For the past few months, The Learning Collective has been actively participating on the National Coordinating Committee to create the Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools (CPICS). CPICS is focused on shaping practices, informing policies and increasing collaboration of independent charter schools across the country!
the Learning Collective
The Learning Collective provides strategic planning and evaluation – including school quality reviews and assessments of new school applications – for charter schools, charter management organizations, charter authorizers, traditional public schools and school districts.
Launched in 2003 and working in over 10 states, The Learning Collective’s clients past and present include Academy of the City, Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Innovation, Citizens of the World Charter Schools, Class Measures, College Board, Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Indiana Charter School Board, Inglewood Unified School District, Jefferson Parrish Public School System, Ketchum, Kingsmead College, LA’s Promise, Nevada Public Charter School Authority, New Jersey Department of Education, New York State Education Department, Parent Revolution, Pomona Unified School District, PUC Schools, SchoolWorks, Tiger Woods Learning Center, UCLA, Voices Academies, Washington State Charter School Commission, WISH Secondary and others.
Hillary Johnson, EdD
Dr. Hillary Johnson is a committed educator who began her career in education over 20 years ago via Teach For America as a Spanish-bilingual and Reading Recovery teacher. Most recently, Hillary served as the Chief Academic Officer/Chief Learning Officer for Citizens of the World Charter Schools, a national network of intentionally diverse charter schools. As the founding CAO, she crafted a compelling and inspiring academic vision while strengthening the network’s capacity for organizational learning. Following the start-up phase, she founded the Chief Learning Officer role, with a focus on teaching for understanding, social emotional learning and cultivation of a learning organization. Hillary has assessed over 65 current and proposed schools nationally (in California, Louisiana, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania), including participating on many SUNY school visit renewal teams. She has evaluated the effectiveness of schools on issues including schools’ use of assessment data, curricular development and alignment, instructional leadership, classroom instruction, professional development, governance and parental involvement. Hillary earned her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a member of its Urban Superintendents Program. Hillary is based in Los Angeles.
Amber Leage, M.Ed,. provides strategic planning, program development, and writing services to schools throughout the United States and abroad. She has been an educator for 14 years, serving in various roles including consultant, school leader, IB coordinator, school evaluator, literacy specialist, and teacher. She has served as an educator and instructional leader in inner-city public, charter, bilingual, private, and international schools. Her work includes leading professional development, school reviews, and facilitating school improvement in South America, Central America, and the Middle East. As a school leader her work led to three schools adopting the International Baccalaureate model, establishing a university partnership, and consulted schools in creating school improvement plans, adopting of a new mission, establishing data-informed instructional programs, project-based learning, Reader and Writer’s workshops and the Common Core. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She has earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, and holds both a teaching credential and administrative credential. Amber is based in Oakland, CA.
Strategic Planning for Coalition of Independent Charter SchoolsCharter Schools, Strategic Planning
Evaluating Authorizers in OhioCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Strategic Planning & Evaluation with AoCCharter Schools, Evaluation, Strategic Planning
School Turnaround South L.A.Charter Schools, School Management, Strategic Planning
Application Evaluation in LouisianaCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Accord Conference PresentationCharter Schools
Assessment Protocols for Creativity CurriculaBlended Learning, Evaluation, Online Community, Online Learning
PCSGP External ReviewsCharter Schools, Evaluation, School Management, Strategic Planning
TLC’s Client Since 2003Charter Authorizers, Evaluation, School Management
Leading Review Teams in New JerseyCharter Authorizers, Evaluation, School Management
Evaluating Authorizers in MinnesotaCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Moving the Needle in Alliance SchoolsBlended Learning, Charter Schools, Evaluation, School Management
Improving Schools in MichiganBlended Learning, Charter Authorizers, Evaluation, School Management
Teacher Evaluation Systems in InglewoodEvaluation, School Management, Strategic Planning
TLC Work in WashingtonBlended Learning, Charter Authorizers, Evaluation
Devising Innovative Solutions for Chicago Public SchoolsBlended Learning, Charter Schools, School Management
UCLA Tarjan CenterBlended Learning, Online Community, Online Learning
College Board Hires TLCBlended Learning
Girl Scouts of USA hire TLCBlended Learning
TLC Advising 1st Parent Trigger in CountryCharter Schools, School Management
ePortfolios For UCLA Teacher Education ProgramBlended Learning, ePortfolios, Online Community
Indiana and Nevada Hire TLCBlended Learning, Charter Authorizers, Charter Schools
iPads & Personalized Learning in South AfricaBlended Learning
Blended Learning Evaluation ToolBlended Learning, Evaluation
Private School Blended Learning ProgramBlended Learning
Data Management & AnalysisBig Data
From the Blog
The Learning Collective recently evaluated four charter homeschool / independent study schools. It was interesting and illuminating work. The student body of homeschools varies greatly – from affluent suburban kids to world-class athletes to young people in and out of incarceration.
