Education News

Education Pioneers Brings Top Talent to Area Schools

A career in education usually evokes images of teachers or principals. But in reality there are many educational positions in areas like policy, law and business. Getting the best and brightest people to work in those areas is the mission of Education Pioneers; a national organization that just last month announced that Houston would be its seventh site.

Rod Rice reports.


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Ed Pioneers was founded in the San Francisco Bay area in 2004 and has expanded to Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston and LA.  Founder and CEO Scott Morgan says Houston is a prime location because it is a bellwether for urban education.

“The demographic and economic trends in Houston as well as the innovative forward looking initiatives in education make it a top education city to watch in the coming years.  Our goal is to insure that Houston has talented leaders in place to unleash the full potential of all of its students.”

Ed Pioneers recruits graduate students at top schools in fields like policy, law and business and connects them with careers in education. 

Sharon Steele graduated from Wellesley where she studied computer science and economics. She did graduate work in education at Harvard. That’s where she first heard about Education Pioneers.

“They were bringing in people with advanced degrees and showing them the landscape of education by opening them up to opportunities beyond that of public education. That’s when I knew, like okay, this is the place I need to find out more about and become a part of.”

Steele began her summer Fellowship Program with in internship at the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, one of Education Pioneers partners there. 

KIPP Houston is one of the local participants.  Rodrigo Herrera says they’re planning for several fellows.

“We design a series of internship projects, roughly eight to ten weeks with a particular challenge we’d like some input on.”

Ed Pioneers then matches intern to internship. 

Alexandra Bernadotte was recruited while doing graduate work at Stanford.

“Before you’re assigned to a partner you sort of have an opportunity to look through all the different opportunities and decide which opportunity is the best fit for you, and you go through a regular interview process where you are interviewing partners but they are obviously interviewing you make sure you’re the right fit for them.”

HISD has been focusing on its human capital systems in the effort to get the best people in every classroom.  HISD’s Ann Best says this is an area where Education Pioneers interns should be able to help this summer.

“There’s a lot going on in the world of human capital and specific projects we’re working on around evaluation, and support and remediation the we defiantly could use the best minds in the country to really help us focus these efforts.”

Scott Morgan says Ed Pioneers has been expanding to new cities every year, but for the few years will be concentrating on Houston.  He says his goal is to train 100 new education leaders here by 2012.

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