A Strategic Decision Regarding the Neubauer Fellowship

Since its 2015 launch, the Neubauer Fellowship in Educational Leadership – the flagship program of the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders (School Leaders) – continues to positively impact Philadelphia’s educational landscape:

  • 128 Neubauer Fellows, across six (6) cohorts, directly serve nearly 70,000 children in Philadelphia
  • Fellow schools consistently outperform on state tests, show greater academic gains with Black and Latinx students, and demonstrate more rapid improvements in student attendance (3x the growth)
  • Our Fellows:
    • Led seven (7) Philadelphia schools that received the prestigious National Blue Ribbon distinction
    • Received 64% of recent Lindback Awards for Distinguished Principal Leadership
    • Celebrated our first colleague being named National Principal of the Year
  • Philadelphia retained 95% of Neubauer Fellows as school and system leaders
  • 13 Fellows have been promoted to system-level leadership roles


A Strategic Decision

We believe leadership is the catalyst for change, and these results affirm that. To sustain this momentum and accelerate student outcomes, now is the time to strengthen our support of the leaders we currently serve. Fostering more experiences that allow Fellows and program participants to hone leadership skills will more deeply engage them in creating the environments that deliver on their school’s vision and drive system-wide impact. We also recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic magnifies the daily challenges our leaders face. This year and next, school and system leaders will navigate unpredictable environments in their work to recover learning loss, re-establish relational trust, and close opportunity gaps, all of which we know are critical to academic gains. These are extraordinary obstacles and constraints, and we need to bolster our school and system leaders’ efforts now, more than ever.

Given our commitment to improving student outcomes and the ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19, we made the strategic decision to postpone selection of our seventh cohort and focus our full investment and efforts on supporting our first six cohorts of Neubauer Fellows and participants in our other programs.

Our Plan Moving Forward

To be clear, the Neubauer Fellowship continues and it will grow. Our current cohorts will complete their two-year leadership experience, and we will provide differentiated support to our alumni. While selection of the next cohort is postponed until next year, recruitment remains ongoing. As part of this work, we will deepen our investment in our Performance Partners Program to cultivate leaders from charter, district, and faith-based schools.

We are listening closely to our Fellows and program participants to nimbly address the diverse challenges they now face. We will provide increased opportunities for Fellows to leverage their expertise and share promising practices as well as enhance and expand supports to build principal and school system leader capacity.

We are confident that this decision to lean further into our mission will deliver maximum impact in reshaping the future for students across Philadelphia.