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.