Fourth Cohort of Deeper Learning Equity Fellows

Big Picture Learning and Internationals Network for Public Schools are proud to announce the fourth cohort of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship, made up of seventeen leaders who will dedicate a significant portion of the next two years to addressing issues of education inequity in their local communities. This cohort joins a group of 40 Equity Fellows already steeped in this important work.

“We knew going into this work that all students could benefit from deeper learning practices and instruction – in which learners are constantly motivated and challenged and are able to apply their learning to real life and real experiences,” states Carlos Moreno, Co-Director of the Fellowship and Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning. “However, we also know that equitable access to such opportunities is not always available to traditionally underserved populations, such as youth in poverty and English Language learners.”

Thus far, through projects overseen by the first three cohorts, the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows have – among other things – identified the emergence of bilingual populations impacted by New York City’s universal Pre-K coverage, signaled the importance of rethinking teacher education programs to equip and prepare new educators for the complexity of preparing students to meet 21st century challenges, and increased opportunities for Pittsburgh-area youth to participate in the organizational redesign of more equitable policies and practices in their schools and communities.

“Our collective commitment to equity unites us in a very timely struggle,” adds Claire Sylvan, Co-Director of the Fellowship and Founding Director of Internationals Network for Public Schools. “The Equity Fellows continue to play a pivotal role as America struggles to address long-standing issues of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, disability and poverty.”

The Equity Fellows are supported in their projects by Advisors, all members of previous cohorts of equity fellows. In addition, nationally recognized mentors – like Linda Darling-Hammond, Christopher Emdin and more – will guide them on their journeys to right educational wrongs. Inevitably, the fellows will face obstacles and barriers to their work. Equity Fellow Advisors and Mentors are well-positioned to provide guidance, focus, advice and expertise through the course of the fellowship.

Thanks to the support of the Heinz Endowments, as well as the Grable, Hewlett and Kellogg Foundations, the Equity Fellows will be convened and supported in a variety of ways throughout their fellowship. “The Grable Foundation shares Big Picture and Internationals’ belief that all children deserve extraordinary opportunities to discover, explore, and learn,” states Foundation Executive Director Gregg Behr. “We are delighted to support this cohort of educational leaders as they work together to build upon our commitment to engaging, relevant and equitable learning.”

Adds the Heinz Endowments’ Senior Program Director Stanley Thompson, who also serves as an Equity Fellow mentor: “We are pleased to support this timely work. We have no doubt that this cohort of Equity Fellows will contribute tremendously and serve as exemplars for prospective leaders in Pittsburgh and beyond.”

The Cohort IV Equity Fellows include: Aixle Aman, Los Angeles Unified School District; Leticia Archuleta, Health Leadership High School; AnnMarie Baines, The Practice Space; David Baker, Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union; Jaqi Baldwin, Siembra Leadership High School; Tiffany Besse, Ferguson-Florissant School District; Young Whan Choi, Oakland Unified School District; Tyra Good, Chatham University; Christina Grant, The School District of Philadelphia; Philip Howard, Newburgh Enlarged City School District; Greg Lucas, New Visions for Public Schools; Kelly Muic Lombard, Frazier School District; Nadia Nashir, Buffalo Public Schools; Jaleah Robinson, Environmental Charter School; Meisha Ross Porter, NYC Public Schools; Christina Unitas, Pittsburgh Public Schools; Brandon Wiley, PBL Works.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows is a cohort-based leadership program that aims to develop, strengthen, and sustain a group of diverse and exceptional leaders who will influence the policies and practices that expand access to Deeper Learning in public education across the country.

It is Big Picture Learning’s vision that all students live lives of their own design, supported by caring mentors and equitable opportunities to achieve their greatest potential. Today, hundreds of BPL network schools in the United States and around the world work together to activate the power of schools, systems and education in their own communities and beyond through student-directed, real-world education.

Internationals Network’s vision is to ensure that all recent immigrant students who are English Language Learners have access to a quality high school education that prepares them for college, career and full participation in democratic society. We provide quality public education for recently arrived immigrants by growing and sustaining a strong national network of innovative International High Schools, while supporting states, districts, schools, educators and policymakers to improve education for all English Language learners.

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