By Melissa Wu, February 23, 2022
“Our hardest and most important work lies ahead. It’ll be what we are judged against. [...] As educators and leaders, we’re either closing educational opportunity gaps or making them worse with the decisions we make in the coming months and years.”
- Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
Right now, the path ahead of K-12 feels filled with opportunity as we sit on the edge of a new phase of the pandemic. After two grueling years, school systems have new resources in hand and are poised to make critical decisions that will either help or hinder efforts to make education a lever for equity.
We’ve seen the complexity of decisions facing K-12 in the wake of COVID-19 -- but also how new ideas, fresh perspectives, and active community engagement can influence systems towards lasting change and transformation. We must approach the opportunity for systems change earnestly -- and with the right people power to ensure that big ideas and bold strategies are followed by effective implementation and evaluation.
We need adaptive, inclusive, and equity-oriented leadership at all levels of the education ecosystem.
Last month, we announced plans to provide additional senior chief of staff-level capacity to school systems through a renewed COVID Recovery Fellowship for pandemic recovery. Today, we are proud to announce we will also grow our 2022 Impact Fellowship to provide more essential implementation capacity to K-12 as the sector seizes the opportunity for systems change.
Launched in 2018, the Impact Fellowship targets early to mid-career data analysts and strategic project managers, and connects them with 10-month placements at school districts, charter networks, and other education organizations. We anticipate growing from nearly 50 Fellows in our current cohort to 75 Fellows in the upcoming 2022-2023 cohort -- growth of 50%.
Applications are now open for the 2022 Impact Fellowship. We seek critical thinkers and problem solvers who bring diverse personal and professional experience, and are eager to apply their talents to education during the 2022-2023 academic year. While gaining hands-on experience through their placements, Fellows also participate in a nationwide cohort that develops their skills, mindsets, and orientations to drive long-term, lasting change in K-12. Read our press release.
As Secretary Cardona reminded us, this is our moment. We must rise to realize this moment’s potential -- to work purposefully to create a better and more equitable future -- and we must do it together, in community. Will you help us?