Eldrin Deas, the grandson of a sharecropper, has always felt a personal connection to the effects of educational inequity. He has spent his entire career devoted to education.
He began as a math teacher in Georgia, and then became a math test developer in Washington, DC. He later served as an assistant director of the Centennial Scholars Program in North Carolina; as a research assistant at LEARN NC where he connected teachers with classroom-friendly research to support innovative teaching, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina; and as an analyst for the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Eldrin became an EP Fellow in 2013 to help shift and raise public consciousness about the most pressing issues facing the education sector and to lend his teaching, research, assessment, and administrative experience to broader education reform efforts.
- Strategy & Planning
As an EP Fellow placed with the Connecticut State Department of Education. Eldrin sought to extend the Department’s mission to help ensure equal opportunity and excellence in education for all Connecticut students. There, he engaged with the senior leadership, Boards of Education, and other elected officials in some of Connecticut's most challenged school districts. Using his experience and training in research, program management, assessment, and evaluation, he developed and analyzed district policy, analyzed budgets, and monitored teacher performance in order to help each district reach the goals established in their three-year Strategic Operating Plans.
In Connecticut, Eldrin also led the development and analysis of programs and turnaround initiatives in three Connecticut school districts, assisting in the management and disbursement of $1.5 million in special funds.
Eldrin has since become an education consultant and researcher, as well as a member of the education committee for My Brother’s Keeper Durham, where he is responsible for developing strategies to ensure boys and young men of color graduate high school.
Currently a researcher for the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina, Eldrin is investigating the implementation and impact of a new turnaround plan—the North Carolina Transformation program—for low-performing schools across the state.
To date, through his multiple positions in education, Eldrin has driven policy to ensure more boys and young men of color graduate high school, including helping craft an action plan for the city of Durham—delivered to and adopted by Mayor Bill Bell and Durham County Manager Wendell Davis—to help improve education outcomes for more than 28,000 typically underserved students of color.
Additionally, he increased kindergarten registration efficiency in Delaware so that the more than 9,000 kindergarten students who begin school each year—including local students, transient populations, and English Language Learners—have adequate access to transportation and school resources, and so that school districts in the state are able to better plan for student placement and talent acquisition.
Eldrin has also disrupted the cycle of recidivism for 18,717 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who are incarcerated in California through the design of a new academy where students serving multi-year sentences can earn a high school diploma or GED.
Eldrin was recognized as one of EP’s 10 EPic Alumni in 2016.