Title and Organization:
David is the co-founder and CEO of a social equity consulting firm, Made By Change, which aims to support leaders in eradicating their ecosystems of social inequities. For eighteen years of his professional career, David Hardy has committed to playing his part in ending the educational gaps that exist between the haves and the have nots. As a product of Colgate University (Economics Degree) and Columbia University (Masters in Urban Education and Doctorate 21’), arguably some of the best institutions of higher learning, he didn’t fully understand why he was often one of a few people of color in these spaces until pursuing his M.B.A from Howard University. These realities have only fueled David to figure out how to make sure the thousands of kids that interacted with him as a teacher all the way up to a superintendent, were given the opportunity to reach their dream so they were not in rooms by themself.
His drive has allowed him to lead the state turnaround effort of the second lowest-performing school district in Ohio and arguably the country. In his capacity as Chief Executive Officer for Lorain City Schools, he assumed the combined responsibilities of the Superintendent and the school board. Under his leadership, Lorain city Schools received its highest performance marks in nearly a quarter-century moving the district from an F grade to a B grade in the Achievement Gap closing metric, and is touted as being in the top ten percent of the fastest improving school districts in the state of Ohio’s 646 school districts by Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. This type of transformational change has become David’s calling card as he has rendered similar results as the Deputy Superintendent of Academics for St. Louis Public Schools. Under his leadership, he helped bring Saint Louis Public Schools to full accreditation for the first time in over 15 years. He has availed this opportunity because of the results he got as a principal in New York City and as a former teacher of the year. Now in his continued search for a more just society, his consultant work has led him to support school and governmental agencies to address the inequities that exist in their communities.
David embraces his lived experiences and the opportunity to be a member of some of the most forward-thinking organizations and fellowships in the world. Despite the intense pressure, opposition, or political controversy, the constant has been the eventual triumph that created change for the better. The change however has been incomplete and unsustainable because he has found that education is not the problem. Education is a symptom of a much larger system at play. As a former superintendent, he learned the importance of collective impact and how rare it is to create it. Getting the leader of organizations together, on accord deemed challenging. Yet, if we are ever going to make the turn as a nation and find ways to get everyone what they need to succeed in life, we have to do it together not alone. That only happens through intentional redesign, collaboratives, convenings, and unique data analysis that allows for the ecosystems we occupy to become made by change.