Pulling Talented Leaders into Education

  • Education
  • 2002

“We need to change public education from a tired, government monopoly to a high-performing public enterprise. To do that you need better people in management and governance,” argues major education donor Eli Broad. With that goal in mind, Broad created two leadership-training programs: The Broad Residency in Urban Education, and the Broad Superintendents Academy. The residency picks 45 to 50 professionals with strong records outside education—often in finance, business, or law—and puts them through an intensive two-year program which prepares them to apply their high-level management and problem-solving skills to running schools. Most are placed in large public-school headquarters, the central offices of top charter-school networks, or city, state, or federal education departments. The Broad Academy is another highly selective leadership program that grooms each class of 10-15 individuals, over an 18-month period, to become superintendents of schools. These two efforts have launched a surge of talented reform-oriented leaders into public education. Among their several hundred alumni (about 90 percent of whom remain in education) are leaders like Chris Cerf (who became commissioner of education for the state of New Jersey), Chris Barbic (superintendent of Tennessee’s statewide Achievement School District), John Deasy (Los Angeles United School District superintendent), Charlotte superintendent Heath Morrison, New Schools for New Orleans former CEO Neerav Kingsland, and Alex Hernandez of the Charter School Growth Fund.