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TNTP Re-imagine Teaching

Got Bold Ideas? Introducing TNTP’s Bridge Fellowship

February 04, 2016 | by Dan Weisberg

It’s no secret that too many students still lack access to the kind of challenging content and excellent instruction that will prepare them for success down the road. We’re constantly grappling with how to fill those gaps of access and opportunity.

As we do that, one of the questions we’ll be exploring is how to engage and graduate more African-American and Latino young men. Far too many of these young men face disadvantages right in the school setting: African-American students are suspended three times as often as white students, with African-American boys experiencing the highest suspension rates of any group.

Many of these students are not being prepared for success in school and beyond: Only about 60 percent of African-American and Latino males graduate from four-year public high schools every year, and of the students of color who do go on to college, some 60 percent are forced to take remedial classes. Even fewer earn a degree. Better serving these students will require our best thinking from both within and outside education.

That’s why today, I’m excited to open applications for TNTP’s Bridge Fellowship, a new 12-month residency that will act as a “bridge” between disciplines, harnessing the best ideas from inside and outside the education sector and drawing new talent to TNTP.

In this pilot year, we’ll be looking for two Bridge Fellows, who will work with us from August 2016-17. Each will spend half their time working on an independent project designed to address the African-American and Latino male achievement gap. They’ll use the rest of their time to build knowledge and management skills, with support from TNTP leadership and a personal mentor. They’ll be paid a competitive salary and will enjoy our excellent benefits package. At the end of the fellowship, Fellows may move on to pilot their project with TNTP’s support, or they might join us in full-time leadership roles.

Who are we looking for? The fellowship is open to candidates from all backgrounds, including those who might not naturally consider education. We’re looking for leaders with a desire to improve students’ experiences at school and who bring a history of advancing big ideas in their current field. We’re particularly interested in those who are underrepresented in education, including individuals who grew up in the communities we serve.

Fundamentally, the Bridge Fellowship is about broadening our perspectives in as many ways as possible. When it comes to the challenge of improving outcomes for African-American and Latino young men, we’ll look to our Fellows to reimagine the school experience for these students and think holistically about the ways school systems can dramatically increase their success. Candidates can apply with proposals to tackle this challenge from any angle they choose.

As we take on obstacles to equity and student success in different and deeper ways, I am excited about the insights that will come from Fellows about how we can spark change for students who have been so poorly served by our current policies and practices. 

If you have a bold new idea, experience that helps you understand the nuanced challenges of this work, or an urgent passion to change the game for young men of color, we want to hear about it.

Applications for the TNTP Bridge Fellowship are open now through March 15th

Dan Weisberg