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.

The Leading Educators Institute (LEI) began as an annual conference for Fellows and leadership teams in our partner cities: Kansas City, Memphis, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. This year we’re open to participants from schools all over the country. With a wider range of classroom experiences, teacher leaders at LEI will learn from the best in their content area and bring home new, critical skills for the classroom, at any grade level.

LEI 2016 is dedicated to “Leading from the Core.”  You’ll tap into a national network of highly effective teacher leaders, who together make up the invaluable connection between their students and their schools’ upper leadership. You’ll make critical advances in your own leadership amidst the shift to higher state standards. The theme also highlights our organization’s core value of equity: challenging historical inequities in the classroom, and working toward a more just society. Session content is drawn from the Leading Educators curriculum and focused on what we call Rigorous Content: a strong Culture of Learning, Anti-bias Education, and challenging the limitations, explicit and implicit, historically placed on many students’ potential.

At LEI, national education leaders teach experiential workshops. Lecturers include one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Our dedicated staff will stop at nothing to provide the best adult learning experience possible, and you will leave LEI prepared to begin or continue the conversation around teacher leadership at your school, equipped with the skills necessary to lead teams of teachers yourself. You will learn to raise the quality of instruction and culture on your team, and serve as a critical leader for equitable schools for all children.

LEI is an invaluable opportunity to make the most of your summer. We’re elated to accept registrants from around the U.S. Register now for LEI, June 20-24, in New Orleans. Secure your seat by April 1 for discounted, early-bird pricing. Once you’ve registered, let us know what you hope to gain from the experience.

I hope to see you there.

- Jonas 


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.

“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.”

Bob Searle
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


CEO Jonas Chartock on "A False Choice"

We’re looking for our first VP of Storytelling & Development in Leading Educators’ 5-year history. I’ve been reflecting on what this role will mean for our organization, why we believe diversity and equity is so important and why I am excited about where we’re headed.
  • This is our moment to tell our story + shape the narrative.  We’ve proven that when given access to skill development and the right leadership roles, teacher leaders increase student achievement, remain in their schools longer than their peers and develop leadership skills that ignite whole school transformation. Our new VP of Storytelling will re-imagine our story, help us tell it and then ensure it quickly spreads throughout the world.
  • The choice between diversity + excellence is false. Diversity is the very means to excellence. I still have conversations with colleagues in the field who are not talking about the business case for diversity and equity. The facts are that diverse teams perform at higher rates than non-diverse teams and the research that shows women often outperform men yet women are not represented in senior leadership. Without diversity and equity, Leading Educators cannot grow from 1,000 Teacher Leaders to 10,000; from serving 200 schools to 2 million students or move from raising $6 million to $20 million over the next three years.
If you browse our website, you might note that there are fewer senior leaders of color. You might interpret this fact to mean we do not think a senior leader of color can be successful here. It does not. It means we have significant work to do and we will not shy away from it. We are happy to talk to you personally about what we’re doing to work on this.

Studies also show that men often apply for jobs when they only meet 60 percent of the qualifications for a senior role. Women wait until they meet 100 percent. Please do not wait. Please put yourself and others forward.
  • We’re just getting started. Ninety percent (90%) of principals with a Fellow said that our teachers have had a positive impact on their school. In 5 years, we’ve expanded into new regions and nearly 100% of our Fellows remain in education and continue to assume greater leadership and impact within their schools.
Our inaugural VP of Storytelling & Development arrives to a learning organization whose intent is to expand its impact.

To learn more, reach out to Ify Offor Walker or me directly.

Here’s to the next phase and seeing you aboard the teacher leader rocket ship!


Leading Educators Welcomes Dr. Pamela Puryear of Pfizer, Inc. to Board of Directors

Dear Leading Educators team, colleagues, and friends: 

I am so pleased to announce that Pamela Puryear, Ph.D. has agreed to join the Leading Educators Board of Directors. Dr. Puryear was recently named the Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer at Pfizer, Inc., and, as you’ll read below, brings a wealth of expertise to our organization.
Dr. Pamela Puryear
Dr. Puryear is a business leader, thought leader, and Organization Development (OD) practice leader with over 25 years of experience including 10 years in the real estate investment advisory industry, 12 years as an external OD consultant, and six years leading OD practices in Fortune 100 companies. She has worked and consulted globally and across a number of different industry sectors including financial services, healthcare, professional services, consumer products, insurance, and education.

In her role as Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer at Pfizer Inc., Pam is responsible for leading strategy and implementation of programs and services that impact nearly 100,000 employees globally in the areas of talent management, learning and development, employee engagement, organization culture, diversity and inclusion, and workforce analytics.

Pam's professional passion is performance excellence, and from her diverse professional experiences, she has developed a unique perspective on what creates and sustains excellence. She has worked with individuals, teams and organizations to excel by assessing needs, and offering solutions that impact performance and productivity. With an MBA and a PhD, she considers financial and human factors and how to manage both using sound organizational management thinking and focused business metrics.

In May, 2015 Pam was profiled in SHRM's HR Magazine. In 2014 she was profiled and appeared on the cover of the February issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine and was honored to be selected as an award winner in the Business Impact category for the 2014 Learning in Practice awards sponsored by Chief Learning Officer magazine. In 2012 she was the recipient of the 2012 Rising Star Award by HR Executive magazine. She has also been recognized by the Illinois Diversity Council as a Multicultural Leader in 2014 and as one of Illinois’ Most Powerful and Influential Women in 2015.  Pam is a frequent speaker at human capital conferences.

Through LinkedIn and her personal website and blog,, Pam seeks to develop a virtual community of practice to keep current on how individuals, teams and enterprises work, thrive and drive toward excellence.

Pam holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Yale University.

As you can probably imagine, we are beyond ecstatic that Dr. Puryear is offering her experience, expertise, and network to our work at Leading Educators.

Regards, Jonas Chartock 
Chief Executive Officer 
Leading Educators  


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

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 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.

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