Talent Talks

EdFuel’s blog on all things talent.

Raven’s Cross-Sector DEI Spotlight: Urban Planning
Raven Freeman
July 31, 2019

This month we’re going to explore the interplay between innovation and equity, drawing on a best practice from the field of urban planning. An article from the Urban Institute notes, “We can’t assume that technological innovations will benefit everyone equally. Intentional design for equity should involve inclusive processes and rethinking business practices to target efforts to marginalized communities.”  

The Urban Planning Challenge: Creating an Equitable Bikeshare Model 
According to the article, when Philadelphia decided to introduce a citywide bikeshare model, they engaged a committee of community members representing different neighborhoods and asked residents to vote on where the bikes should be placed.  Despite this approach for equitably distributing the bikes, another challenge arose.  Even though the bikes were accessible, some Philadelphians couldn’t ride them!  Residents who didn’t know how to ride a bike or possess a credit card needed to reserve one were unable to benefit from the bikeshare racks in their neighborhoods.

The Urban Planning Solution: Invest in Differentiated Implementation
Upon further evaluation, the city decided to offer bike riding and safety lessons and found a way to issue cash vouchers.  Both solutions required additional time and investment, but were necessary to achieve, or begin to achieve, their goal of equity.  Neither would’ve come to fruition without ongoing reflection, a high bar for equity and continued community engagement.

[Read more]

You Say Summer, We Say… School Leader Evaluation!

Sarah Morgan, Kelly Gleischman, Carrie Irvin
July 10, 2019

Happy summer, everyone! You may be thinking about pools and popsicles, but when the end of the school year rolls around, we are reminded that it’s time to evaluate the head of your school! (Well, ok, we think caps and gowns too.) One of the most important responsibilities of the board of a public charter school is to evaluate the Head of School. Boards are ultimately responsible for the academic, operational, and financial health and success of the school, yet they do not (and should not!) manage the day-to-day operations of the school, hire the staff, or teach the students. When you sit in the governance seat, the Head of School evaluation process is the board’s most powerful opportunity to exercise effective oversight and hold the school accountable for academic, financial, and operational success.

However, this is really hard! Board members aren’t at the school every day, and most of them have, in fact, never run a school. It can be difficult to gather enough data in a timely way to really know what’s working and what’s not. Plus, board members are busy! We hear from many of our partners that boards often struggle to conduct a professional, thorough, comprehensive evaluation that provides a clear and accurate picture of how well the leader is performing in their job, and that gives the leader actionable, timely feedback on their strengths and areas for growth.
[Read more]

Register Today! Join EdFuel’s 2019-20 Peer Learning Community Cohorts in Washington D.C.

Kerri-Ann Nesbeth
June 27, 2019

Join us for an 8-month in-person peer learning community designed to accelerate education leaders who are change agents for the future

Each school year, EdFuel offers Peer Learning Communities (PLCs) that are designed to allow participants to dive deeply into various themes and functional areas. In monthly sessions, participants convene with one of our expert facilitators to share their experiences and raise problems of practice with peers in order to identify potential solutions.

PLCs are held in-person in Washington D.C. on a monthly basis from September 2019 to April 2020. They run for approximately 2.5 hours during the business day. Past participants include but are not limited to, teachers, school leaders and individuals working in education-focused non-profit organizations.

This upcoming school year, the following three PLC sessions will be offered…[Read more]

You Can’t Claim To Care For Your People and Ignore Their Mental Health

Kristina Campa-Gruca
June 13, 2019

“I need a vacation from my vacation.” I’ve heard this phrase from friends and colleagues and have experienced the pain of enjoying time off only to be bombarded by the work of catching up once I return to work. This year, I was determined that wouldn’t be the case. A few weeks ago, my family road tripped to my grandparents beachside hometown in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday. It was a celebratory and restorative break, and I returned feeling refreshed and ready for the work ahead.

In order to avoid that “needing a vacation from my vacation”, I created a Must-Do list that was essential in helping me identify and prioritize high-impact actions that would allow me to enjoy vacation while positioning me for success upon my return. For me, that list included completing all the work I would need for the first week back from vacation, clearing my inbox, cleaning the apartment, removing perishables from the refrigerator, and running countless loads of laundry.

Your list may be different, and to help get you started before you head out on vacation (or staycation!), the team at EdFuel has compiled their personal and talent-related Must-Do action items. Check out our list below! [Read more]

You Can’t Claim To Care For Your People and Ignore Their Mental Health

Kelly Gleischman
May 30, 2019

Today marks the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to take a minute to reflect on an issue that is incredibly important to me both personally and professionally. And this year, I’d like to reflect on it through the lens of the very people that our work is all about.

EdFuel’s mission is to empower education organizations to recruit and retain high-quality, diverse staff members through comprehensive and equitable talent management systems. We do our teachers, leaders, and staff members – and therefore our students – a fundamental disservice when we fail to recognize that part of creating an equitable and inclusive environment means prioritizing mental health.

The numbers on mental health challenges are staggering. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 43.8 million adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year. Despite such high prevalence, nearly 60% of individuals with a mental illness reportedly did not receive mental health services in the previous year. Actual utilization of mental health services, while low across the board, is far lower for people of color: African American & Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, while Asian Americans utilized services at about one third of the rate….[read more]

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