Our Funders

Support from philanthropic organizations has helped NISL become the leading provider of proven leadership development in the country and one of the lowest-cost, highest-impact methods of improving student learning at scale.

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Founded with Foundation Support

More than 15 years ago, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) was approached by representatives of several leading foundations asking if they would design a new leadership development program for school principals. These foundations had different education reform agendas, but they all recognized that none of them could achieve their objectives unless American schools had much more capable school leaders driving change.  The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Stupski Foundation, the New Schools Venture Fund, the Broad Foundation, and NCEE contributed more than $11 million dollars to research and develop what became the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program (EDP). The rigorously-researched EDP was designed to be delivered locally by State Education Agencies and districts. Through NISL’s train-the-trainer model, over 12,000 school leaders have graduated from the EDP. Multiple third-party studies have shown that students in schools led by NISL-trained leaders are outperforming their peers in literacy and math on high-stakes state tests. NISL is now a division of Criterion Education, a subsidiary of NCEE.  The initial investment by some of the nation’s leading foundations has paid off.

NISL Recommended by BRT for Foundation Support

BRT LogoBusiness leaders understand the critical impact of an educated workforce on their success and the success of the economy as a whole. In 2013, the Business Roundtable (BRT), the leading association of CEOs of major US companies, undertook a rigorous process to identify the best available education programs to improve U.S. education. The process selected programs based on the strength of their impact on student achievement, capacity for scalability, and alignment with rigorous college and career-ready standards. Nearly 100 organizations applied. NISL was selected as one of only five programs that the BRT would recommend as meeting their standards for philanthropic investment.

National and Local Foundations Leverage NISL to Impact Change

Today, private and corporate foundations, such as the Tracy Family Foundation and Xerox, are improving the quality of school leadership through NISL initiatives, and in doing so are improving instruction and student learning across entire districts and regions.

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