New Leaders

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Recent News

Profiles of Outstanding Educators Highlight How Federal Support for School Leaders Advances Student Success

By New Leaders
July 1, 2015

New Leaders urged members of Congress to prioritize school leadership as a core school improvement strategy when reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as well as through the annual appropriations process.

Too often, leadership is viewed as an afterthought rather than an indispensable ingredient in teacher, school, and district improvement. Through ESEA reauthorization and appropriations, federal lawmakers have two critical opportunities to leverage leadership as a central strategy in making all schools places where great teachers thrive and students excel.

Today, New Leaders released four Profiles in Leadership to call attention to these opportunities. Each profile brings to life the work of outstanding New Leader principals and district leaders and illustrates how federal policies and programs can accelerate the success of the students we serve.

  • Alfonso Carmona, the principal of Robert Healy Elementary School in Chicago, IL, highlights the need for federal investments in the School Leadership Program (SLP) to support cutting-edge, evidence-based strategies to improve principal effectiveness and to support principals and their teams.
  • Janeece Docal, the principal of Powell Elementary School in Washington, DC, illustrates the importance of expanding the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and other federal programs to focus more on leaders and leadership development.
  • Leroy Gaines and Kimi Kean, the current and former principals of Acorn Woodland Elementary School in Oakland, CA, offer lessons about how the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program can better support dramatic and lasting improvement in struggling schools.
  • Michelle Pierre-Farid, the Chief Academic Officer for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, discusses the importance of using ESEA Title II-A funds at the state and local levels for principal effectiveness activities.

The profiles exemplify the urgent need to recruit, prepare, and support effective school leaders. Without such concentrated efforts, we will leave principals unprepared and unsupported in their primary job of leading great teaching at scale. And we will certainly not be able to ensure that all students have access to an outstanding education that prepares them for success in college, careers, and life.

“Principals are critical to the success of any school improvement effort—from increasing academic rigor to developing and supporting teachers to building a strong school culture,” said Jean Desravines, Chief Executive Officer of New Leaders. “Every provision that Congress will debate next week is inextricably linked to and dependent on the quality of our nation’s 90,000 principals.”

New Leaders calls on Congress to ensure that important provisions in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 directly supporting school leadership are retained and, where appropriate, improved. These include support for aspiring and sitting principals in Title II, Part A; the School Leader Recruitment and Support Program, aimed at improving principal recruitment, preparation, and support; and the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program, which supports the development of strong human capital management systems. Key provisions related to state accountability systems must also be strengthened, including granting greater autonomy for principals in parallel with meaningful accountability as well as identifying struggling schools in need of intervention.

And New Leaders urges members of Congress to give school leaders the attention, resources, and support they need—through both reauthorization and appropriations bills—to fulfill their transformative potential.

New Leaders is a national nonprofit that develops transformational school leaders and promotes the system-level conditions that allow strong leaders to succeed. Founded in 2000, New Leaders has trained nearly 2000 principals and teacher leaders who are building vibrant schools and elevating student achievement and graduation rates in high-need schools across the country. Beyond its flagship principal training program, New Leaders provides a comprehensive portfolio of leadership development programs to support educators at all levels, from teacher leaders to district administrators. It also advocates for effective leadership policies and practices in school systems nationwide. For more information, visit

Contact: Georgia West

NAESP, NASSP, and New Leaders Commend the White House and U.S. Department of Education for Celebrating School Leadership

By NAESP, NASSP and New Leaders
May 27, 2015

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Event will engage excellent principals in federal policy conversations

Alexandria, VA—The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and New Leaders commend the White House and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on a year of unprecedented federal focus on school leadership resulting in robust engagement with principals and the inclusion of diverse voices in federal policy conversations.


Statement on Senate HELP Committee’s Markup of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

By New Leaders
April 20, 2015

New York City, NY—Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced the Every Child Achieves Act, a critical step in the bipartisan process to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). New Leaders commends Chairman Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member Murray (D-WA), and members of the HELP Committee on this achievement.

We appreciate the strides the bill makes toward improving current law on behalf of our nation’s children and dedicated teachers and school leaders, especially those who serve our highest-need schools. We are thankful that provisions were added to the bill during markup so that it better supports career pathways and professional learning opportunities for teachers, teacher leaders, principals, and instructional leadership teams. The bill was also improved to support investments in seeding innovative ideas and scaling successful practices.


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