In all of The Learning Collective’s strategic planning engagements, we incorporate core elements. In our work with Florida and Oklahoma authorizers – as well as our collaborations with individual schools such as Discovery Charter School, Beginning with Children and Academy of the City – we take these five steps:
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, Bright Star Schools, CCCS independent study schools, Central Michigan University, Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York, Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Innovation, 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, NACSA, Nevada Public Charter School Authority, New Jersey Department of Education, New York State Education Department, Oakland Unified School District, Parent Revolution, Pomona Unified School District, PUC, Scholarship Prep, SchoolWorks, Tiger Woods Learning Center, UCLA, Voices Academies, Washington State Charter School Commission, WISH Secondary and others.
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.
New Oversight Processes, Renewal Visits and Application Reviews – NYSED CSOCharter Schools, Evaluation, Strategic Planning
SUNY Charter Schools Institute – TLC’s Client Since 2003Charter Authorizers, Evaluation, School Management
Evaluating Authorizers in OhioCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Oklahoma Authorizer Strategic PlanningCharter Authorizers, Strategic Planning
Oakland CSO School EvaluationsCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
TLC Work in WashingtonBlended Learning, Charter Authorizers, Evaluation
Indiana New School Application ReviewsCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Idaho Authorizer EvaluationCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Michigan New School Application ReviewsCharter Authorizers, Evaluation
Board Strategic Planning RetreatCharter Schools, Strategic Planning
New School Application Reviews and Innovative Solutions in ChicagoBlended Learning, Charter Authorizers, Charter Schools, Evaluation, School Management, Strategic Planning
Florida Authorizer Strategic PlanningCharter Authorizers, Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning for Coalition of Independent Charter SchoolsCharter Schools, Strategic Planning
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
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
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
In an attempt to improve charter school authorizing nationally, The Learning Collective has been increasingly partnering with national charter school authorizing support organizations like NACSA and a number of state-level authorizers including Central Michigan University, Idaho Public Charter School Commission, Indiana Charter School Board, New York State Education Department, SUNY Charter Schools Institute and the Washington State Charter School Commission. Through this work a few things have become apparent.
Through the California Department of Education’s Public Charter Schools Grant Program, The Learning Collective has conducted external reviews of 60 charter schools. 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.
In 2018 and 2019, The Learning Collective partnered with Discovery Charter School (DCS) on a couple projects. We developed a three-year academic plan, beginning in the 2018-19 school year, and evaluated the extent to which that plan was implemented during the course of the plan’s first year. In the summer of 2019 we then worked with the board, school leaders and teachers to develop a multi-year strategic plan.
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 …
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.
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.
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