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Business, Education Leaders Launch LeadRI Partnership

Partnership for Rhode Island Invests in Education Leadership

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Partnership for Rhode Island, a nonprofit coalition of the state’s leading business executives, and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) announced today the launch of the LeadRI Partnership, a leadership development program for education administrators. RIDE will work with the Partnership for Rhode Island to provide principals, superintendents, and RIDE senior leadership with a year-long executive development program to enhance leadership skills, promote strategic thinking, and cultivate innovative school improvement strategies.

“I am grateful to the Partnership for Rhode Island for believing in and supporting education in our state. When they came together to identify key priorities, they knew that education had to be at the center of their work, because education is at the center of economic development,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “High-quality education - led by talented, hardworking leaders - is key to a skilled workforce and a growing economy, and the LeadRI Partnership will support those leaders as they prepare all students to be successful in school and beyond.”

With financial support from the Partnership and RIDE, leadership development for principals will be coordinated by the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL). The initial cohort, made up of roughly 20 current and former principals working as administrators, will then be mobilized to facilitate the program for additional cohorts in future years.

In addition, the Partnership will support executive leadership training for all superintendents, other school leaders, and RIDE senior leadership. And with funding from the Rhode Island Foundation, the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE) will provide leadership development for new principals and their school teams.

Across these three initiatives, RIDE and the Partnership will provide comprehensive support to ensure that each student in Rhode Island benefits from talented leadership at the state, district, and school level.

“This initiative is at the intersection of business and education, and as someone who works in both fields, I am excited to see the LeadRI Partnership launch,” said Barbara S. Cottam, Chair of the Board of Education and Executive Vice President of Citizens Bank, a member of the Partnership for Rhode Island. “There is clearly recognition from the boardroom to the State House to the classroom that Rhode Island is better positioned to succeed if we invest in and support the professionals charged with educating our children.”

The Partnership for Rhode Island had previously identified support for high-quality education as one of its key priorities, and through the LeadRI Partnership, they are offering the kinds of talent management and leadership development processes consistently utilized by the business community.

“In successful businesses, robust talent development is a common thread among them. Industry invests in workforce because that investment pays dividends. It’s time for education to follow suit and invest in our workforce,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “We are grateful and excited to be working with the Partnership for Rhode Island to bring a new kind of talent management to education. This program will open up new opportunities for our superintendents, principals, and teachers, and will support the robust school- and district-based leadership that has the power to transform education.”

“The Partnership for Rhode Island is proud to focus its initial efforts on supporting school leaders from across the state. We started this organization to help make this state a better place for our employees and we can think of no better way to have a positive effect on communities than by investing in each and every school district,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO of Hasbro, Inc.

“It is a pleasure to be part of a group of companies that believe so deeply in Rhode Island. Our hope is that the LeadRI Partnership program is the first of many steps this group can take in making our state a better place to live and work,” said Don Sweitzer, Chairman of IGT Global Solutions Corporation.

“This goes to the heart of our commitment to ensuring the educational success of every Rhode Islander. We are proud to join with the state’s corporate leadership in supporting innovative approaches to getting the job done,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.

“We’re excited to provide our school leaders with an opportunity to learn and grow. Investing in their development as managers, leaders and professionals is a priority that we’re glad to support,” said Robert DiMuccio, CEO of Amica.

The initial LeadRI principal cohort will be selected in late July, and will begin work in August. The program uses thoughtfully-designed curriculum featuring 12 two-day units, followed by additional leadership development opportunities for the participants who would like to serve as facilitators for future LeadRI cohort classes.

This work dovetails with RIDE’s continued focus on support and development for school and district leadership, including the formation of the RIDE Leadership Advisory Committee, $375,000 in leadership mini-grant awards this year for LEAs, development of draft leadership standards for educators, and the inclusion of a Leadership Fellow position in the Governor’s FY17 and FY18 budgets.

The Partnership for Rhode Island includes Amica, Bank of America, Brown University, Citizens Bank, CVS Health, Electric Boat, FM Global, Hasbro Inc., IGT, Providence Equity, and the Rhode Island Foundation.