Student performance improves when a school district has strong leaders, a collaborative ethos, and a dedication to accountability. Learn how to establish a culture that delivers measurable results.

  • Dates

    To Be Confirmed

  • Status

    Check Back To Apply

  • Format

    In-Person

  • Location

    HBS Campus

  • Fee

    To Be Confirmed

The program fee covers tuition, program materials, accommodations, and most meals.

Program Announcement

The information below is based on the prior program session and does not reflect potential changes to faculty and course content for future program offerings. For a list of upcoming programs, visit our program finder.

Every school district has a unique blueprint for success. Identifying best practices for yours involves analyzing and refining what’s worked for others in order to serve your students more effectively.

The Public Education Leadership Project, a joint initiative with the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), helps leaders from U.S.-based urban school systems apply proven management concepts to their unique challenges. With an intimate group of administrators and educators, you’ll build leadership skills and achieve lasting improvement across all schools in your district.

Key Program Features

Key Topics

  • Develop improvement strategies and learn how to serve your students more effectively

  • Understand how cultures, systems, and environments impact strategy implementation

  • Refine your district management model

  • Attract and retain the best people—even for hard-to-staff schools

  • Create a culture of performance among teachers and administrators

  • Learn and grow together as a district team

  • 5
    days on the HBS campus
  • 9–12
    hours of pre-program work

Case materials and a detailed schedule will be made available approximately two weeks prior to program start.

  • Teams of eight participants who are responsible for urban school systems with at least 20,000 enrolled students. This may include:

    • Central office administrators

    • School principals

    • Regional supervisors

    • Union leaders

    • Teacher leaders

    • Community liaisons

    • Members of the school board, board of education, or school committee that governs the district

  • The district superintendent’s participation is required for every team

  • Districts can build capability by sending new teams to the program over three or more consecutive years

  • To facilitate continuity, teams from districts returning to the program may send one additional past participant beyond the superintendent

All our executive education programs are developed and taught by a team of widely recognized HBS faculty. Many are skilled educators, groundbreaking researchers, and award-winning authors. Through their board memberships, consulting, and field-based research, they address the complex challenges facing business leaders across the globe.

Faculty Cochairs

This in-person program takes place on our storied campus where you'll live and learn at the heart of Boston's vibrant business, academic, and technology hubs.

At HBS, every detail is carefully calibrated to drive your success. Living arrangements and classrooms that spark connection. Unrivaled academic resources. And rejuvenating fitness, dining, and cultural amenities.

View of Executive Education area of HBS campus

The dedicated Executive Education area of campus features multiple classroom buildings and three residence halls around a quad

Residence hall bedroom and bathroom, with woman looking out a window

Our well-appointed residence halls feature private bedrooms, living group lounges, and courtyards to fuel vibrant discussions

Participating in this program requires the school district's superintendent or designee to complete the initial application. Due to limited space, we strongly suggest submitting at the beginning of the admissions cycle, no later than December 15.

To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, our Admissions Committee makes selections that balance each participant's experience, scope of students served, and district challenges.

Upon notice of the admission decision in late January, individual members of that district's team will apply as part of the team's application document.

For more information, please contact the Public Education Leadership Project at pelp@gse.harvard.edu or call +1.617.496.1819.

Program content, dates, schedule, fees, technology platforms, and faculty are subject to change. In accordance with Harvard University policy, Harvard Business School does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.