Press Releases

Chicago Schools Chief Arne Duncan and National Business Leaders Announce Expansion of Drive to Recruit and Train Outstanding Public School Principals in Chicago
April 30, 2002

Chicago, IL
- Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, The Broad Foundation Founder Eli Broad, New Schools Venture Fund President Kim Smith and New Leaders for New Schools CEO Jon Schnur announced a $1.4 million investment to help make Chicago the flagship program of a national effort to recruit and train outstanding new urban school principals.

"This represents an important step in helping to educate all of Chicago's children," said Arne Duncan, CEO of Chicago Public Schools. "We intend to use this support to help recruit and train dozens of outstanding future principals over the next few years to help start new schools and help replace veteran principals expected to retire."

"I applaud New Leaders for New School's bold effort to attract and prepare a new generation of outstanding school leaders," said Eli Broad, Founder of The Broad Foundation. "The new principals in this program will make a dramatic difference in the lives and learning of Chicago's public school children."

Chicago Public Schools is partnering with New Leaders for New Schools to recruit and train outstanding new principals. Seven participants are currently participating in the pilot program in Chicago. The program is expected to grow to 20 participants next year in Chicago alone and likely to 20-30 the following year in Chicago. This expansion will make Chicago the largest program and flagship in this effort to create a national urban principals' corps. 39% of today's principals in Chicago are already eligible to retire.

The Broad Foundation announced a $400,000 challenge grant - matching dollar for dollar local philanthropic funding to support fellowships for these future principals. For every $20,000 raised locally, The Broad Foundation will provide a $20,000 match to ensure full sponsorship of each $40,000 fellowship. Chicago-based corporate leaders David Weinberg, former Chairman of Fel-Pro; Charles A. Lewis, Merrill Lynch Vice Chair of Investment Banking; Ariel Capital Management and its President Mellody Hobson; and Rod Dammeyer, President of CAC, LLC and Diane Dammeyer announced the first local contributions to trigger the release of The Broad Foundation grant. These grants build on previous commitments of $600,000 from the Chicago-based Chicago Public Education Fund.

The New Schools Venture Fund also announced a $1 million grant to New Leaders for New Schools. This funding will help support the design and delivery of the Summer Institute training for New Leaders Fellows from Chicago, New York, and California. It will also provide important start-up support for the New Leaders initiative in Chicago - including stipends for outstanding veteran Chicago principals who will mentor the New Leaders Fellows.

New Schools Venture Fund Co-founder and venture capitalist, John Doerr said, "We are happy to support Arne Duncan and Chicago's education and business leadership in their important efforts to create new public schools and improve existing schools. The U.S. needs outstanding leaders for schools. Chicago is ahead of the pack in recognizing this, and acting on it through their pioneering partnership with New Leaders for New Schools."

The announcement was made at a roundtable discussion involving Duncan, CPS Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins, representatives from The Broad Foundation and New Schools Venture Fund, officials from New Leaders for New Schools, David Weinberg, and other local corporate and philanthropic leaders.

Duncan and the philanthropic leaders called on Chicago's business community to respond to this challenge grant and help address the looming shortage of principals for Chicago's schools.

Long-term plans for New Leaders for New Schools include the creation of a 2,000 person national urban principals' corps fostering high levels of academic achievement for one million children annually within ten years. This year, New Leaders will support more than 50 outstanding current and future principals in California, Chicago, New Jersey, and New York City.

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New Leaders for New Schools is a national non-profit organization that fosters high levels of academic achievement for every child by attracting, preparing and supporting the next generation of outstanding school leaders for our nation's urban public schools. New Leaders for New Schools currently has programs in New York, Chicago and California. Next year, New Leaders will make Chicago the largest program and flagship of this national initiative.

The Broad Foundation is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneurial grant-making organization, established in 1999 by Eli and Edythe Broad. The Foundation was started with an initial investment of $100 million that was recently increased by the Broad family to $400 million. The Foundation's mission is to dramatically improve K-12 urban public education through better governance, management and labor relations.

The Chicago Public Education Fund is a results-oriented foundation created to increase community investment and act as a catalyst in improving Chicago's schools.

New Schools Venture Fund is a non-profit venture philanthropy firm dedicated to improving public K-12 education by supporting a growing community of education entrepreneurs.