“We will retain 85 percent of our effective teachers and remove 100 percent of my ineffective teachers.”
Those words from Earl Martin Phalen, founder of the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academy (PLA) in Indianapolis, represent more than a strategic goal. They are PLA’s foundational priority: the quality of its teachers will be the driver of student success.
Six years ago, Earl Martin Phalen founded what has quickly become the largest African American-run charter school network in the country. In just six years, Phalen Leadership Academies (PLA) has grown from one school to 20, most of them in Indiana but also four in Tampa, one in Detroit, and two schools in Beaumont, Texas. All but two are previously underperforming schools that districts asked PLA to turn around.