New Leaders for New Schools promises to woo slew of principals
Ohanian Comment: You may ask yourself why you should care about what's going on in Memphis. One reason is that in Memphis we see how the Gates and Broad Foundations and U. S. Department of Education policy are connected.
Currently, Memphis is a finalist for $100 million from the Gates Foundation. They had to do certain restructuring to stay in the running, instituting such things as an 8-period school day.
Looking at the item below, we can ask if external talent the new buzzword?
Memphis superintendent Kriner Cash is himself "external," having served as superintendent of Martha's Vineyard (Mass.) Public Schools from 1995 to 2004 before joining Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools as its chief of accountability and systemwide performance. This is his second year in Memphis, where the board is in the midst of training by the Center for the Reform of School Systems, an outfit headed by Don McAdams, a 12-year veteran of the Houston Independent School District Board and "close associate of Rod Paige in reforming that district." The Center for the Reform of School Systems is funded by the Broad Foundation, among others. According to Education Week, In the training, a school board learns to use research to select a "theory of action," create a policy framework that supports it, and evaluate the superintendent based on how he or she meets the goals aligned with the theory of action.
And now Memphis turns to New Leaders for New Schools to get them the principals they need.
From September 2008 to June 2009, Jon Schnur,
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of New Leaders for New Schools, was on leave from New Leaders for New Schools, serving as an advisor to Barack Obama's Presidential campaign, a member of the Presidential Transition Team, and a Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Here's the Board of Directors for New Leaders for New Schools. How many educators can you find?
Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC [MBA Harvard Business School]
James A. Bell, Corporate President & Chief Financial Officer, The Boeing Company [board of directors of Dow Chemical Company,the Chicago Urban League, World Business Chicago, the Chicago Economic Club]
Nadya Chinoy Dabby (Board Observer), Associate Director, The Broad Foundation [M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management]
John E. Deasy, Deputy Director, US Program, Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [2006 graduate Broad Foundation Urban Superintendents Academy]
Domenic Ferrante, Managing Director, Bain Capital, LLC [M.B.A. from Harvard Business School]
Libia Gil, Senior Fellow, American Institutes for Research [lead consultant for the high school renewal efforts in the San Diego Unified School District on behalf of Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; recipient, 2002 Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education]
Barbara Hyde, President, J.R. Hyde III Family Foundation [You can see their school partners here]
John King, Managing Director of Excellence & Preparatory Networks, Uncommon Schools; Founding Co-director, Roxbury Preparatory Charter School [2008 Aspen Institute-New Schools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow]
Vanessa Kirsch, President and Founder, New Profit Inc. [involved with KIPP Schools and Teach for America]
S. Joshua Lewis (Board Chair), Founder & Managing Partner, Salmon River Capital
Sandra Licón (Board Observer), Policy Officer, US Program Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lory Pilchik (Board Observer), Portfolio Director, US Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Jonathan Schnur, CEO & Co-Founder, New Leaders for New Schools
The Connection NPR 2204: Jon Schnur is spearheading an effort to recruit and train people like military colonels and business executives to be principals. His thinking is, if you can lead an Army unit in Iraq, you can turn around a failing school in New York City.
Naomi O. Seligman, Senior Partner, Ostriker von Simson, Inc.
By Jane Roberts
The Memphis City Schools board on Monday is expected to approve a $3.2 million contract with a national nonprofit group to improve the quality of high school principals.
While the final details of the deal with New Leaders for New Schools were still being worked out late Friday, the district is expected to pay $350,000 this year and $700,000 a year over the next four years to recruit and train up to 40 new principals and assistant principals.
The majority will be new to Memphis.
"I want us to see more external talent recruited into our city," Supt. Kriner Cash told the board earlier this week. "We believe we can grow our internal capacity, but we need more talent coming from outside Memphis."
The recruits promise to complete a one-year residency and then spend five years in the trenches.
"One of the things we do best is identify people who have the heart, drive and stamina to stay with very difficult and complex work in the face of tremendous challenge," said Janice Crawford, executive director of New Leaders here.
The four-year contract is the longest the district has signed with New Leaders since the New York-based nonprofit group came to Memphis in 2004.
The district is in the running for a $100 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Finalists will be notified if they will receive grants early next month.
The New Leaders contract and others in the works, including Teach for America and The New Teacher Project, will be scaled down if the Seattle-based foundation gives Memphis a pass.
If Memphis wins, Cash's plan is to ramp up spending -- from $19 million this year to $47 million in 2013 -- to improve teacher effectiveness.
Much of the work will center on the school reform groups he threatened to cut less than a year ago.
"I don't want to say things have changed," said Roderick Richmond, chief of operations. "We were having to look at our budget, and what aligned with our initiatives. We were trying to prioritize."
Meanwhile, Thursday was the deadline for the first batch of New Leaders applicants hoping to come to Memphis. About 100 teachers and principals are in the running. Another 100-plus are expected to apply by mid-February.
At the most, 10 will be selected.
"We don't say the people we select are the only qualified people to be effective school leaders," Crawford said. "What we do say is they are the best match for them and us to get the results we want."
Every applicant has three years of teacher experience and a proven record of improving student achievement.
The city already has 32 New Leaders principals and 17 assistant principals.
Until now, the agency has recruited more from inside the district, and, in some cases, chosen people who may have been good teachers but had little experience as administrators.
"We started to think it would be a value-add to Memphis City Schools for them to recruit nationally," said Richmond. One thought, he said, is that newcomers would bring other perspectives to the district's pool of administrators.
"Those things are a value-add not only to our school district but to our city. We want Memphis to be seen as a global city and have more college-educated people."
By Jane Roberts
INDEX OF OUTRAGES