Jon Schnur, one of the cofounders of New Leaders for New Schools, is taking a leave of absence from the organization to work on the Obama campaign between now and election day, according to an email from Schnur that someone passed on to me over the weekend (thanks!).
Even before this, Schnur had been actively involved in setting up events during the Denver contention and developing Obama's education speech earlier this month. In the email, Schnur says he's going to co-chair the Obama education policy committee. No word yet on who the other co-chair is, or Schnur's plans for after the election. It is not uncommon for those involved in campaigns to take these kinds of leaves of absence.
New Leaders currently has 550 residents in 9 different cities. Click below to read the entire email.
From: Jon Schnur
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 6:23 PM
To: Jon Schnur
Subject: An Organizational and Personal Update to New Leaders from Jon Schnur
New Leaders --
on the start of another school year and thank you from the bottom of my
heart for everything you do for our children and their academic
achievement. As we begin a new school year with nearly 550 New
Leaders serving over 200,000 children and young people in 9
cities/regions, I am writing with an organizational and personal update.
I want to share and celebrate the news that our national Board of
Directors approved our 5-year strategic plan last week at its fall
board meeting. This vote was a huge vote of confidence in our
strategic direction and plan. Even more, the vote
and their comments represented an expression of confidence in our
children and in our New Leaders community and organization. They and
I are really proud of everything this entire community and
organization have accomplished - and even prouder about what we are
committed and ready to do in order to ensure high academic achievement
for the children we serve moving forward. We will schedule briefing
and discussion sessions in each of our nine cities before the plan
begins to be implemented in July, 2009.
on a personal note, I want to let the New Leaders community know
that I am preparing to take a brief leave of absence from New Leaders.
I have decided to accept a temporary role in a private capacity to
serve as co-chair of the Obama Presidential campaign's education policy
committee and take a leave of absence from the management of New
Leaders from September 23rd through November 10th. New Leaders
President LaVerne Srinivasan has agreed to take full responsibility for
the day-to-day leadership and management of New Leaders during my leave
of absence. Our board has offered unqualified support for my decision
and LaVerne's leadership and is highly confident in our organization's
direction, plan, senior leadership team and the talent and commitment
of our team members across the nation. During this time, I will
remain a member of our Board of Directors but will not play an active
role in the management and operations of New Leaders.
you know, I take great pride that New Leaders for New Schools is a
non-partisan organization with very strong bipartisan support focused
on ensuring high achievement for every child. We have advisors
associated with both major political parties who support my personal
decision in order to help inform the national education
discussion during the presidential campaign. While this is an
entirely personal decision, I am very pleased to bring to the current
national discussion of education reform my own understanding of what we
have learned together about the beliefs and practices that deliver
results and drive high achievement for our children in our most
underserved urban communities.
coming Monday will be my last day before the leave of absence begins.
I am excited to be inBaltimore that day visiting and learning from
several of our fastest-improving and highest-performing schools. Given
my knowledge of the high level of commitment and skill across our New
Leaders community and organization, I look forward to returning to
a community and organization that is even stronger than it is today and
am excited to work together and keep learning from you on behalf of our
mission and vision for a long time to come.
With appreciation and respect,
high academic achievement for every student by attracting and preparing
outstanding leaders and supporting the performance of the urban public
schools they lead at scale.