The excitement that comes from learning, from understanding new information, is a shared human trait, whether we are black, brown, or white, rich or poor. But each day, students in low-income communities are facing obstacles to learning that few of us can imagine: deeply entrenched poverty, daily neighborhood violence, and often a gap of three grade levels or more in reading and math performance before they enter fifth grade. And not only is the achievement gap between the wealthy and the poor growing in American schools – at the same time, our country as a whole is losing ground on the leading education systems around the world.

There are bright spots in American urban education that have changed the conversation and helped thousands of kids – but we have only scratched the surface of what can and needs to be achieved. At Jounce, we envision urban schools that are outperforming the best schools internationally – because kids who face the most treacherous obstacles need to be over prepared for success.

To over prepare our most vulnerable kids, we need an excellent teacher in every one of their classrooms; and at Jounce, we believe this must start with School Leaders who are ready and able to drive teacher development at an ever-accelerating pace.