leadership

Amy Rome Selected as First President of Leading Educators

July 16, 2018

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AMY ROME SELECTED AS FIRST PRESIDENT OF LEADING EDUCATORS

Rome brings twenty years of educational leadership to national school networks

 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - July 16, 2018

Amy Rome, who has led dramatic programmatic development and growth at Leading Educators as Vice President of Program Design and Chief Program Officer, has been named as the organization’s first President.

Over the past three years, Rome has worked closely with Leading Educators CEO Chong-Hao Fu to re-focus teacher leadership and professional development efforts on connected approaches that take curriculum, school leader support, and other key conditions into account.  This approach has helped some of the most innovative public school districts--including District of Columbia Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools--launch system-wide support strategies that are strengthening teacher content knowledge and improving learning opportunities for underserved students.  As President, Rome will bring capacity-building partnerships to new districts and oversee direct support to hundreds of new teacher and school leaders each year.                     

CEO Chong-Hao Fu shared, “We are so excited for this next stage in our history.  Amy brings twenty years of leadership in urban school systems as a teacher, teacher developer, principal, and principal manager. She led schools in Chicago to achieve outstanding results for students, and as the leader of our program team has spurred systemic impact with our partners that will help  expand opportunity for students nationwide.”

Before joining Leading Educators, Rome served as a principal and director of principals at The Academy for Urban School Leadership.  There, she was a key figure in designing and implementing leadership development opportunities for for teams at 32 Chicago Public Schools campuses.  Rome’s work over the last three years at Leading Educators has afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with organizational and system leaders to focus on efforts to scale great teaching within systems.  Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to preparing teachers for high-need school transformation.

“I am especially thrilled about Amy’s new role as President. Amy is a true industry leader, brilliant innovator, and tireless champion for equity and education. She brings the vision and energy Leading Educators needs to achieve our audacious goals,” said Stuart Kaplan, chair of the Leading Educators Board of Directors and Director of Organization Development at Google.

Rome and Fu step into their new roles on July 16, 2018, which coincides with the start of the fourth Leading Educators Institute.

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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 training and support structures that improve the conditions for continuous growth across their schools--helping teachers reach better, more equitable student outcomes.  www.leadingeducators.org

4 Ways To Celebrate Women Educators

It’s International Women’s Day, and we at Leading Educators are especially thankful for the generations of women educators who have changed the world by cultivating self-discovery and growth inside and beyond the classroom.  We celebrate the countless women activists—such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Malala Yousafzai, and Sylvia Mendez—who have advocated for the universal human right to education. By championing the potential in all of us, these women have been the backbone of social progress for centuries.  We challenge you to join us in honoring them today and every day through concrete actions:

  1. Prioritize women’s opportunities for professional growth.  The Department of Education estimates that there are 3.8 million public school teachers in the United States, and about 2.9 million of those teachers are women.  Prioritizing professional growth means prioritizing women's advancement. Teachers need consistent, school-based opportunities to reflect on the realities of their context and develop their skills and knowledge in collaboration with others.  At the same time, teacher leadership strategies can create more systemic entry points to leadership and influence. By building structures that position and prepare women educators to both lead others and refine their teaching, schools can grow new leaders and energize teaching and learning in every classroom.  More and better learning benefits all of us.

  2. Advocate for women—especially women of color—to have greater agency in district and school leadership positions.  While women make up more than three-quarters of the U.S. teaching force, they hold only 30 percent of school and district administration roles (Department of Education, 2016).  This imbalance contributes to larger trends of pay disparity, perceived social status, and inequitable career advancement seen in American society as a whole. Research suggests that organizations with more women in senior leadership positions are more successful (Dawson, Kersley, Natella, 2014).  Creating opportunities for women to lead is good business.

  3. Recognize the role that systemic bias plays in accomplishing or derailing change. The perspective of women leaders is critical when focusing on the most direct ways to address the opportunity gap.  We know from our work with districts that effective school transformation strategies must be grounded in what and how students learn—a capacity where women currently have the most experience and influence.  Under-representing women in decision-making roles that affect instruction unintentionally excludes valuable insights into what students and teachers need to increase student success. Even more, we know that students of color are most likely to be taught by white women, so larger systemic shifts are necessary to ensure that hiring managers recognize and counteract institutional biases that prioritize creating formal and functional opportunities for women of color to drive change.

  4. Lift up the experiences of women of color, trans women, and undocumented women. There is no single “woman’s experience,” so it’s important that those with influence recognize and honor the diversity of experiences lived by women educators.  Teaching is an inherently dynamic and demanding profession, and the reality that life is intersectional means that simply being a person comes with other layers of stressors.  From the institutional perspective, policies for pay and work-life balance have long perpetuated systemic privileges for white women, so it is important to identify within-gender disparities and advocate for solutions that take these important differences into account.  Approach your support for women educators with the same kind of intersectional equity orientation that you expect for students. In the words of Audre Lorde, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

Have more ideas to add to this list? We would love to hear them at @leadingeds!

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