New Orleans

RAND Report Shows Early Signs of Success in Leading Educators Fellowship

Today the RAND Corporation released the first stage of a multi-year study on the Leading Educators Fellowship program. This initial report examines the effects of our Fellowship programs in Kansas City and New Orleans on leadership growth, student achievement, and teacher retention. 

The results of the report suggest that the Leading Educators Fellowship improves leadership skills in teacher leaders, shows promise in positively impacting student achievement, and helps retain teachers in high-poverty schools. Below is the press release from RAND, which can also be found here:

Program to Improve School Outcomes and Student Achievement Shows Early Signs of Success

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A program intended to boost student achievement by providing teachers two years of professional development, including formal training sessions and meetings with a leadership coach, is showing early signs of success, according to a new RAND Corporation report. The program also includes the mentoring of other teachers by those receiving these more-intensive efforts.

The fellowship program created by Leading Educators, a national nonprofit based in New Orleans, is showing promising results on student achievement, according to a preliminary evaluation of the effort. The program is unique because it focuses on middle-career teachers, while other efforts typically focus on new teachers, and offers leadership development for classroom teachers.

The fellows participate in a two-year training program consisting of a series of professional development sessions, school visits and meetings with a leadership coach. Fellows can be teachers as well as school administrators. In addition, fellows select other teachers to mentor at their own school. The teachers mentored by the fellows participate in meetings and workshops throughout the school year.

The findings are based on the 2011–12 through 2013–14 school years for fellows and the teachers they mentor located in New Orleans and Kansas City, Mo. Over the study period, there were 255 fellows and 916 teachers mentored. The RAND study focused on teachers that researchers were able to match to state databases for student assessment test scores, which included 75 fellows and 438 mentored teachers.

“Since the leader development program may influence students of the fellows or the other teachers they mentor, our team examined achievement outcomes from students across this wider group,” said Kata Mihaly, the report's lead author and an economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

These early findings of the program are mixed, but suggest that the program shows promise in improving student achievement. Fellows who taught mathematics in New Orleans had a statistically significant positive effect on student achievement. However, the analysis did not find statistically significant findings for other subjects taught by fellows in New Orleans or Kansas City. Teachers mentored by fellows had a positive impact on student mathematics and social studies achievement in New Orleans.

The analysis also examined whether teachers are more likely to stay in the same school or stay teaching in high-poverty schools after participating in the program. Program teachers remained in high-poverty schools at rates that were similar to or higher than that of other teachers in the district.

Researchers note the current results are based on few years of data and on a small sample of teachers, and results may change when there are more fellows and mentored teachers included in future studies. Prior to the evaluation being completed, Leading Educators expanded the fellowship program, with opportunities to participate in Memphis, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

Support for this research was provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.

The report, “Examining the Early Impacts of the Leading Educators Fellowship on Student Achievement and Teacher Retention,” is available at www.rand.org. Other authors of the study are Benjamin Master and Cate Yoon.

This research was conducted by RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation. Its mission is to bring accurate data and careful, objective analysis to the national debate on education policy.

 

About the RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

Press Release: DUNCAN RECOGNIZES TEACHER LEADER IMPACT ON STUDENT SUCCESS

U.S. Secretary of Education Hosts Roundtable with Members of New Orleans Teacher Leader Program

NEW ORLEANS – December 9, 2014 – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will meet with Leading Educators Fellows at Arthur Ashe Charter School to hear from teacher leaders about what it takes to be successful and what further support schools, states, and the Department of Education can offer. As part of the Secretary’s Teach to Lead initiative to promote teacher leadership, Duncan will share a roundtable with five Leading Educators Teacher Leader Fellows and their principals, two of whom are alumni of the New Leaders program, in New Orleans Thursday afternoon. A parent from each school will sit in on the discussion.

“Strong school leadership has been crucial to the progress seen in New Orleans schools. I applaud organizations like Leading Educators and New Leaders that prepare teachers and principals to do this incredibly challenging – but critical – work,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Great school leadership makes great teaching possible and helps ensure that every student graduates prepared for college, careers and life.”

