October 4, 2022
Chiefs for Change Welcomes Four New Board Members

Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education leaders, today announced four new members of its Board of Directors:

  • Mohammed Choudhury, State Superintendent of Schools, Maryland
  • Chad Gestson, Superintendent, Phoenix Union High School District, Arizona
  • LaTonya Goffney, Superintendent, Aldine Independent School District, Texas
  • Christina Grant, State Superintendent, District of Columbia

The chiefs join Chair Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as well as District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson in their service on the board.

“These extraordinary chiefs have deep expertise. They are leading critical work in their own systems and join our board at an especially important time in public education,” said Chair Martinez. “America’s students have been through a lot over these past couple of years, and everyone in our network is laser focused on helping children recover and ensuring they have what they need to succeed in the future. At Chiefs for Change, we are doing this on multiple fronts: through our newly enhanced technical assistance, our collective advocacy, and our robust leadership development initiatives. This is how we will help the nation build excellent school systems that serve all students well. I look forward to partnering with my colleagues on the board and know that together, with all of our members, we will seize this moment to drive real change.”

There are currently 54 members of Chiefs for Change, 40 of whom are actively serving as chiefs. Of that group, 34 lead districts and six lead state education departments. Seventy-two percent of members are leaders of color, and 54 percent are women.

Chiefs for Change is one of a dozen partners in the Coalition to Advance Future Student Success. The coalition was created to help ensure that the $190 billion in federal Covid relief aid for K-12 education is spent effectively and efficiently. To support projects aligned to the coalition’s 10-point framework, Chiefs for Change is dramatically expanding its technical assistance operations. A new internal team is working with the network’s chiefs in residence, who are former superintendents, and high-quality external partners to provide targeted technical assistance to school districts and state education departments. The team engages with system leaders and others to understand a system’s needs and examine relevant issues. Based on that information, the technical assistance team then helps the system develop and implement programs, evaluate their impact, and scale those that are shown to make a difference.

Through this technical assistance work, Chiefs for Change also produces toolkits and resources that any system can use to learn about promising ways to address common problems. The resources are free and publicly available. Materials produced to date include:

  • A guidebook for creating high-dosage tutoring programs in partnership with community organizations.
  • Tools to help states and districts address and meet students’ wellbeing needs.
  • Resources, here and here, that outline promising practices for retaining and attracting district mental health support staff.
  • Resources, here and here, that describe promising practices for creating strong partnerships with community mental health providers.
  • A brief to help systems tell the story of how federal pandemic recovery funds are supporting students.
  • A resource that explains how Registered Apprenticeship programs can help to address a teacher shortage.
  • A guidebook to help systems implement large-scale initiatives.
  • A report outlining recommendations for effective and efficient procurement operations.

These resources are part of the curriculum for the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program that prepares talented, diverse emerging leaders to become superintendents.

The Chiefs for Change Board of Directors is composed of experienced K-12 leaders who work with the full membership to identify priorities and set the strategic direction for the organization. To read the network’s core beliefs, see here.