What Teach for America does for the classroom, Education Pioneers does for the school, the school district, and the country.
Education Pioneers specializes in recruiting and training the top talent from both graduate schools as well as the private sector, and places them in management positions in the education space. Be it the New York City Public school system or the Department of Education, Education Pioneers hopes to places these experienced individuals in critical projects within these educational institutions to provide them the opportunity to maximize the impact on students. As described in an interview with The Harbus, Founder and CEO Scott Morgan said, “We’re bringing on entrepreneurial leaders who are able to make a big impact in the organizations that they are a leading.”
The two main ways that Morgan measures the impact of his organization are both the number of Fellows each year as well as the number of Fellows who continue in education after their Fellowship is complete. From 9 Fellows in their 2004 launch year, they have expanded to over 350 Fellows a year from an application pool of over 2000 graduates. In the spirit of creating a pipeline for continuing change and leadership in education, two third of alumni are still working in the sector. More importantly, they continue to receive positive feedback from their education partners citing the high quality and impactful work of the Fellows.
The first Fellow, Merisa Bold (HBS 2005), was looking to use her business skills in the education sector. Her first project as a fellow focused on creating a “College for certain” culture in Aspire Public Schools, which still lives on in the schools. After HBS graduation, she joined the New Schools Venture Fund where she focused on data-driven decision making. She then worked in the Office of Accountability New York City Department of Education to improve their student assessment program, impacting over a million students. She the worked in the U.S. Department of Education to implement the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund, which encourages innovation in education.
As a non-profit, Education Pioneers funds its $7 million budget through national investors, local partners, and earned income from education partners. Their first seed investor was Bill Draper (HBS 1954).
Of the 128 business students who have been selected as Fellows of the program, 46 HBS students have been selected since launch, which includes 27 in the last three years. Morgan emphasizes the importance of the multidisciplinary nature of the selected Fellows, consisting of graduates from Education, Law, and other disciplines. “We are looking for people who want a lot of responsibility early in their career to apply their skills to some of the most pressing and important challenges that we face.”
Morgan is not shy to mention the historical importance of HBS alums in Education Pioneer’s history, and he hopes that the trend continues for many years. If you are interested, feel free to reach out to Education Pioneers with any questions.