Secretary Duncan will ask the roundtable participants to share stories of success and challenge in working to support and develop both their students and their colleagues. Teacher leaders and their principals, several of whom are alumni of the Leading Educators Fellowship, will join the roundtable from Arthur Ashe Charter School, ReNEW Dolores T. Aaron Academy, Samuel Green Charter School, New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School, and KIPP Believe College Prep.

“Secretary Duncan’s visit signifies the administration’s commitment to understanding experiences of teacher leaders and the impact of a national movement of educators who seek to support and develop their students and their colleagues,” said Chief Executive Officer Jonas Chartock.

Leading Educators is an official partner of the national Teach to Lead initiative, which seeks to expand opportunities for teacher leadership. The organization has been working with teacher leaders in New Orleans since 2008 and remains headquartered in the city.

“It’s only fitting that Secretary Duncan is looking to New Orleans for examples of model teacher leadership – teacher leaders are a significant force in the improvement of the city’s schools,” said Greater New Orleans Executive Director Julie Bourgeois. “Our teacher leaders have led initiatives that have had a real impact on student learning and school culture.”


Leading Educators works to advance teachers’ leadership skills and opportunities, building a national movement to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed in school and life.

Teach to Lead is an initiative jointly convened by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the U.S. Department of Education to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly those that allow teachers to stay in the classroom.

Press Release: ROADMAP FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHER LEADERSHIP RELEASED BY ASPEN INSTITUTE AND LEADING EDUCATORS

Paper Shows Districts how to Design Programs for Impact


Detroit, MI, October 20, 2014 – As school districts across the country confront the challenges of recruiting and retaining great teachers while trying to close persistent opportunity gaps, two prominent nonprofit organizations today released a blueprint for building effective teacher leadership programs. The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program and Leading Educators, which partners with school districts to accelerate the impact of teachers in leadership positions, unveiled Leading from the Front of the Classroom: A Roadmap for Teacher Leadership that Works at the Education Writers Association seminar in Detroit Monday.

The paper provides school districts with concrete strategies for maximizing the potential of highly effective teachers to influence their colleagues, shift school culture and advance teaching, learning, and student achievement. The good news is that school districts across America increasingly are investing in the development of new career pathways for their best teachers as a reward and retention strategy. Unfortunately, they often do so without regard for the impact they want these teachers to have or how this can reinforce and strengthen other reforms. As a result, these initiatives have yet to stem attrition or improve achievement in any consistent or widespread fashion.

“I’ve heard from so many teachers who are tired of the heartbreaking choice between serving their students and serving their profession. Teacher leadership must be a force for changing education—not a result of it,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.

Leading Educators Founder and CEO Jonas Chartock said, “What principal hasn’t wished she could harness the talent of her best teachers and spread it to every classroom in her school? We know from our own experience this is possible and with this paper, Leading Educators hopes to point districts in the direction of creating high-impact leadership programs that address their many challenges around talent retention, achievement, and administrator burnout. In the areas where Leading Educators works directly with schools on developing these types of programs, we have seen higher teacher satisfaction and more collaborative, less stressful learning environments.”

Aspen Institute Vice President Ross Wiener said, “Done right, teacher leadership elevates the profession while advancing other reforms. For example, it’s overwhelming for principals alone to give every teacher the feedback and guidance they need and deserve – and it’s not how any other profession is structured. Teacher leadership leverages talent within the teaching corps, makes the job more attractive to ambitious and accomplished teachers – and can make education reform more sustainable at the same time.” 

The paper cites several examples of effective teacher leadership initiatives at the state, school district, and school levels, including programs in Tennessee, Chicago, the District of Columbia, and Denver, among others. Standalone profiles also were released today of teacher leaders as Common Core coaches in Tennessee, team leaders in Denver Public Schools, and school-culture leads in the Noble Street Network of charter schools in Chicago.

These approaches share common attributes that have the potential to improve retention and student achievement:

They are designed for impact: This means aligning teacher leadership programs with key school priorities rather than just using leadership as an opportunity to recognize successful educators.

