Diverse Leaders


Investing in talent has long been a part of the NewSchools strategy. One of the biggest talent challenges in education today is diversifying the pool of teachers and leaders to better reflect and serve public school students.

Our goal is for the PreK-12 education workforce to mirror the racial demographics of U.S. students.

Today’s young people are the most diverse in our nation’s history. Forty percent of PreK-12 students are Black and Latino; more than half identify as a person of color. If we are going to reimagine learning so it works better for every student, we need diverse teachers and education leaders who understand the backgrounds and life experiences of the students they serve.

To support this work, NewSchools invests in diverse teachers and leaders. The benefits of diverse educators are well documented, but Black and Latino teachers and leaders are underrepresented in the education sector when compared to the percentage of Black and Latino students in our nation’s schools. If no action is taken, this gap will grow as the number of children of color in the American public school system continues to climb.

NewSchools’ Diverse Leaders strategy aims to close the diversity gap by recruiting, retaining, and supporting Black and Latino leaders in education. Our goal is for  teachers and education leaders to more closely mirror the PreK-12 student population. We work toward this goal by:

  1. Investing in innovators with bold ideas to diversify education leadership.
  2. Influencing education entrepreneurs, funders and partners to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.

Reinforcing our commitment to diversity at NewSchools to ensure we are well equipped to deliver on our goals. Learn more about our journey.

Impact and Strategy

Invested in 54 ventures

Funding catalyzed by our ventures

Leaders supported, 79% are Black or Latino

Students impacted

The Diverse Leaders strategy is based on robust research from within and outside the education sector that suggests diversifying education leadership and the U.S. teaching force will improve student outcomes, give rise to more innovative and relevant ideas, sustain change over time and strengthen organizations.

Better Student Outcomes

Greater teacher diversity within a school results in higher expectations, lower discipline referral rates, and better academic results for all students. Research studies show the positive impact of same-race teachers on student outcomes.

More Innovative and Relevant Ideas

The Center for Talent Innovation found that organizations with diverse leadership are 72 percent more likely to challenge the status quo and 50 percent more likely to take risks. In addition, data suggest education teams who are representative of students’ diverse racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds, have a deeper understanding of student needs, increasing their ability to create relevant solutions.

More Sustainable Change

A monograph by United Negro College Fund captures a common sentiment among communities of color that education reform has been imposed upon them. The authors recommend education organizations partner with local leaders to activate entire communities to become more involved in education advocacy, spurring long-lasting change that benefits all children in the community. Their research supports our belief that authentic community partnership with local leaders is necessary to achieve sustainable change.

Stronger Organizations

A McKinsey report found that diverse organizations outperform homogeneous ones, have higher employee satisfaction and enjoy improved employee collaboration and loyalty. Along these lines, “Unrealized Impact,” a report funded by and produced in partnership with NewSchools, showed education staff members who perceive their workplaces as diverse, equitable and inclusive are three times more likely to recommend their organizations to a friend. They also report higher satisfaction rates and higher intent to stay.

Despite the benefits of diversity, there is a large diversity gap in education. Leaders of color are underrepresented in education as compared to students of color in our nation’s schools, especially Black and Latino leaders. If nothing changes, this gap will grow as the number of children of color in our public school system continues to climb.

Diverse Leaders Ventures

NewSchools supports the advancement of Black and Latino educators and leaders in education so they more closely mirror the demographics of students served in U.S. PreK-12 schools. Explore our current and past ventures.

Featured Resources