Pearson Foundation invests $3 million to expand New Leaders for New Schools' efforts to transform urban schools

Donation to fund school reforms and research focused on shrinking the achievement gap.

New York (PRWEB) January 6, 2010 -- The Pearson Foundation announced today a donation of $3 million over the next three years to support New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit organization devoted to developing the next generation of school leaders for urban public schools. The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with non-profit, civic and business organizations to provide financial, organizational and publishing assistance.

New Leaders for New Schools' mission is to ensure high academic achievement for every student by attracting and preparing outstanding leaders and supporting the performance of the urban public schools they lead. A portion of Pearson's investment will fund fifteen principals in training over three years to focus on secondary education. The organizations chose this focus because of the special challenges in leading high schools and an increased emphasis by New Leaders for New Schools on developing its high school leaders. These Pearson Fellows, individuals chosen by New Leaders for New Schools, will participate in leadership development programs in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Pearson Fellows will work to improve student achievement and educator leadership, building off of New Leaders' current work in their districts.

"New Leaders for New Schools has been a vital partner in helping New York City address the challenges of secondary school reform, and we look forward to continuing to work together successfully," said Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. "New Leaders' approach in recruiting, training, and supporting principals has helped move us closer to our goal of having a highly-effective leader in every school."

In addition to the Fellows, Pearson support will also be provided for New Leaders for New Schools' regional and national summits to further community building and professional practice, research initiatives on the nonprofit's Urban Excellence Framework™, and the organization's school design practices and professional development opportunities.

"New Leaders for New Schools is excited to collaborate with Pearson on new approaches to our work. We're grateful for the significant support and looking forward to the groundbreaking partnership that is being established here," said Jon Schnur, CEO and Co-Founder of New Leaders for New Schools.

Marjorie Scardino, Pearson's CEO, said, "New Leaders for New Schools has broken through the gloom of the urban schools where they've worked. They've brought a more sunny and successful atmosphere by starting at the top, and giving those in charge more tools to work with, including the tools of inspiration. This is life-changing for the students affected, and we at Pearson feel privileged to work with them to make sure it spreads, and helps lift up the students who deserve better schools than they now have and leaders who deserve a chance to help make that happen."

New Leaders for New Schools was founded in 2000 and works with the districts of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Chicago, Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, Memphis, Milwaukee, Newark, New Orleans and Oakland, in addition to the districts where Pearson Fellows will be located. Currently, there are more than 640 New Leaders working in U.S. schools. Details about NLNS can be found at the organization's Web site, http://www.nlns.org/Index.jsp.

About New Leaders for New Schools

New Leaders for New Schools mission ensures high academic achievement for every student by attracting and preparing outstanding leaders and supporting the performance of the urban public schools they lead, at scale. It has partnerships in Baltimore, California's Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Jefferson Parish, Memphis, Milwaukee, Newark, New Orleans, New York City, Prince George's County (MD), and Washington, DC. Since 2000, New Leaders has selected and trained over 640 outstanding leaders from over 10,000 applicants. New Leaders for New Schools has been recognized for the last 5 years as the highest rated social enterprise and nonprofit in the nation by Fast Company magazine, and was the only nonprofit partnership chosen as Harvard University's 2009 Innovations in American Government Award winner. More information can be found at www.nlns.org.

About Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.