Dear Pioneers, partners, supporters and friends of EP,
As COVID-19 rages on and the 2020-2021 academic year begins, school leaders are wrestling with hard choices and conflicting priorities around community safety, student learning, and budget constraints. Eighty-five percent of the 20 largest U.S. school districts are starting remote-only. Studies are simultaneously projecting that existing achievement gaps will widen by another 15-20% as low-income and students of color face distance learning inequities — all while there’s a national spotlight on racial injustice. There are no playbooks for how to navigate this year. It’s clear that school systems need more management capacity to respond to this crisis and identify ways to create a better future for students and communities.
Education Pioneers is ready to do our part. During the last 15-plus years, EP has built a diverse network of adaptive, inclusive leaders to solve education’s evolving set of challenges so that education can become a lever for equity and excellence. That purpose is more relevant today than ever before.
We’re proud to announce the EP COVID Response Fellowship, a new program to provide a limited number of school districts, charter school networks, and state education agencies with COVID-specific capacity at no cost to themselves over the next 12 months. Read the press release.
COVID Response Fellows will be paid by EP and placed as “chiefs of staff” to superintendents and senior administrators in school systems, organizing and coordinating essential work as schools implement, learn from, and adapt their pandemic plans. By recruiting senior talent from our own Alumni network and beyond, these Fellows will bring a proven track record of navigating diverse senior stakeholders, diagnosing problems, and finding creative solutions, while persevering through hardship and change. They’ll be conversant in how race, identity, power, and oppression influence the K-12 system, and they’re prepared and committed to practicing equity and inclusion.
EP is uniquely positioned to build a cohort of COVID response leaders. Hundreds of our 4,500 Alumni are already doing this work as strategic, agile leaders on the front lines of districts’, charter school networks’, and state agencies’ responses to this pandemic. We encourage our Alumni to share their experiences with incoming Fellows and our broader network, fueling learning across the sector.
This moment matters. Let’s seize this opportunity to align education leaders at all levels, enable high-quality instruction, mitigate learning loss for today’s students, and chart a new and more equitable normal in our schools.
CEO, Education Pioneers