Apr 30, 2024

Stronger Schools, Brighter Futures 

Robin Hood is growing the next generation of school leaders to help all students reach their potential

A teacher is instructing a classroom of students with their hands raised.

Every child deserves a great teacher, but great teachers don’t just happen. The best teachers receive regular support, coaching, and feedback from their principal, and principals from their superintendents.  The fact is, when it comes to education – like any other institution – leadership matters.

That’s why Robin Hood supports the Relay Graduate School of Education’s work to drive results for New York City’s students by making world-class leadership development available to every NYC superintendent and principal.

A longtime grantee, Relay was created in 2007 by Robin Hood and the founders of some of NYC’s most effective charter schools, the first graduate school of education created in New York in 80 years. For 17 years, Relay has been effectively instructing teachers and school leaders with a practical, hands-on approach that has demonstrated an outsized impact on teacher training in NYC and across the country.

Now a national educational institution, Relay’s first and largest campus is in NYC, where it trains 1,600 K–12 teachers annually, representing nearly 20% of the city’s new teachers. Nationally, more than 60% of Relay’s students self-identify as people of color (compared with 25% for other teacher preparation programs). Relay’s commitment to training a diverse group of teachers to better reflect the student population it serves is a critical feature of its work.

Why is Robin Hood Doubling Down on This?

Supporting school leadership is a smart investment. Research tells us that a highly effective principal’s impact is roughly equal to that of a highly effective classroom teacher, with one key difference; principals influence all students in a school, not just a single classroom.  A strong principal drives higher teacher satisfaction and retention, better student attendance, and improved learning outcomes in math and reading. In the face of NYC’s teacher shortage, with 34% of teachers leaving the profession within 5 years, it is clear that our teachers need extra support.

We believe strong, supportive school leadership will help reverse this trend and uplift the true promise of charter schools to drive scalable innovation in the city’s public schools. By working in partnership with NYC Public Schools and supporting proven models of success like Relay, Robin Hood is ensuring that every child has an outstanding educator at the helm of their classroom and school.