Jonas Chartock

Leading Educators Prepares for CEO Transition

After nearly eight incredible years at Leading Educators, CEO Jonas Chartock has decided to open the door to new leadership this September.

Jonas is proud of all that the Leading Educators community has accomplished, having grown from a single pilot program in New Orleans to becoming an innovative learning and systems design partner of districts in twelve geographic areas.  Under his leadership, educational equity and collaborative teacher practice have become more deeply ingrained in the programmatic approach--shifts that have helped districts reach record student growth. As a new father, Jonas is excited to spend more time with his family and pursue new opportunities tied to his deep passion for racial equity and social justice policy and activism.

We believe the team at Leading Educators is well prepared to build on ten years of collective progress, and we have chosen Chong-Hao Fu as an internal successor who brings both a deep understanding of our programs and strong relationships with leading districts to this effort.  Jonas will continue to serve as CEO through early September. We look forward to re-introducing you to Chong-Hao and our strategic plan in the coming months.

Leading Educators has always been about collective leadership.  We have worked to be a model of the distributed leadership we expect from our school partners, and our culture reflects that nimble, collaborative approach.  As we enter this next chapter of our story, we know we are about to see many decades of districts producing their best teaching and learning yet.

We thank you for your continued partnership in service of all students.

In community,

Jonas Chartock, Outgoing CEO, Leading Educators

Chong-Hao Fu, Incoming CEO, Leading Educators

Stuart Kaplan, Chair, Leading Educators Board of Directors

Owning the Work of Dismantling Racism

Dear Friends of Leading Educators:

Like you, I’ve been taking some time to process the heinous acts of white supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville earlier this month. While news cycles plow forward, my thoughts are still with the people of that city and with everyone feeling the ongoing pain inflicted by persistent systems and acts of white supremacy. For many of you reading this, the events in Charlottesville were not at all surprising; for many others, they served as a wake-up call to delve more deeply into understanding white supremacy at the personal and systemic levels. No matter where each of us may be on our journeys toward understanding and ultimately disrupting the effects of systemic racism, it is important for us to individually and collectively continue to engage.  

It is with that in mind that I wrote to the Leading Educators’ staff shortly after the tragic events in Charlottesville and shared reflections from some of our teammates, each of us calling on each other to recognize the privilege and responsibility we all have to say and do something. We shared our thoughts on how the unabashed parade of hatred and bigotry we saw in Charlottesville is but a symptom of larger systemic oppression that has targeted people of color since this country’s founding. Following the example of counter-protesters who took action in the face of hate (including a great many educators), we are steadfast in our belief that we must be even more committed to owning our personal responsibility to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions - be they nonprofits like Leading Educators or the school districts from which our students and families rightfully expect excellent, bias-free education.

As CEO, I am thinking about how we as an organization move beyond simply talking about systemic racism internally and in our work with teachers, schools, and districts. First, we know we don’t have all the answers, so we are looking to our friends and colleagues for resources and reflections to spark the necessary and difficult conversations.  Here are a few from TNTP, Education First, and Facing History and Ourselves that we have found valuable. Thank you to you all.

Next, we are focusing our efforts on tangibly addressing our own institution’s systemic racism using readings like this. Informed by a cross-functional, diverse Equity Working Group, we are creating better systems to foster collaborative and inclusive approaches to our work. To ensure that we have the knowledge and skills needed to align all of our work to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles, we are engaging in cycles of professional learning about issues of equity in small groups and developing affinity groups. To be sure, we, like so many others in our sector have a long way to go as illustrated in this report from the New Schools Venture Fund and Promise 54.  

Our curriculum features teaching for social justice as a core component, and we will continue to collaborate with our partners around learning systems that maintain high expectations through a rigorous curriculum. All children can and deserve to grow without the shadow of bias limiting their opportunity to experience the joy of learning and to reach their fullest potential.

Additionally, we continue through partnership with experienced, diverse educators to adapt our programming to ensure that our work results in students learning in safe, equitable schools alongside teachers who acknowledge and control for their biases. This work by individual educators is hard but powerful, and it requires teachers to commit to walking a long, shared journey over time. In this video from our summer institute, several teachers speak to the emotional impact of this processing and the implications they see for their instructional practice moving forward. We are hopeful about the conditions we can collectively build for students to discover and harness their full potential. In order to do so, however, we must push for educators to see the necessity of their own personal growth - coupled with explicit conversations that bring about further awareness of identity and racial equity.

