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Social Capitalists

New Leaders for New Schools

Mission: New Leaders for New Schools is a national non-profit organization with one clear mission: to foster high levels of academic achievement for every child by recruiting, training, and supporting the next generation of outstanding leaders for our nation's urban public schools.

Program: New Leaders aggressively recruits highly talented and motivated people to become urban school principals. Through the fellowship program, New Leaders provides these individuals with rigorous, hands-on training, including a year-long, full-time residency with a talented mentor principal. New Leaders helps place program participants in leadership positions in urban public schools and provides them with two additional years of ongoing support and a community of peers.

History: New Leaders was founded in 2000 by a team of social entrepreneurs consisting of former school administrators, teachers, business leaders, and education policy experts who were attending Harvard Business School and Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

Building on Success: New Leaders for New Schools works with partners in the education, business, and philanthropic communities to recruit, train, and support very talented individuals to become successful principals in urban public schools. Over the next 10 years, New Leaders aims to create a 2,000-person principal corps to impact the lives of over 1 million children. We prepare principals who focus on meeting the needs of every child and are highly effective instructional leaders, managers, community leaders, and leaders of change. We seek to catalyze change in urban schools and school systems by developing, evaluating, refining, and disseminating research-based methods to recruit, train, and support highly effective urban principals.

New Leaders for New Schools has created intensive leadership recruitment and development programs in partnership with large urban school districts including Chicago, Memphis, New York City, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. as well as Aspire Public Schools in California. Currently, there are over 150 New Leaders nationally including approximately 60 principals, 35 assistant principals, and 55 Residents impacting 75,000 urban students. This fall, New Leaders launched our recruiting process to attract and select an additional 90 New Leaders this year. By next September, there will be a total of 240 New Leaders nationally impacting 120,000 urban students.

Program Components

  • Intensive Recruitment & Selection New Leaders for New Schools is the only national school leadership program to attract and train aspiring principals at scale from inside and outside of urban school systems. Less than 6% of applicants have been admitted after an intensive screening process.
  • High-Quality Coursework including six weeks of intensive, case-based coursework focused on instructional leadership, community leadership, and management of systems, people, and financial resources and five-day seminars throughout the year. Courses are taught by leading experts, principals, and faculty from education and business schools across the U.S.
  • Yearlong, Full-Time Residency in Urban Public Schools Residents become full members of school leadership teams and work under the guidance of mentors to reach proficiency on our Principal Leadership Competencies, a set of attributes shared by successful school leaders.
  • Carefully Selected, Well-Trained Mentor Principals who guide Residents by modeling best practices and providing feedback on performance.
  • Three Years of Ongoing Coaching and Support Successful, veteran principals visit their schools, provide feedback and coaching, and lead regular meetings.
  • Cohort of Peers New Leaders join a community dedicated to fostering high levels of academic achievement for every child.
  • Long-Term Commitment New Leaders principals make at least a three-year contractual commitment to become school leaders in the school system that supports their Residencies.
  • Placement Support New Leaders works with partners to ensure that candidates are seriously considered for available principal positions following the residency. We seek positions with maximum school-based decision-making authority over hiring, curriculum, and budgeting.
  • Full Administrator Certification for all Residents who successfully complete the program.
  • Independent Evaluation of Results to measure New Leaders' impact on student achievement and school success.
  • Private-Public Partnership and Funding Model

Awards and Recognition

New Leaders for New Schools has been:

  • Honored as one of the "Top 20 Groups that are Changing the World" by Fast Company magazine (January 2004 issue). We were one of only six groups that received the highest mark (A+) in the ranking's "Social Impact" category.
  • Selected as "Innovators of the Year" by the Progressive Policy Institute in December 2003.
  • Highlighted in a "Best Practice Guide to School Leadership" by the U.S. Department of Education. We were one of only six school leadership programs nationwide to be highlighted.
  • Profiled as an example of "Innovative Leadership that has Successfully Improved American High Schools" by the Alliance for Excellent Education. We were one of only five organizations that were profiled.
  • Selected as the only "promising practice" by the Teaching Commission, a blue-ribbon panel of corporate executives and educational leaders chaired by former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner. We were the only promising practice listed as an example of their recommendation to recruit, train, and empower school leaders.
  • Highlighted on the Senate floor in remarks by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TENN) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

Learn more

The above information was provided by the profiled organization.