System Leaders

Helping systems leaders cultivate the conditions to innovate, think bigger and achieve more on behalf of students.

Education First partners with state and local education agency leaders in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our team members live across 24 states and bring deep credibility in their home communities coupled with national connections and content expertise. We believe that system leaders need forward-thinking strategies rooted in coherence, equity and excellence to eliminate gaps and accelerate learning for students who are farthest from opportunity. Our recent partnerships with system leaders include guiding the strategic adoption and implementation of evidence-based mathematics and literacy teaching; developing statewide teacher apprenticeship programs to increase educator workforce diversity and effectiveness; designing through-year assessment systems to support both learning and accountability; coaching cabinet executives in a state agency; and facilitating school systems to implement more transformative educator recruitment and retention programs.

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Recent clients

Chief Talent Officer Community of Practice

We manage a community of practice for district Chief Talent Officers from urban school systems collectively educating more than 2.5 million students: Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Oakland, Rochester, Syracuse, Sacramento and San Francisco. These talent leaders come together to share ideas and resources, troubleshoot problems of practice and build connections.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

We facilitate a community of practice on behalf of the state to support 23 of 24 Maryland Leads grantee LEAs to develop literacy plans and shift curriculum, instruction and professional development to align with the science of reading.

San Bernadino County Superintendent of Schools

We are partnering with San Bernardino County Schools to support a three-year, integrated systems initiative to improve student behavioral health and well-being through the coordinated implementation of California’s Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) and the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI).

Texas Education Agency (TEA)

As a TEA-approved provider in the Resilient Schools Support Program, we provide 1:1 coaching to multiple Texas school systems to build their capacity for academic recovery from COVID, implement HQIM and improve the quality of professional learning systems and structures. Education First has been advising Longview ISD’s central office administrators, principals, and academic deans to increase the implementation of their ELA curriculum. As a result, during SY22–23, teacher use of the ELA HQIM went from almost zero use in observed classrooms to over 50 percent of observed classrooms teaching a high-quality lesson using the adopted materials.

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