We know there is even more we can do, and we are inspired to take action with you.  Please take the time to share what you, your schools, and/or your organizations are doing to seek out opportunities to learn together.

With care and solidarity,

Jonas Chartock

CEO, Leading Educators

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress/AP

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress/AP

Leading Educators' Statement on the Connection Between Teacher Leadership & Race in America

We here at Leading Educators are deeply saddened by the violence that took place over the past week in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas. The senseless deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the 5 police officers in Dallas only underscore the deep racial divide that continues to plague our communities and, ultimately, our democracy.

The Drive to Teach & Lead

When I drive, I think about my own mortality. Although I’m not typically a nervous person, I still realize how easy it would be to get hurt or killed while in my car. When I first had those thoughts, I wondered what the impact would be if I died right then. I got this strange pleasure knowing that I was a good enough person that my family and my friends would be heartbroken...

CEO Jonas Chartock on LEI 2016: Leading from the Core

This summer, we are doing something different and extremely exciting in New Orleans: the Leading Educators Institute 2016 is now open to educators everywhere.

Leading Educators Receives $1 Million Commitment from New Profit

Leading Educators has received a $1 million commitment from New Profit, a national nonprofit venture philanthropy, to be made over the next four years. This gift will support Leading Educator’s work across the nation to ensure that all students have access to great teachers, especially in urban schools.

Through this investment, Leading Educators will join the New Profit Innovation Fund (NPIF), New Profit’s core investment vehicle which serves as a learning lab for identifying and catalyzing the best social impact organizations in America, whose portfolio organizations include nonprofits focused on education, public health, and economic empowerment. The funding from NPIF will be unrestricted and supplemented by strategic advisory support from New Profit staff in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting.

Bob Searle

“Joining the New Profit network will enable us to smartly grow to support the development of thousands of teacher leaders across the country,” said Jonas Chartock, CEO and founder of Leading Educators. “New Profit’s track record of helping social impact organizations like ours scale gives me great confidence that, as a result of our partnership, we will get much closer to seeing great schools for all students via teacher leadership development.”

As with its other funding and support relationships, New Profit will take a seat on the board of directors of each of the grantees. Bob Searle, New Profit Managing Partner, has joined the Leading Educators Board of Directors.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a thinker and doer of Bob’s caliber join our Board of Directors,” Chartock said. “His experience, expertise, and knowledge of social entrepreneurship and nonprofits will bring a unique and valuable perspective to our board.”

Searle brings more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofits. Prior to joining New Profit, he spent 13 years at The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit organization applying leading-edge management strategies, tools, and talent to help nonprofits and foundations achieve greater social impact.

“We are excited to work alongside Leading Educators as they continue to break new ground in the field of teacher leadership. The organization has seen impressive growth since its inception, and we are consistently impressed with their dedication to great teaching,” Searle said. “I am particularly excited to join the board of directors and work alongside dynamic leaders who are moving the needle on excellent teaching.”

The investment in Leading Educators is part of New Profit’s new capacity-building partnership with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To learn more about the partnership, click here.


About Leading Educators

Leading Educators partners with schools and districts to maximize the leadership development of highly effective teachers. Our goal is to bolster the talent pipeline via identifying and training strong potential teacher leaders and, in turn, increase student achievement and develop the skills and sustainability of teachers on our teacher leaders' teams.

About New Profit

New Profit is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy fund. The organization’s mission is to break down the barriers standing between people and opportunity in America. To do so, New Profit is working to transform the way America educates its children, propels people towards social and financial stability, and creates healthy communities. Since being founded in 1998, New Profit has collaborated with philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, foundations, businesses, policy advocates and other entities to help drive more than $1 billion toward innovative, disruptive approaches to social problem solving. New Profit’s unique, integrated approach brings together the following activities: investing through the New Profit Innovation Fund and Focus Funds; changing public policy through America Forward; and building communities of learning and action around innovative new approaches to change through the

Gathering of Leaders

and other activities.

www.newprofit.org

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