Press Release

OAKLAND Expansion

Adan Garcia, Associate Director of Communications
(202) 510-0827, [email protected]


Partnership will strengthen students’ opportunities for engaging learning in English language arts

September 5, 2019

OAKLAND, CA –  Starting this fall, Leading Educators will partner with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and EL Education to support engaging English Language Arts experiences for middle school students.

OUSD has launched a three-year effort to adopt high-quality curricula across all subjects so teachers can ensure every student experiences challenging, grade-appropriate learning that prepares them to succeed.  OUSD has also built a strong leadership infrastructure that provides site-based instructional support roles known as Teachers on Special Assignment (TSA) in middle school. Through this partnership, Leading Educators will work with OUSD to align school-based professional learning for teachers to new curricula so teachers have consistent opportunities to strengthen their skills and apply new knowledge to lessons alongside peers. By enabling structural changes across the district that focus on creating consistently strong learning experiences, teachers will have more support to teach and inspire diverse learners to high levels no matter their starting place.

During the first year, Leading Educators will work with district and school leaders to establish supportive conditions that are foundational to continuous improvement across 11 middle schools.  These include diverse and distributed instructional leadership, time for teachers to learn and practice with the EL Education curriculum, limited priorities, and aligned assessments. Leading Educators staff will also consult on professional learning design for TSAs by leading experientials, sharing materials, and offering feedback on OUSD plans. These materials will help TSAs to lead curriculum-specific learning cycles for ELA teachers at their schools, building capacity for frequent reflection on student progress, practice with grade-level standards and content, and co-planning.  When teachers have the opportunity to set and reach a high bar for instruction together, students can expect to be challenged and supported to succeed regardless of classroom.

“Districts like Oakland are often faced with the question: how effective is our teacher collaboration time to actually grow teacher capacity  and student achievement? We know that the surest way to improvement is by increasing our collective efficacy, which means content PLCs are our most important lever for change. We know that the Professional Learning Partnership with EL Education on quality curriculum and with Leading Educators on our content cycles will be transformative for us as a District,” said Abbey Kerins, Secondary Literacy Coordinator at OUSD.

Leading Educators is a notable partner to many pioneering school systems who have adopted equity-centric instructional approaches that connect high-quality curriculum to aligned professional learning and supportive conditions.  Other current partners within the Leading Educators network include Atlanta Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District, several systems in Greater Grand Rapids and New Orleans, and Tulsa Public Schools.

Chong-Hao Fu, CEO at Leading Educators, shared, “This collaboration with Oakland Unified School District and EL Education is an exciting opportunity for growth in the opportunities students and teachers have to engage in incredible learning.  By ensuring teachers have the high-quality materials, leadership, and professional learning they deserve, we hope they will feel empowered to foster equity and inspire every student to reach new heights.”

EL Education brings deep expertise in design and implementation of top-rated curricula to this partnership.  The organization’s approach, which has a track record of student impact, prioritizes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work.

This partnership is made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Professional Learning Partnerships Initiative, an effort to advance professional learning (PL) services which will support the equitable implementation of high-quality instructional materials.  Collaborative design will begin in October with a planned roll-out of school-based support to pilot schools in June 2020.



Leading Educators supports education leaders to foster sustainable environments where teachers and students thrive, igniting the potential for exponential impact in schools and across districts.  We partner with states, districts, and public charter networks to design curriculum-based learning and support structures that create the conditions for continuous improvements in teaching across their schools–helping teachers create excellent and equitable student experiences every day.

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