WE ARE THE
THE LEARNING COLLECTIVE
The Learning Collective provides strategic planning and evaluation services for charter schools, charter management organizations, charter authorizers, traditional public schools, school districts, state departments of education and state boards of education.
Launched in 2003 and working in over 10 states, The Learning Collective’s clients past and present include Academy of the City, Beginning with Children Foundation, Bright Star Schools, CCCS independent study schools, Central Michigan University, Charter School of Inquiry, Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Innovation and Incubation, Class Measures, College Board, Discovery Charter School, 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, NACSA, National Charter Schools Institute, Nevada Public Charter School Authority, New Jersey Department of Education, New Orleans Public Schools, New York State Education Department, Oakland Unified School District, Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, Palm Lane Elementary Charter School, Parent Revolution, Pomona Unified School District, PUC, Scholarship Prep, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, SchoolWorks, The TASA Group, Tennessee State Board of Education, Texas Legislative Budget Board, Tiger Woods Learning Center, UCLA, Voices Academies, Washington State Charter School Commission, WISH Secondary and others.
Adam is the CEO and Founder of The Learning Collective. Over the past 19 years, Adam has assessed over 250 current, and 100 proposed, charter schools nationally (California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Washington), including lead writer for charter renewal inspection visits, charged with evaluating the school and writing the report that is submitted to authorizers. During every school visit, Adam evaluates the effectiveness of charter schools on a wide range of issues. The range of issues includes schools’ use of assessment data, curricular development and alignment with the Common Core, instructional leadership and staff evaluations, classroom instruction, professional development, board governance, parental involvement and school finances. Adam has led teams of reviewers of charter school applications, submitting the finalized application reviews to boards of education. Adam worked with the Tennessee State Board of Education to lead its strategic planning and goal-setting process AND is currently leading the New Orleans Public Schools charter application evaluation process. Adam has also worked with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and other organizations on evaluation and strategic planning projects regarding Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma and Ohio authorizers. Previously, Adam was the Director of Global Digital Strategy for Ashoka’s Youth Venture, which helps teams of youth internationally launch socially responsible businesses and organizations. Prior to Ashoka, Adam was the Executive Director and Founder (and currently Board Member Emeritus) of icouldbe.org, the non-profit Internet-based career mentoring program that has served over 25,000 teens and e-mentors nationwide. Before establishing icouldbe.org, Adam was a Regional Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education. Adam began his career in education as a Spanish bilingual public school teacher in Los Angeles. Adam received a B.A. from Vassar College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. A frequent speaker at conferences, Adam has also won numerous awards including Cause Marketing Silver Halo Award for Best Use of Social Media and International Computerworld Magazine Honors Finalist Award. Adam and his family are based in Los Angeles.
Joshua is a Data Scientist specializing in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Data Pipelines and Infrastructure. Joshua taught high school mathematics in South Los Angeles for the better part of a decade. As Department Chair of Green Dot Public Schools’ Animo Justice, Joshua built an Algebra I program targeted at English Language Learners. Following this, he taught graduate students earning their Masters of Education at UCLA. In 2012, Joshua returned to school to study computational mathematics and computer science. Since completing his second course of study, Joshua has developed geo-spatial predictive models for Inrix, written Deep Learning Image Recognition curriculum for Udacity, and designed infrastructure for Udacity’s Self-Driving Car Nanodegree. In 2017, he returned to the classroom as the Data Science Immersive instructor at General Assembly in Los Angeles. At General Assembly, he is currently part of an online-inclass hybrid program, teaching graduate-level Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence curriculum simultaneously to students on multiple campuses across the West Coast. In 2017, Apress published his first book, Docker for Data Science, on using the open-source technology Docker to build scalable data pipelines. He is a highly-skilled Python programmer and SQL Database Administrator, but is also able to explain the complex work of the data scientist to the layperson and to train stakeholders in the use of complex sys
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.
FROM THE BLOG
Time for Charter Schools’ Strategic Planning
The academic aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect students across the country. While the pandemic led to many students’ unfinished learning, it also
2022 TLC Highlights
From white papers on post-pandemic best practices to reviews of university teacher training programs to evaluations of schools’ social emotional learning programs, The Learning Collective
University Supported Guide for 2022-23 School Planning
The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University (CMU) teamed with The Learning Collective and Venn Education (Venn) to examine the impacts, changes and
Large-Scale Charter Renewal Visits
In Fall 2022, Chicago Public Schools engaged The Learning Collective to lead the in-person renewal visits, and report writing on those visits, of 20 of its
Half-Day Strategic Planning Most Valuable
Through the California Department of Education’s Public Charter Schools Grant Program, The Learning Collective has conducted external reviews of 80 charter schools, 16 of which
Strategic School Turnaround
In a time where change is the only thing education can count on, schools are challenged to focus on high quality learning and teaching, some
2021 TLC Highlights
From leadership coaching to acting as an expert witness, The Learning Collective continued to expand its services and partnerships in seven states in 2021.
Blended & Remote Learning Since 2000
The founder of The Learning Collective is also the founder of ICouldBe, which has been providing blended and remote learning services to schools nationally for
TLC Leads 5-Year Goal Setting for all Tennessee Public Schools
During the 2019-20 academic year, The Learning Collective worked with the Tennessee State Board of Education to lead its board and staff members in a strategic planning
Lessons Learned from New Orleans New School Application Evaluations
For the second consecutive year, The Learning Collective is conducting the third-party evaluations of all applications for new schools submitted to New Orleans Public Schools
2020 TLC Highlights
Despite, and in some respects because of, the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a very busy year for The Learning Collective. Our diverse clients and projects
“Remote” Strategic Planning with CSI
As the first engagement of our ongoing work with Charter School of Inquiry (CSI) of Rochester NY, The Learning Collective partnered with CSI to create
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