Cahn Fellows Program Identifies Principals Leading Outstanding Schools

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Cahn Fellows Program Identifies Principals Leading Outstanding Schools

The Cahn Fellows Program continues to identify principals that are leading outstanding schools.

Frank DeSario, principal of PS 60 in Woodhaven, Queens, and Charlene Reid, principal of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, are members of the 2011 cohort of the Cahn Fellows Program and were both highlighted for leading top performing schools.  PS 60 was featured on NY1 for earning an “A” on the NYC Progress Report and the best results city-wide for the performance of their Students With Disabilities and improved performance of their Black and Latino boys.  The Bronx Charter School for Excellence was featured on The Morning Joe Show and is the fourth highest performing K-8 public schools in the entire state.

To view the Morning Joe Show clip:

To view the NY1 clip:

The Cahn Fellows Program consistently selects outstanding principals who lead high performing schools.  The program recognizes school leaders for their crucial role in their school’s success and then provides a safe environment for them to share and learn from each other as a collective.  Their individual strengths compel the group to take their schools to the next level, transforming pockets of success and super heroes into growing swaths of excellence and teams of talent.  As Ms. Reid remarked when only 2% of the students who entered a lottery to attend her school, “We need to partner with other schools. Because not every kid can go to our school.”  The Cahn Fellows Program partners 20-25 outstanding principals and their schools each year to ensure that more kids can go to successful schools like hers.

The Cahn Fellows Program provides a cohort of 20-25 outstanding principals with a 15-month leadership development fellowship. The program focuses on three interconnected strands: leadership assessment and development, mentoring of aspiring principals from within Fellows’ schools- called Allies, and a school development inquiry project. Each focal area builds on the others and is supported by an Adult Development and Transformational and Instructional Leadership curriculum provided by Teachers College faculty.   Fellows identify and inquire into a specific school challenge that they would like to address by researching and sharing ideas and best practices with other principals. The project will improve student achievement, instruction, or overall school climate. Upon conclusion of the fellowship, each Fellow and Ally pair submits a reflection report on leadership and what they have learned from their challenge project research and present these at the annual June Conference.


A November 2009 independent study conducted by the RAND Corporation, the Columbia Business School and the University of Florida comparing Cahn Fellows to other principals as well as pre- and post-program found that students at Fellows’ schools well out-perform peers in other schools with similar demographic characteristics, math and English achievement test scores improve in Fellows’ schools after they enter the program, student absences decrease after they enter the program, and principal experience matters so impacts of the program on retention would also benefit students.