Transforming Conditions and Culture

Our partnership approach prioritizes a set of school-level conditions that facilitate successful teacher professional learning. The fertile soil of school-based, content-specific professional learning includes:

  • Adequate time for collaboration

  • Diverse and distributed instructional leadership

  • Standards-aligned curriculum and assessments

  • Limited priorities

National data shows significant room for improvement. Research from the National Council on Teacher Quality and the RAND Corporation found the following:


Our own data tells an encouraging story.

  • At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, only 20% of schools served by Leading Educators had an average score of at least 3.0 on a 4-point conditions scale, which corresponds to the target rating of “Development”.

  • By the end of that same school year, 48% of schools we served had achieved that same average rating of 3.0 or more.

  • Fully 89% of schools with ratings at both the beginning and end of the 2017-18 school year improved their average conditions rating.

Changing Knowledge and Beliefs

Teacher knowledge about college and career readiness standards is not where it could be, and this is having serious consequences for students. When students are exposed to instructional tasks that give them the opportunity for higher level thinking, gains in student outcomes are the greatest.

We administer an assessment developed by RAND and Student Achievement Partners once per year to all teachers in our schools in order to understand how teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge is changing. We also administer a short assessment to understand how mindsets and biases are shifting based on a tool developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • 92% of teacher leaders increased their average score across all items included in the knowledge assessment, with an average increase of 14.7 points in ELA and 11.5 points in math.

  • 82% of schools’ average level of agreement with problematic beliefs decreased, suggesting teacher leaders are increasing access and expectations for all students.

Improving Satisfaction with Professional Development

The extent to which school teams like the professional development supports we provide matters too. Here’s what we are hearing:

The combination of listening, reflecting independently, and working in groups helped me to feel successful and utilize takeaways in the near future. The coherence map activity gave me an opportunity to dive deeper into understanding previous and future knowledge related to the current standards I am/my team is addressing.”
I liked the time to work with an accountability partner. It’s nice to pick the brain of someone at a different school. It allows me to gain insight on how other schools and teams are working their Content Cycles.”

Our Reach

In the 17-18 school year, we worked with 152 schools and 19 systems to develop the teacher leadership skills of 600 teacher leaders, impacting the work of 2,400 teachers and 65,760 students. Since 2008, we have worked with over 1,500 teacher leaders across the country.

96% of Leading Educators Alumni who responded to an annual survey have remained in education.


ATLAS Aurora, Co

We conducted a needs assessment of Aurora Public Schools' professional development and teacher leadership strategy in 2016. By summer of 2017, Leading Educators and the district launched the inaugural cohort of the “Advancing Teacher Leadership in Aurora Schools” (ATLAS) program.

During this first year, ATLAS operated in 10 district schools with 60 teacher leaders who led content-alike teams of their peers. Under district leadership, future iterations of the program will scale to include each of the district’s 60 schools, reaching over 39,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers. The ATLAS program is a key component  of the district’s plan to empower school-based leaders to lead professional development  as they make the transition to rigorous college and career readiness standards.

Kansas City FellowshiP

We launched our first expansion region in Kansas City in 2011. Through the partnership of the Kauffman Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, as well as others, the Kansas City program served over 140 teachers leaders in three school districts and over a dozen area charter schools during a 6 year engagement.

LEAP DC Public Schools

We began our partnership with DC Public Schools (DCPS) in 2013 as part of Teacher Leadership Innovation - a teams-based, instruction-focused pilot program that operated in seven schools. The partnership evolved into the “LEarning together to Advance our Practice” (LEAP) initiative that continues in all 115 of the district’s schools.

Through LEAP, DCPS has prioritized elevating instruction across the entire school system, building both the capacity of teachers to lead changes in the quality of teaching that takes place in their school, and the capacity of DCPS to embed and sustain this work in alignment with other initiatives. By the second year of the program, we worked with DCPS to train about 600 teacher, school, and district leaders who will impact over 48,000 students each year.

Memphis Fellowship

We launched our fourth Fellowship program in Memphis, Tennessee in 2014. Over the next two and a half years, Leading Educators grew to serve more than 45 Teacher Leaders in 24 public and charter schools with the support of the Memphis Education Fund, the Fleetwood Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.  We trained and coached educational leaders to lead their peers in cyclical instructional learning and coaching aligned to rigorous standards.

Washington, DC Fellowship

With support from NewSchools Venture Fund and DC Public Schools (DCPS), Leading Educators launched an individual teacher leadership fellowship program in Washington, D.C. in June 2013. Over the course of four years, Leading Educators partnered with 38 open-enrollment public charter schools and a small portfolio of DC Public Schools (DCPS) to train and coach over 100 teacher leaders in adult learning and rigorous standards-aligned instruction.


Academy for Urban School Leadership

Beginning in 2014, we partnered with AUSL Chicago to deliver trainings for school and teacher leaders working together to drive new initiatives within their schools. Leading Educators also provided leadership development sessions for network coaches and Mentor Residency Coaches who support educators across AUSL schools.

Denver Public Schools

Beginning in 2013, we worked with Denver Public Schools (DPS) to deliver a series of trainings for DPS-identified teacher leaders in new, differentiated roles and developed cohort-building activities during year one of the district’s Teacher Leader Teams pilot.

Houston Independent School District

In 2012, we partnered with Houston Independent School District (HISD) and TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) in the Career Pathways Initiative. Leading Educators delivered a series of foundational and role-specific trainings, developed a customized series of problem solving communities, and trained internal HISD staff on delivering Leading Educators’ content to teacher leaders.

Lawrence, Ma Public Schools

In 2014, we worked with Lawrence Public Schools to deliver a series of professional development sessions for Advanced Educators, who serve in model classroom roles, and Master Educators, who provide coaching and support to drive school-wide initiatives.

Michigan Teacher Corps

Together with the Michigan Department of Education, Leading Educators and TNTP partnered with a portfolio of priority schools with significant pipeline needs to recruit, select, support, and retain highly skilled teams of educators and leaders.