Education nonprofit opens New Orleans office

An Oakland, Calif., education nonprofit organization with a focus on recruiting and training management-level educators recently announced the opening of an office in New Orleans.

Education Pioneers plans on training 80 new education leaders, managers and analysts by 2015, starting with a group of 15 new recruits in June.

The group was founded in 2003 and has offices in seven other cities.

John Troy, regional director for Education Pioneers, said that the leaders outside the classroom “support the great work the teachers do each and every day.”

Troy called public education a “major ecosystem complex” and said the positions for which candidates are recruited nationally range from finance directors and curriculum designers to people opening new charter schools and others working to ensure that state and national-level policies are working on a local level.

Once recruited, the fellows spend 10-week, 10-month or yearlong residencies working at partner organizations while receiving short- and long-term professional development training.

The organizations participating in the program for 2013 include the Orleans Parish School Board, Recovery School District, Teach for America, Algiers Charter School Association, Arise Academy, Bricolage Academy, Choice Foundation, Crescent City Schools, FirstLine Schools, Kickboard, Leading Educators and 4.0 Schools.

Education Pioneers’ local funders include The Booth-Bricker Fund and New Schools for New Orleans.

Troy said that the recruits bring an average of about five years of work experience with them, and 70 percent of the fellows continue to work full time in the field of education.

The managers and leaders act as an “invisible lever behind the scenes,” Troy said, with the goal of making education “the best led and managed sector in the U.S.”

Troy said the entrance into the highly decentralized New Orleans landscape is an exciting one, building on “early successes with more work to be done.”

The nonprofit will enable school leaders with proven successes the ability to operate on a larger scale and serve more students, he said.

“We are excited to partner with Education Pioneers as they build the New Orleans talent pipeline in hard to fill positions. This will be an important contribution to the work of creating great schools for all children in the city,” Jay Altman, CEO of FirstLine Schools, said in a news release.