State and district chiefs have enormous influence over what America’s 50 million public school students learn, how schools function, and how they attract, support, and keep strong teachers and principals. Few pathways exist to help identify and prepare candidates for state and district chief roles, let alone programs specifically targeted at bringing diversity into the seat. Because there’s so little practical preparation, too many women leaders and leaders of color are isolated, lacking the peers and resources they need to succeed in the role.
One of our most critical efforts is Future Chiefs, a leadership development program that identifies talented, diverse leaders and provides them with the experiences and preparation they will need to become savvy, strong district and state chiefs right from the start. To address the need for more diversity at the top, we have made a commitment to preparing cohorts of Future Chiefs that are bipartisan and aim to be at least 75 percent leaders of color and 50 percent women.