Lindsay Kruse ’06 is speaking on a panel as part of the Social Enterprise Conference on Oct. 24, 2008. The panel will discuss ways to lead and implement change in K-12 education, with a focus on improving teacher quality.

There is no more urgent or important work than providing children from low-income communities the same high quality education that their affluent peers receive. There is no more effective means to accomplish this end than by creating schools of the highest quality. Uncommon Schools (Uncommon) was founded to create more “uncommon” schools — uncommonly good, extraordinary, autonomous and distinctive.

We aim to serve 11,500 students. Recognizing that leveraging human capital in this work is critical, we must do the following in order to achieve our goal:

  • Ensure that teaching is seen as a challenging profession that provides ongoing growth and development
  • Recruit the highest quality teachers
  • Develop purposeful and strategic efforts to retain teachers and leaders
  • Recruit and develop tenacious school leaders who drive student achievement
  • Foster strong management support and processes
  • Define clear performance feedback to align the goals of student achievement with teacher performance
  • Ensure that our workforce is diverse and represents the needs of the students we serve

We are working to recruit diverse, high-quality teachers and to ensure that our teachers receive regular feedback as well as opportunities to stretch and develop professionally. We have created a dual-leader model to allow instructional leaders to focus on the core of student achievement while operations leaders manage all non-instructional functions. We have created a yearlong fellowship program that includes a residency within one of our schools and a personalized development plan.

Uncommon has built — and continues to build — a diverse home office staff of educators, MBAs (including six CBS alums!) and other driven professionals to ensure that our organization is poised to address these challenges in a systematic, sustainable way. Uncommon provides a great opportunity for MBAs than to have a deep and lasting impact on this, the greatest civil rights issue of our time. MBAs are bringing their skills to bear across all aspects of the education world. At our organization, we have MBAs working as managing directors, as school-based operations leaders, and from the home office in finance, leadership development, operations, and real estate.

Should you be interested in exploring opportunities at Uncommon, feel free to contact us.

Photo credit: Uncommon Schools