"The system isn’t broken, but rather it is doing exactly what it was designed to do by institutionalizing and perpetuating racial advantage and disadvantage, and unequal distributions of money and power."
“The experience also helped me expand my network and gave me access to professional development with other fellows that allowed me to think deeply about this work."
“When we, as an American society, realize that our collective triumph is contingent upon the individual victories of those most deprived among us, then will equity in education be realized. Everyone has a role in this work.”
"I think that education is a way out, if we dedicate the resources to the right policies, principles and practices. I want to be in government because I know we can drive those changes.'
"The question we need to be asking is how do we provide the right resources to families so that they feel they can support their children through their education."
“After participating in this fellowship, I am truly invigorated in this work and am determined to move forward in pursuing a role in policy that will impact students with disabilities. This shift in my vision came from my experience in the fellowship.”
"My fellowship allowed me to get my foot in the door, have a seat at the table, and obtain a space where my voice could truly be heard. And actions actually followed shortly thereafter.”
“I was able to explore my career options in the policy field, adjust my resume to a policy career, and gain a network of high-ranking education professionals through the panels.”
"I see what I do as part of a movement to shift the former mode of education reform by empowering those who work on the front lines and engaging diverse stakeholders in a way that transforms hearts and minds for the betterment of students."
"The perspective of a black, first-generation college graduate, and elected official has been under-represented in the rooms where policy decisions are made."
“I initially thought that the workshop was going to help me learn how to advocate for policy changes I wanted to see at my school. I was really surprised when we were coached through the organizing cycle.”
As a fellow working with Chiefs for Change, Julianne partners with 23 active school leaders from across the country, nine at the state level and 14 at the district level.
"I was able to meet people and create relationships that I’ve sustained beyond the workshop, and learned about the different paths and types of impact other leaders are making and ways that I could even potentially join them.”
"If no one speaks up, if no one writes the story, if no one asks the question, if no one testifies at the board meeting, or if no one confronts the legislator, students lose out and inequity wins.”
"My coach asked tough questions, pushed my thinking, and guided me to name my goals for students and for myself. And once she had me identify that vision, she helped me plan concrete steps to reach that goal.”
The biannual Policy Advisor Fellowship deepens LEE members' knowledge of local, state, and national policy by serving as a part-time policy advisor to a senior LEE member serving in a high-impact leadership role.
"People most directly impacted by educational inequity need to collectively work together to design and implement policy strategies and campaigns that can elevate the support of our most vulnerable communities."
"The Community Organizing Fellowship gave me a theoretical and technical framework for understanding organizing, and prepared me for my current role."
"The kids were always and always will be capable. But what do our policies and systems of support say about our expectations of those we deem responsible for their learning?"
"My vision for ending educational inequity, then, is to assist people of color and all underrepresented groups in claiming positions of power, for themselves and their communities."
An APIA elected official asked the room full of participants if they had ever envisioned an Asian-American president before, and no one raised their hands despite everyone in the room being APIA themselves.
I get to work as the bridge to the local level to learn more about the experiences of communities, and then share those experiences, challenges and successes with policymakers at the federal level.
It shouldn’t come down to just one teacher saving a child; we need all adults and systems working together to make sure that every kid gets what they need and deserve.
I fight for educational equity because I believe that black boys born in Alabama deserve a high quality education. They shouldn’t be hindered because they were born in the wrong zip code or because they have black skin.
"LPLF pushed me to reflect on the role I am playing, and the role I am not playing in ending oppression in my professional and personal life."
“The work I did during LPLF inspired me to take a closer look at my leadership values, how others view me as a leader, and, finally, to take the time to develop a leadership plan with short- and long-term goals. These were things I needed to reflect on as I interviewed for the role of a lifetime!”
"It wasn’t until I began mentoring a middle school student in Tucson that I recognized the difference that existed between her school and my school, simply because of the zip code. It infuriated me!"
