Tulsa students in a row write in notebooks as their teacher gives directions

Lasting Impact

Great Teaching is Learned

Teachers serve one of the most important roles in a child’s life, but the system around them is making it harder than it should be to reach every student.

That’s why our theory of change approaches impact in education on multiple levels, drawing connections between student experiences, teaching quality, and school conditions.

Our Challenge

The Opportunity crisis

Most students aren’t ready for their next step, despite doing what is asked of them, because they have too few opportunities to learn essential knowledge and skills. These gaps disproportionately affect students of color and students from households with less wealth. Teachers aren’t to blame for the failures of our education system, but we believe they are the solution.

Standards raised the bar for the knowledge and skills students need, but they didn’t say how to adjust. When few teachers have adequate support to build on their teaching, they’re left with a lot of guesswork. Consequently, students’ opportunities vary widely from classroom to classroom and from year to year.

If we don’t address these challenges head-on with proven, systemic solutions, we risk denying the potential of generations of students and losing large numbers of experienced educators to burnout. That’s where Leading Educators comes in.

What We're Up Against

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$18,000 per teacher

spent every year on professional development that doesn’t work.

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133 hours

wasted each year in each core subject on assignments that are not grade appropriate.

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3.6x more

grade appropriate assignments in classrooms with mostly white students.

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3 in 10 teachers

show improvement from PD despite $8 billion of yearly spending nationwide.

Beyond Test Scores

Together with our partners, we aim to improve not only learning outcomes but life outcomes.

Lasting systemic change fundamentally shifts what teachers know, think, and do as well as the support and conditions that all make it stick. So, we assess our impact on all three in addition to student outcomes. That’s how we foster transformational change not just in schools, but in whole communities.

Accelerating Student Learning

We’re driven to see all students learn to high levels, no matter where they start. We use rigorous evaluation methods to understand both changes in knowledge and in students’ experiences, recognizing that they’ll need more than academics to be ready for the world that awaits them.

Student Outcomes
a middle school girl explains a math problem to her teacher
Proving What's Possible

For decades, there’s been little evidence that teacher professional development makes a difference for students. We’re changing that.

Several rigorous studies over the past decade demonstrate that Leading Educators’ job-embedded, content-specific approach to strengthening teaching leads to statistically significant gains for students that surpass those of other leading interventions. Learn more below.

Improving Teaching

Students succeed when teachers build and draw from deep knowledge. So, we assess the knowledge and beliefs that teachers and leaders build from professional learning as a component of impact.

Most professional development doesn’t give teachers enough opportunities to adapt to rising standards or to practice with the quality materials they use every day. The resulting gap in what teachers know and still need to learn is having serious consequences for students.

Knowledge and Beliefs
a teacher looks over a boy's work
Leading Educators Leading Educators
"It's really hard for those in the system to be experts at everything. And so to the degree that we can specialize and focus our energy on certain areas, then we can lean on partners to carry the water on some other areas of their expertise."
Kevin Polston, Superintendent at Kentwood Public Schools
Strengthening the System

Strong, actionable development can help teachers build on their strengths so students’ opportunities in the classroom continue to expand over time. That’s why we help partners scale professional learning systems, designed for them, that are radically improving instruction today. 

We guide district leaders to connect the structures, conditions, and leadership necessary for teachers to practice what they teach, together, so that every student learns what they need to succeed. When a school is a place where teachers, as well as students, learn, new levels of progress become possible.

Strengthening Conditions

Every community has inherent strengths to build upon for even greater impact. Years of partnerships and the research on professional learning have helped us distill those characteristics that make some school systems more successful than others at reaching strong teaching and leadership at scale. We call these resources the enabling conditions.

Enduring Conditions
a woman presents to a group of teachers seated around round tables

Evaluation Advisory Board

Through the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, we are advised by an esteemed group of experts in education evaluation.
headshot of dr. robert berry

Robert Berry

Professor of Mathematics, University of Virginia
Robert Q. Berry, III is the Samuel Braley Gray Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Virginia the Curry School of Education & Human Development with an appointment in Curriculum Inst...
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Miah Daughtery

Director of Content Advocacy and Design at NWEA
A focused and passionate educator, Miah has more than ten years' experience at the classroom, district, and state levels.
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Jessica Eadie

Chief Operating Officer at Student Achievement Partners
Jessica Eadie is the Chief Operating Officer at Student Achievement Partners.
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Heather Hill

Professor
Heather C. Hill studies policies and programs designed to improve mathematics teacher and teaching quality.
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Matthew Steinberg

Associate Professor
Dr. Matthew P. Steinberg is an Associate Professor of Education Policy in the College of Education and Human Development, a University Affiliate Faculty at the Schar School of Policy and Government, a...
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headshot of dr. robert berry

Robert Berry

Miah Daughtery

headshot of jessica eadie

Jessica Eadie

headshot of dr. heather hill

Heather Hill

headshot of Matthew Steinberg

Matthew Steinberg