They know their context: Successful teacher leadership is predicated on having strong and well-defined systems in place to identify effective educators. School communities must have trust and confidence in their teacher leaders and not question the process by which they achieved their elevated position within a school.

They have defined measures of success: It is critical that districts and schools build a broad understanding of the long term and leading indicators of success. Vision must be clear and well-communicated.

They are built strategically: Effective teacher leadership programs cannot be a burden on principals or other educators, but must actually redistribute some responsibility in ways that make the principal job more manageable. Schools must commit to designing roles that make sense for their communities, train teachers in the management skills they need to be successful leaders, and recognize these leaders for their impact.

"By investing in the creation of a thoughtful teacher leadership program we've seen our schools in a position to hold all students to high expectations,” said Michael Milkie, Superintendent of Noble Network of Charter Schools. “This paper captures a critical piece of our success and hope it serves as a model for other school organizations and districts looking to maximize the impact of the talent in their classrooms."

Leading Educators and the Aspen Institute officially unveiled the paper during a panel discussion at the Education Writers Association’s Detroit seminar on teaching entitled The Push to Upgrade the Teaching Profession: What Reporters Need to Know. The full report can be seen at http://www.leadingeducators.org/publications.


ABOUT LEADING EDUCATORS

Leading Educators is a national nonprofit organization based in New Orleans that seeks to improve student achievement by accelerating the positive impact of experienced teachers who take on leadership positions in their schools. We partner with states, districts, schools and individual educators to design leadership opportunities and develop the management skills of teachers so they can lead their peers to better student outcomes. For more information, visit www.leadingeducators.org.  

ABOUT THE ASPEN INSTITUTE EDUCATION AND SOCIETY PROGRAM

The Education and Society Program improves public education by inspiring, informing, and influencing education leaders across policy and practice, with an emphasis on achieving equity for traditionally underserved students. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/education 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jon Reinish

SKDKnickerbocker

202-999-0461

JReinish@SKDKnick.com

 

Katrin Thomas

The Aspen Institute

202-736-5857

Katrin.Thomas@aspeninst.org

Video: Thanks for a Great Week of Teacher Leadership!

In June our teacher leader Fellows from across the country came together in New Orleans for our first National Intensive. With this video, we want to celebrate their work and thank the many guests and facilitators who made National Intensive such a success, including keynote speakers Pedro Noguera, the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equality and the Transformation of Schools; Secretary Arne Duncan, US Department of Education, with Emily Davis and Maddie Fennel, Teach to Lead; Katie Haycock and Brook Haycock, Ed Trust; and Andrea Berkeley, formerly of Teaching Leaders UK.

Thank you all for your dedication to ensuring great teachers for all students!

$33,000 strong for Teacher Leadership

Tuesday of this week was a special day: Teacher Appreciation Day and GiveNOLA DAY, a 24-hour online giving event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation where donations receive a partial match from the foundation. Leading Educators encouraged friends and supporters to show their appreciation for teachers by giving to the organization via GiveNOLA. By the end of the day, over 80 people donated to Leading Educators, raising over $33,000 to support teacher leaders and the students with whom they work! We are proud to say that 100% of the Leading Educators staff contributed during the event, showing their dedication to our mission not only through their everyday work but also through their personal donations.

Stay tuned--next week we will find out the grand total that includes the match from the foundation. For now, we are touched by the support we saw during GiveNOLA and look forward to next year's event.

Life's most persistent and urgent question

"What are you doing for others?"

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, over 50 New Orleans Fellows, staff, and friends showed up to help Success Prep Academy. Over the course of four hours, volunteers:

  • created two incredible murals in the cafeteria

  • painted the benches and tables outside by the playground and blacktop

  • set up four new portable basketball hoops

  • touched up four classrooms with new paint

"It was so great to see the reaction of students and staff this morning," said Success Prep Director Niloy Gangopadhyay today. "It really made the day special for everyone! I feel extremely lucky that we were chosen to be the site."