Neerav Kingsland

Managing Partner of The City Fund | Former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans

“Education Leadership through Crisis” is a multi-week video series featuring wisdom from a diverse group of education leaders.

Below, watch highlights from host Mubuso Zamchiya’s interview with Neerav Kingsland on the power of crises to unite a sector, his experience helping reboot New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina, and the unique role philanthropy can play.

Scroll down to watch the full interview.

“I think that’s a pretty important gating question in your own homes: Are people hungry to go back to the way things were? In a pandemic, that might be the case…Or is this moment of disruption a chance to rethink how things could be better?”

Neerav Kingsland

Managing Partner, The City Funder

Meet Neerav Kingsland

Neerav Kingsland is the Managing Partner of The City Fund. He is the former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans. As CEO of the organization, Neerav helped develop the strategy and led the transformation of New Orleans schools. Neerav is a graduate of Tulane University and Yale Law School.

View the Full Interview

Question Breakdown:

1. (01:00) Introduce yourself and your journey. How did you end up in New Orleans? What was it like to be part of the recovery process in the city?

2. (03:23) What was your journey from when you arrived in New Orleans to becoming CEO of New Schools and beyond?

 3. (07:20) Is the concept of “team of teams” relevant to the New Orleans experience?

 4. (08:58) Given your vantage point, how would you describe the lessons that might be drawn from New Orleans in terms of constructing an ecosystem that will support rapid recovery and building back better, that translate to the United States and potentially other parts of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic?

 5. (13:49) What advice would you give to education ministers entering a new mandate and centering on children and families?

 6. (16:15) Do you have any advice from your New Orleans experience on what educators today can do about learning loss as a result of COVID-19 school closures?

 7. (18:56) How did you, in New Orleans, get so many different players to work together for not just immediate recovery for children, but also long-term uplift?

 8. (21:56) How did the crisis, the recovery period, and the progression towards success shape you as a leader?

 9. (25:07) Why is philanthropy important? What role should it be playing currently in the pandemic?

 10. (27:24) Often in education systems, parents can get sidelined. What have you learned and what would you want to see for parents today?

 11. (29:15) What was your favorite book as a child? What books inspire you today?

 12. (31:21) COVID-19, what do you think we’re not doing? What are we not paying attention to?

“If you wanted to draw some source of optimism from the New Orleans story: If you look at the gains we got, which the researchers said were the largest they’d seen in any city in the country’s recent history, we got those gains with kids going through incredible trauma, had to flee their cities, live in shelters. Most on and off missed a year of schooling in some way or another, and then came back to their city. And then got incredible academic gains.”

Neerav Kingsland

Managing Partner, The City Fund

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