Leigh McGuigan | leighmcguigan.com

Making It Happen

There is no curriculum, philosophy, or reform agenda that will magically improve urban schools. Many different approaches can work. What makes a difference in outcomes for children is leadership.

It Starts At The Top

Schools all over America have proven that children from the most challenged backgrounds can learn at high levels. Unfortunately, these schools tend to be anomalies, often existing outside the “regular” system, or succeeding in spite of district policies rather than because of them. Few districts have been able to take success to scale, and the barriers to doing so are formidable. Developing scalable systems to educate children in poverty is enormously difficult. It requires courageous leadership able to design and implement new ways of doing things, as well as a willingness to buck a system that typically puts adult convenience and comfort ahead of the needs of children.

My Work

I came to urban education as a calling, after practicing law in America’s largest law firms and serving as a senior executive in the financial services business. I believe that giving urban children a fair chance is the most important issue facing our country today, and that if we have the courage to change we can break the cycle of poverty in one generation. I received a Ph.D. in educational administration in 2005, focusing my research and experience on student learning and motivation, principal and teacher quality, and statistical measures of student learning growth. Currently, I am the co-founder and CEO of Vertus Charter School, an innovative career high school for boys in Rochester, N.Y.  Check us out at www.vertusschool.org. Sorry my website is out of date.  I’ll update it someday, when things slow down.  Thanks for visiting —- Leigh LM529@aol.com