"My vision for combating educational inequity involves activating and mobilizing traditionally under-served groups that are most affected by educational inequity."
Chicago native Kerease Epps knew growing up that the system she was a part of as a Chicago Public Schools student wasn’t one that gave all students a fair chance.
Put your earbuds in and join us as a fly on the wall for Irene’s reflections on her path from 6th-grade teacher to executive director of Friends of Choice in Urban Schools.
He is a leader on a mission to kill the school to prison pipeline with lessons to share on keeping calm under pressure.
Take note of Pedro’s advice for strengthening your systems-building muscles, how to balance quick wins with long term planning, and more!
Why mentors need not be older than you, and how to find the people who will sustain you personally and professionally.
As the youngest-ever chair of the Board of Education for the school system where he was once both a student and a teacher, stories of students and the relationships Courtney has with teachers, parents, and community members show up in every policy decision he makes.
I found the PLA to be both inspiring and relevant to my leadership development, and I’d highly recommend this program to other policy and advocacy leaders. Here’s why:
Our conversation with Kaya Henderson packs a punch, and not in the way you might assume if you know much about this former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools.
Ever meet a leader whose energy is infectious? Who you can just tell is going places? That’s Manny Lamarre.
Jaqueline Tucker is working to ensure that her students — and all of the students that come after them — will have passionate people advocating for them, from the classroom to the White House.
What sets Luzelma Canales apart, makes her an example not just for women in leadership, but an example for us all? Her community leaders her.
Her words inspired Laura to reflect on how she could influence systems that aren’t currently set up for student and community success.
Tai Dixon of the Children’s Defense on her favorite failures, her strategies for work-free weekends, and why she cautions against listening to too much advice from others — zing!
Jim Shelton — president of education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founding executive director of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and former deputy secretary of education for the U.S. Department of Education — talks with us about everything from who’s getting it right in education to how he plans his days.
Oakland Promise will engage nearly 200,000 children and families to help ensure that all students graduate high school with the expectations, skills, and resources to complete college and be successful in the career of their choice.
Marc Holley, evaluation unit director at the Walton Family Foundation, reflects on what attracts a foundation’s attention, the case for investing in teachers, and the importance of creating time to ask yourself the big questions in life.
Amy Wilkins — senior fellow for social justice at the College Board talks policy, patience and professional mistakes on Episode 6 of The #LeadersTable.
LEE Member Bruce Leal conducted policy research and worked to pass policy to ensure quality education for students who speak English as a second language in Hawaii.
Aixle Aman, chief of staff for LA Unified School District Board Member Ref Rodriguez, joins The #LeadersTablePodcast for a session on getting through the red tape to get things done in policy.
LEE member Stephanie Klupinski's job is to make sure that the dream of a charter school is actually happening in the classroom.
LEE member Acasia Wilson Feinberg is the executive director of [Educators 4 Excellence] in Chicago, where teachers are carrying out an advocacy campaign for more professional development policies.
Ryan Smith, executive director of The Education Trust-West, joins LEE for the launch of The Leaders' Table podcast. Ryan riffs with Jason Llorenz on advocacy in a very big state, shares advice for future executive directors, and talks about what it takes to make policy with communities, not for them.
Erika, a LEE member and elected State Board of Education member, is working diligently to ensure that the needs of all Texas students are at the forefront of the board’s conversations. Erika is able to lean in, bring perspective, and make real change for students in Texas.
LEE member Aura Cely (TFA San Antonio ’14) is a connector — of people, of resources, of ideas. She believes in the power of organizing to bridge gaps and bring neighbors together, and in making distinct resources to work in tandem and make an even greater impact.
Throughout Chike Aguh’s (New York, ’06) career in education, he has been confronted with policies that don’t serve students. He says “more and more I realized -- to get to the outcomes I want for kids and families, we've got to figure out how we get different policies, get different choices, and -- at times -- get different actors. Chike confronted this issue during his time in the LEE Public Leaders Fellowship (LPLF).