Paris Woods is just getting started. As a low-income student attending St. Louis public schools, Paris overcame steep odds to succeed. And along the way, she grew more and more determined to change the system for other kids like her.
I have been working full-time in education for a grand total of 102 days. And as actual education experts can probably empathize with, I am (already) immediately asked two questions every time I tell someone from “the outside” that I now work in education: “What is the one thing you would change that would fix all of this? Is there a silver bullet?” I smile, I look around at the cake and dancing (because I am inevitably at a wedding reception during this conversation), and I shake my head.
I suspected that becoming an EP Fellow would be critical for my career, but I didn’t expect to be in a meeting alongside my personal heroes just a few weeks in. So how did I wind up in the same small room in the White House as Marian Wright Edelman (founder of the Children's Defense Fund), Education Secretary Arne Duncan, John King (Secretary Duncan’s deputy, a former commissioner of education for the State of New York, and current Acting Secretary), Stacey Stewart (President/CEO of United Way-Americas), Michael Smith (head of the President's My Brother's Keeper Initiative), and Roberto...
Two years ago, during EP’s 10th anniversary celebration, a brave high school freshman named Tomicia stood at a podium in front of hundreds of people and talked about dissecting a cow’s eye. She also talked about learning debate skills, going on an outdoor education trip, and meeting inspiring mentors. The educational experiences she’d had—including attending a top, college-preparatory high school—were because of Breakthrough San Francisco and its executive director, Andy Shin.
Technology holds tremendous potential to engage students in the classroom, ignite their curiosity, and connect their outside-of-school experiences with those at their desks.
After four years in the classroom, William Jackson walked away from teaching. He sought a way to teach kids what our schools aren’t: about their value as people of color – and specifically as Black people – and what race means for them both in and far beyond school.
In this Q&A, EP Alumna Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, Director of the Pahara Institute’s NextGen Network, talks about growing up with a global perspective that shaped her career trajectory, why diversity in the most senior levels of leadership in education is crucial for excellence and equity in education, and why all education leaders must have a “heart and mind for listening and learning.”
Culture isn’t a decree from on high. It can’t be implemented with the simple swoosh of the CEO’s hand. Instead, it has to be built by and for the entire team it represents. Rather than having executives write handbooks, we should empower teams and individuals to interpret and define the essence of an organization’s culture. And often, some of the best culture-building happens when we literally get out of the building.
Music is a powerful tool to engage young people both in and outside of school. In Memphis, Tennessee, where music is both a legacy and a critical element of the city’s future, it has the potential to strengthen young people’s connections to their communities and positively impact their lives. Serving as a nonprofit strategy consultant for Memphis Music Initiative this summer yielded four leadership lessons that are critical for all education leaders.
In this Pioneer Profile, EP hears from Alumnus Jon Hanover (Analyst Fellow, 2010), who founded Roots Elementary School in Denver, Colorado, a brand new school that is set to open this August. Read on to hear more about why Jon wishes we paid teachers like we pay hedge fund managers and professional athletes, why his favorite school memory includes jumping on furniture and Latin verbs, and what it was like when one of his students learned to read for the very first time.