Leading Educators 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 will operate in 10 district schools with 60 teacher leaders who lead content-alike teams of their peers. Over the next three to five years, 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 and support their peers as they make the transition to the Common Core State Standards.
In 2016, Leading Educators was awarded an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the US Department of Education to launch the Chicago Common Core Collaborative. Funds from the i3 support a cohort of teacher leader teams representing 20 schools across three Chicago partners – Chicago Public Schools, KIPP Chicago, and the North Chicago Community United School District. The i3 grant will support the Chicago Collaborative through May 2020, including a randomized control trial conducted by the RAND Corporation to assess the impact of Leading Educators’ model on professional learning and student achievement.
Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thanks to a generous grant from the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation, Leading Educators has recently expanded to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the first cohort of principals and teacher leaders began training in the summer of 2017. Leading Educators’ programming is the backbone of an ambitious strategy to significantly increase academic achievement among lower income children who attend the nearly 120 district, charter, and religious schools in the Greater Grand Rapids urban area. Leading Educators’ programming represents a comprehensive effort to increase teacher effectiveness, which research consistently shows is the single most powerful lever for driving student academic outcomes. The work will capitalize on the greatest asset within Grand Rapids’ urban schools—highly effective teachers—by training up to 300 teacher leaders along with their principals and district administrators. This approach will make it possible to scale impact and provide approximately 2,400 classroom teachers with the kinds of meaningful professional growth opportunities that will help them improve their craft and increase academic outcomes for more than 40,000 students.
Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge
The New Orleans region was founded in 2008 as the flagship teacher leader development program of Leading Educators. Since then, over 150 educators from the Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge area have graduated from the 2-year Fellowship program. Supported by a dedicated group of regional funders including Baptist Community Ministries and the Kellogg Foundation, the Fellowship program currently partners with 13 schools to empower teams of educators to drive toward school-wide impact for all students by participating in a year-round program that expands their content knowledge, leadership skills, and equitable teaching and leadership practices. Educators participate in regional professional development sessions as a Cohort, receive ongoing individualized leadership coaching in their schools, and engage with Leading Educators tools and resources proven to drive academic gains in schools.
Washington D.C. Metro Area
Leading Educators began its partnership with the Washington, DC Public Schools (DCPS) in 2013 as part of the Teacher Leadership Innovation - a small, teams-based, instruction-focused pilot program that operated in seven schools. Since that time, the partnership has evolved into the “LEarning together to Advance our Practice” (LEAP) initiative that currently operates across all 115 of the district’s campuses. Through LEAP, DCPS has prioritized instructional improvement in schools throughout the entire 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 throughout the system. During the summer of 2017, Leading Educators partnered with DCPS to train about 600 teacher, school, and district leaders who will go on to impact over 48,000 students each year.