The Pahara Institute, a newly-formed organization “focused on supporting the sustainability, diversity, and quality of leadership for education reform,” has announced a new group of education fellows who will spend two years training in leadership effectiveness.
The Pahara-Aspen Fellows—formerly known as the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellows—include Robert Avossa, the superintendent of the 95,000-student Fulton County, Ga. school system (and one of the leaders of a new consortium of suburban districts); Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, and De’Shawn Wright, the deputy mayor for education in the District of Columbia. The full list of fellows can be found here.
The Pahara Institute is a new entity, led by Kim Smith, the former chief executive officer of Bellwether Education Partners. (My colleague Alyson Klein wrote recently about other changes coming to Bellwether.)
Though these fellows are already leaders in their fields, the mix of charter leaders, traditional district leaders and government officials training side-by-side reminds me of some recent pieces in Education Week about the deliberate attempts organizations have made to cross traditional education boundaries. For example, KIPP has recently opened its leadership training model to executives from traditional districts. Also, Houston and Denver schools are both working to import what they consider to be best charter school practices into their regular public schools.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.