As a new school year gets underway for my own children and millions of students nationwide, I’m sitting with dueling feelings of possibility and responsibility.
Students are opening crisp new notebooks and teachers are implementing refreshed lessons, revealing optimism and boundless opportunity for what learning and growth will be accomplished.
Yet for professionals working in or around K-12, there’s also a sense of deep responsibility and concern at each new academic cycle. Public education should be the great equalizer, but this promise remains unrealized for far too many kids and communities. As leaders, we are all responsible for creating the systems and conditions in which our children learn. And with each passing year — especially in a post-pandemic era marked by learning gaps and exacerbated inequities — it’s increasingly urgent to expand proven solutions and identify new innovations.
Some are turning away from education’s challenges, but now is not the time. K-12 needs more courageous leaders who are ready to seize the potential of systems change in education.
Leaders who can sit with the possibilities and the responsibilities of this endeavor, and who are inspired to advocate, build bridges across lines of difference, and push for change at all levels.
This work is not easy, but there are reasons to believe — and at EP, our inspiration is fueled daily by the stories of progress and innovation we hear from across our network of 4,600+ Alumni leading work in talent, finance, operations, and more.
It’s time to find our next cohort of courageous leaders. Applications for EP’s 2024 Summer Fellowship are now open. We seek graduate students and emerging professionals with strengths in data & analytics, strategy, operations, and project/program management who are eager to use their talents and expertise to make an impact in the public education sector. While gaining hands-on experience through their work placements, Fellows also participate in regional cohorts that develop their skills and capacity to support long-term careers and impact in K-12.
In Summer 2024, we’ll be placing Fellows across Texas (Dallas and Houston), Chicago, the Bay Area, and Washington, D.C. Read the press release >>
Just recently, thirty-one 2023 Summer Fellows wrapped up their experiences setting up K-12 organizations for success this school year. Fellows developed marketing and communications plans for school districts, financial plans for charter networks, new evaluation strategies for supporting organizations, and so much more — reaching more than 1.3M students in total. We seek an even larger cohort of 2024 Summer Fellows to continue these types of mission-critical work, and to join our community of Alumni changemakers nationwide.
So much remains to be done in K-12, but so much is also possible if we collectively rise to the challenge and sustain the effort. As a community, we cannot underestimate the ways in which incremental changes can add up to bigger sea change. Now is the time to invest in tomorrow’s leadership.
As community elder Priscilla Hancock Cooper shared with me and a group of educator leaders of color gathered in Birmingham, AL this spring, “We are digging wells we will never drink from, just as we drink from wells dug by those who came before us.” I hope you’ll join us in creating the future we want for the students of today, tomorrow, and beyond.
CEO, Education Pioneers