How We Advance Racial Economic Equity

Our innovative model for principal certification—National Aspiring Principals Fellowship—is nationally recognized for its potential to drive economic advancement for Black educators in the next five to 20 years.
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Equitable representation—the ability to see yourself in the leaders around you—is invaluable, especially now as 54 percent of our nation’s public school students identify as students of color while only 22 percent of our nation’s principals do. This is known as the representation gap, and it is a gap we are working to close. Studies show that all students benefit from seeing diverse principals and teachers working together to advance equity and excellence.

One powerful way to improve the educational experiences of schoolchildren across the country is to increase their access to leaders of color—and strengthen the caliber of teaching and leading in schools. Our National Aspiring Principals Fellowship, an online principal certification and master’s degree program, is doing just that. Designed in partnership with two distinguished Black institutions, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, the Fellowship is developing a new generation of equity-focused leaders who reflect the communities they serve.

Nationally recognized as "Innovator to Watch"

New Leaders—along with our leading model for the Fellowship—is now nationally recognized as an “Innovator to Watch” in the new report from Jobs For the Future (JFF),  Opening Doors: New Investments in Racial Economic Equity. In this report, JFF explores the innovation landscapes and the game-changing organizations that are transforming work and learning in America—naming New Leaders as one of twelve organizations with a “potentially transformative innovation“ characterized by “scalability and potential for impact.”

“The Fellowship is helping me be the school leader that I deserve and want to be,” reflects Cinque Weekes-Bynoe who is on track to complete the program in March 2023. The Fellowship integrates the 20-year research and evidence base of our nationally renowned principal preparation program with the equity-centered frameworks of Morehouse and CAU. The result is a transformative online experience that prepares aspiring principals to deliver exceptional results for their students and school communities.

“The Fellowship is helping me be the school leader that I deserve and want to be.”
Cinque Weekes-Bynoe, Fellowship participant

Research reveals better school and student outcomes, especially for teachers and children of color, when a principal of color is at the helm. The reasons are many. Leaders of color have been found to hold higher expectations, champion more rigorous instruction, and build school cultures rooted in inclusivity and respect. Working in tandem with their teachers and the whole school community, leaders of color not only accelerate student achievement for students of color, but notably, for all students.

How and why the Fellowship works

As detailed in the report, our model for the Fellowship reimagines education training systems, school leadership development, and career mobility for teachers. As an Innovator to Watch, New Leaders is considered to “be at the leading edge of market trends in the effort to advance racial economic equity.” JFF distinguishes us from other forward-looking companies by our potential to create significant business-aligned social impact—and more specifically, “to drive economic advancement for Black learners and workers for the next five to 20 years.” 

Our Fellowship is a sustainable model to advance career mobility for teachers of color and build more equitable representation in school leadership.

Our Fellowship is a sustainable model to advance career mobility for teachers of color and build more equitable representation in school leadership. It enables districts to build diverse principal pipelines, increase principal retention, and decrease costs required to train and replace school leaders while increasing teacher retention by providing pathways for career advancement. By investing in and developing equity-focused principals, districts improve learning outcomes for all students. 

This is particularly significant given the flood of investments in racial equity that followed the murder of George Floyd. “Even with that kind of financial backing,” JFF argues, “overcoming a challenge created by centuries of structural disadvantage will require more than a fleeting surge of activism and advocacy.” 

Here’s why our approach works. Multiple independent evaluations have proven that in schools led by a New Leaders principal:

Answer the call to lead today

The leaders we develop drive quantifiable outcomes in learning, teaching, and equity and get results where it matters most: in schools, for students. Unlock the untapped leadership potential in your district—or in yourself—and be a powerful and positive force for change.

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