Here is some of what we at The Learning Collective learned …
TLC attended the nation’s first conference exclusively for independently run (i.e. not managed by a Charter Management Organization or Education Management Organization) charter schools – the 2017 Independent Charter School Symposium. It was also a pleasure to moderate the “Charter Authorization: Road to Greatness or Mediocrity?” on the role of authorizers in the charter school sector and whether authorizers are stifling innovation.
Here are some lessons learned, and ideas generated by, the thoughtful conversations and attendees:
Adam Aberman of The Learning Collective is the moderator of the panel: “Charter Authorization: Road to Greatness or Mediocrity?” This is part of the inaugural 2017 Independent Charter School Symposium.
Charter school authorizers are increasingly partnering with consultants. We see this in our ongoing and renewed partnerships with these and other charter authorizers: Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, Washington State Charter School Commission, New Jersey Department of Education and Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.
Through the California Department of Education’s Public Charter Schools Grant Program, The Learning Collective has conducted external reviews of 27 charter schools with another 5 reviews planned for Fall 2017. Going beyond the requirements by the California Department of Education, we have added a half-day strategic planning session which has proven to be invaluable to the schools. Watch these video testimonials from principals.
The Learning Collective has partnered with Academy of the City on a number of projects over the past four years from charter renewal application assistance to school quality reviews. It is the strategic planning process we developed and facilitated, as well as the final product, of which we are the most proud.
Singularity University was started by some of Silicon Valley’s top companies – Google, Cisco and others – to teach individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments how to leverage the newest technologies to benefit mankind. Singularity published this article, written by Nathaniel Calhoun and based on an interview with Adam Aberman (both Members of The Learning Collective), on the failure of technology in public schools to build students’ critical thinking skills.
Before Adam Aberman founded The Learning Collective, he launched and ran ICouldBe.org, an e-mentoring, career development, and college guidance system for low-income teens. Teens select their e-mentors, from around the country, with whom to work on 100% web-based projects over the course of an academic year. ICouldBe.org has served about 20,000 teens with about 10,000 online volunteers.
Learn more in a Vassar Quarterly article featuring Adam and his work.
The Learning Collective has noticed that in these and other blended learning schools there are two areas that tend to get left behind: writing and discourse.
I have had the pleasure of working with, and learning from, Adam Aberman during three charter school application evaluation cycles. Two of the most helpful qualities that Adam brings to our process are his keen organizational skills and his substantial experience in K-12 education. Adam has not only proven himself to be adept at leading our charter school application review teams; he exudes a manner of positive professionalism that encourages every individual involved in the process.
Allie Cobb, Office of Charter and Renaissance Schools, New Jersey Department of Education
We highly recommend The Learning Collective as a consultant/facilitator for any charter school that is undertaking a long term strategic plan ... The process that Adam developed in close consultation with the administration and board resulted in an excellent plan ... Adam was a careful, intelligent, responsive and thoughtful guide throughout the process ... His vast knowledge of charter schools and pedagogy was invaluable, as were his organizational skills which kept everyone on track and the plan on time.
Nancy Sills, Board Chair, Academy of the City
Wonderful presenter ... Excellent job! ... Joquetta was very well prepared … Informative and engaging ... Joquetta provided wonderful resources for my upcoming projects ... Joquetta provided a thorough and well-defined immersion into the iPad ... The presentation was worthwhile and fun. I learned so many practical ideas ... She leaves you energized, empowered, enabled, and ready to take steps the ‘Digital Diva’ way. What a thriller!!! ... I enjoyed Joquetta’s presentation and am looking forward to using the resources presented ... She’s like an instructional technology coach! ... Joquetta is a knowledge broker! ... Her passion is contagious.
Excerpts from feedback forms, various school and district trainings delivered by Joquetta Johnson, former TLC Member
Adam knows how to ask the right questions, focus a conversation, and listen carefully. He helped us analyze our school’s needs in terms of online and blended learning in just one week. The process was efficient, and we could not have accomplished all that we did without his help.
Winnie Needham, Assistant Head of School, Berkeley Hall School
The Learning Collective is creative, forward thinking, and can help you craft innovative digital strategies to meet your needs. The Learning Collective provided an Information Technology Assessment for our virtual learning center. The Learning Collective has put us in a position to be an industry leader, by helping us pioneer innovative strategies to achieve public good. Adam and the rest of The Learning Collective consultants are a pleasure to work with: intelligent, responsive, and warm. I wholeheartedly recommend The Learning Collective.
Karen Levanthal, Project Director, Tarjan Center at UCLA
Joshua is an open-minded and forward thinking leader, a sophisticated thinker, and a tireless worker. He is approachable and always willing to listen to opinions that differ from his own and to new ideas. He is extremely well organized which, combined with his energy and dedication, makes him very effective.
Sarah VanWagenen, Math Teacher, Green Dot Public Schools