In early October, some of the nation's top education leaders and analysts gathered to discuss a brighter future for America's students at Education Pioneers' first National Analyst Fellowship Convening.
Education Pioneers' first National Analyst Fellowship Convening brought together 61 Analyst Fellows, an impressive group of education leaders from diverse organizations, and keynote speakers, all focused on closing the achievement gap in America's education system and finding the best ways to use data in schools.
The Education Pioneers Analyst Fellowship places top talent with analytical skills in school districts, charter school management organizations, nonprofits and other leading education organizations to lead and manage data based projects over the course of 10 months. The National Convening offered an ideal opportunity for past and present Fellows and other leaders in the field to share ideas and garner conversation about data in education.
The three-day convening, held from October 2-4th in Cambridge, Massachusetts, included a tightly packed schedule of interviews, keynote addresses, breakout sessions, and panels. Day one's keynote session, featuring Dr. John B. King, Jr., the Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, and Scott Morgan, the Founder and CEO of Education Pioneers, set the tone for the rest of the discussions.
"Don't ask, ‘can we,' but ‘how can we'? It's important to remember that your work has the potential to be transformative," King noted. The keynote discussion focused on race in the classroom and how to best close the growing achievement gap. Both King and Morgan stressed the need for the right standards for curriculum, and for effective ways to use data to measure and improve achievement for both teachers and students. Fellows also had a chance to explore the topics of race and how this affects them personally and systematically in the education sector.
Day two focused specifically on implementing strategic data use in schools. Keynote speaker Kati Haycock, President of The Education Trust, discussed the state of the achievement and opportunity gap in the U.S. education system through compelling data-based evidence. Breakout sessions later in the day helped facilitate discussions on how to not only use data to measure success in schools, but also how to use those measurements to implement positive solutions.
In another breakout session, Analyst Fellows and Education Pioneers Alumni got together to discuss specific projects they worked on, including successes, failures and lessons learned. Fellows and panel members offered feedback, advice and ideas.
As the Convening came to a close on day three a main theme emerged: Strong leadership in education can help drive change and accelerate excellence. "From a talent perspective, the education system needs creativity, effective management and a way to harness the capacity of data analytics," King said. "Having strong leaders engage in the problem can lead to positive solutions."
Learn more about the Analyst Fellowship.