The Best of 2021 and the Promise of 2022

Here are five top blog posts from 2021 that reflect what we most believe and inspire us to keep building schools that foster an equitable and just world.
A image of a typewriter spelling out happy new year.A image of a typewriter spelling out happy new year.
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Another historic and unprecedented year is behind us! From the election of the first African American and Asian American female vice president to the confirmation of Dr. Miguel Cardona—a classroom teacher, principal, and district leader—as the Secretary of Education. From school reopenings to mask mandates. From Delta to Omicron.

Education leaders, like you, keep rising to meet the moment, especially now as pandemic rages on. At New Leaders, we believe leadership is transformational. We have our eye on what is possible. As our CEO Jean Desravines shared at the 2021 Atlantic Festival:

“There is a sense of education leaders feeling tired … but there is also a tremendous sense of hope and optimism emerging out of this time. A reimagination of what’s possible for students, particularly students who have been underrepresented and underestimated. An opportunity to accelerate, to create schools that benefit all of our students.”

In that spirit of hope and determination, we look back to 2021 in order to lean into the promise of 2022. Here are five top posts from 2021 that reflect our beliefs and vision for a more equitable and just future.

We believe all children are capable of extraordinary things.

How Effective Coaching is Rooted in the Lived Realities of Students

“In 2014, an instructional coach helped me successfully complete one of the greatest challenges I had encountered in my career. Her coaching changed my teaching and later how I led as a school principal. … She  asked me a radical question: What was the impact of your behavior and decisions on the academic outcomes of your students?”

We believe educational leaders, in partnership with the communities they serve, have an unparalleled impact on the academic success and well-being of their students.

Five Differences A Great School Leader Makes

No matter the format, and the demands of yet another historic school year, one thing remains as true this year as it has in the past: Great principals build great schools. Research, combined with our experience developing equity-focused leaders, point to the same resounding fact: There is no single instance of a high-performing school without a highly effective principal.We believe schools excel when educational leaders create the conditions in which every child can thrive.

We believe schools excel when educational leaders create the conditions in which every child can thrive.

Equity-Focused Leadership: What Does It Look Like In Action?

School leaders who are serious about equity are continuously learning and pushing themselves to grow into better, more effective change agents. Here are five equity-driven leadership actions that we’ve seen work. You can implement them in your school today.

We believe communities flourish when educational leaders build more equitable and sustainable school systems.

Simplify: Rather than adding more rollouts, we prioritize for impact

When we plan as purposefully for what we will stop doing as for what we will start, implementation deepens, and expectations rise. This level of clarity gives teachers and school leaders more time, resources, and focus to double down on what works. And students soar.

We believe the strength and vitality of our society are determined by the quality of our schools.

Black Principals Matter: We Need More Representation in Schools

With teachers of color leaving the profession at higher rates than their white colleagues, now is the time for us to diversify education at every level, from our nation’s education secretary to the classroom. Effective principals like New Leaders alum Karen Bryan-Chambers show us what is possible when we do.

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