and English language arts (ELA) teachers from high schools across Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) begin their participation in a new effort to foster excellent and equitable teaching.

Launched in partnership with Leading Educators, a national nonprofit focused on systemic improvement, the program builds on DPSCD’s master teacher initiative with a focus on helping teachers make instructional decisions that accelerate learning breakthroughs.  School systems across the country like DPSCD are recognizing the importance of an instructional approach that leverages high-quality curriculum, opportunities for teachers to build knowledge and skill together, and supportive school conditions. When teachers have effective opportunities to grow in their practice, schools are better equipped to ensure every student succeeds in school and in life. 

Over the next year, Leading Educators and DPSCD will increase district-level capacity for continuous improvement, scale shared leadership that allows master educators to mentor peer teachers, and implement regular collaborative learning opportunities for ELA teachers.  Master teachers will have access to additional supports including monthly professional development workshops, opportunities to analyze data and prepare for facilitation, and instructional leadership coaching.  

Leading Educators is a recognized innovator of curriculum-based professional learning design for school systems through their work with school systems including DC Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, and public charter school networks in more than 15 cities in the United States.

Leading Educators CEO Chong-Hao Fu shared, “Teachers need to feel comfortable finding balance in making instructional decisions that meet every students’ needs without feeling overwhelmed.  This partnership builds on the powerful work that DPSCD has been doing to align teacher support and high-quality curricula.  It’s a huge opportunity to bridge classrooms to foster schools where teachers work together to bring powerful lessons to life every day, knowing how to serve diverse learners without sacrificing the integrity of their content.”

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ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators is helping education leaders build sustainable environments where teachers and students thrive, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts. We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design curriculum-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools--helping teachers create excellent and equitable student experiences every day. www.leadingeducators.org

Amy Rome Appointed to Chicago Board of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 06/03/19
M. René Islas
Chief External Relations Officer
marketing@leadingeducators.org


MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT APPOINTS AMY ROME TO CHICAGO BOARD OF EDUCATION
Leading Educators President brings more than 20 years of service within CPS to governing body


CHICAGO, IL - Today, new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Amy Rome, President at Leading Educators and a long-time Chicago educator, will join the newly appointed Chicago Board of Education.

"The strength of our schools lies in their diversity, which is why we've announced a new board with strong representation to reflect the diverse voices of the students, families, teachers and staff of who they serve," said Mayor Lightfoot in a statement. "I want to thank our new board members who through their expertise and experience as teachers, administrators, parents, and proud CPS graduates, will ensure all students in all parts of the city have access to high-quality education."

Before joining Leading Educators as Vice President of Design in 2015, Rome worked in and with Chicago Public Schools for more than 20 years as a teacher, teacher leader, school leader, and principal supervisor. Most recently at the Academy for Urban School Leadership, she supported eight Chicago Public Schools as a principal manager and worked with principals and their instructional leadership teams across a network of 32 schools.  As Chief Program Officer, Rome advised Leading Educators’ three-year capacity-building partnership with Chicago Public Schools, funded primarily through a federal Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant that was awarded in 2016. Launched in 2017, the partnership enlisted Leading Educators to co-design and scale job-embedded, curriculum-specific professional learning supports for teachers across 14 schools.

“We know that Amy holds the welfare of Chicago’s students and families close to her heart, and we congratulate her on this incredible opportunity to contribute to her city.  We also thank Mayor Lightfoot’s team for their cooperation in assessing any potential conflicts with our partnership in Chicago to ensure this relationship will have no bearing on ongoing support to teachers,” said Leading Educators CEO Chong-Hao Fu.

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ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators is reinventing professional development for teachers, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts.  We partner with school systems to establish the teaching, leadership, and conditions for continuous improvements in student opportunity at scale, helping teachers ensure excellent and equitable student outcomes every day.  www.leadingeducators.org


M. René Islas Joins Leading Educators as Chief External Relations Officer

CONTACT:
Adan Garcia
Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827
marketing@leadingeducators.org

M. RENÉ ISLAS JOINS LEADING EDUCATORS AS CHIEF EXTERNAL RELATIONS OFFICER

Islas will oversee a strategy to expand districts’ access to supports and resources for improving teaching at scale

WASHINGTON, DC - March 26, 2019

M. René Islas, who has been a lifelong champion of expanding educational opportunities for all students, joins Leading Educators as the organization’s new Chief External Relations Officer (CERO), CEO Chong-Hao Fu announced.

The grandson of a school principal, Islas remembers learning the value of education from around the time he could talk.  “My grandfather taught me that in order for students to learn the content they need to pursue their dreams, they need strong relationships with skillful teachers who care about them and believe in the great things their students will achieve.  Throughout my career, I’ve been driven by a commitment to create the best school environments where teachers and their students will thrive,” Islas shared.

Islas has spent much of his career navigating the government, nonprofit, and consulting sectors to build coalitions of support around the issues most critical to advancing educational equity.  Most recently, he was the Executive Director of the National Association for Gifted Children where he led efforts to increase public awareness, change policies, and improve educator practice in support of advanced learners, especially the most vulnerable students who are historically underrepresented in gifted and talented programs through initiatives including the Giftedness Knows No Boundaries campaign.  Previously, he served as the Senior Vice President at Learning Forward, a nonprofit education association focused on building the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain effective professional learning, and as Chief of Staff for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education.  As CERO, Islas will lead a robust strategy to expand supports for districts and teachers to eradicate within-school equity gaps in pursuit of universal college and career readiness.             

“René brings a wealth of leadership expertise to our team, and he has helped make big things happen throughout his career to advance student outcomes by improving access to excellent educational opportunities.  Whether it was leading a coalition to create the Teacher Incentive Fund within the U.S. Department of Education by the U.S. Congress or launching thriving consulting businesses at Learning Forward and B&D Consulting, René has taken on innovative leadership challenges that have contributed to the broader education sector,” Fu shared.

“I am excited to join the powerful team at Leading Educators that is reinventing professional learning to support effective teaching for students from all backgrounds,” said Islas about the work ahead.

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About Leading Educators

Leading Educators is reinventing professional development for teachers, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts.  We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design content-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools--helping teachers reach better, more equitable student outcomes.  www.leadingeducators.org