Author Archive

RTD Webinar – Tuesday, June 9th

Written by Sarah Rosskamm (Coon) on . Posted in RTD Institute News

Want to learn more about RTD before the July 1st application deadline? Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, June 9th to hear from our founder, Mike Rosskamm, and from current fellows in both NYC and Chicago.

RTD Application Webinar

Tue, June 9, 2015 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT (7:00 PM CST)
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States : +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 920-047-789

Interested in Having a RTD Fellow Volunteer in Your Organization?

Written by Sarah Rosskamm (Coon) on . Posted in RTD Institute News

An important part of the RTD fellow experience is a 6-12 month volunteer project in an education organization. We are now looking for great schools, districts, non-profits and foundations who would like to have our incredible fellows complete a part-time project. If you’re interested – or know someone who may be – please below for more information.

Volunteer Projects: Volunteer projects begin in January or February 2015. They last for 6-12 months. The projects can be with one or more fellows. They should be discrete projects that the fellows can complete within the agreed upon time frame. This is an opportunity for you, but should also be an opportunity for the fellow to learn more about the field. Example current and past projects include:

  • Thrive Chicago: Fellow is helping the organization to launch a new website.
  • Charter network in Chicago: Fellow led the start-up of a fundraising board for a small charter network and is now leading that board.
  • First Principals: Fellow is providing executive coaching to a school principal.
  • Afton Partners: Fellow provides copy for a variety of materials, provides communications and PR counsel, assists with stakeholder outreach strategy, etc.
  • Other ideas: Data analysis and reporting, legal counsel, financial modeling, etc.

NEXT STEPS: If you are interested in hosting a fellow, please complete the following survey by Monday, December 22nd: SURVEY LINK. Your responses will be shared directly with fellows. Fellows are responsible for coordinating their own projects. Therefore, if one or more fellows are interested in your project, they will reach out to you directly. You can speak with them, see their resume, etc before committing to the project.

Again, please help us spread the word! Thank you!


Dec 2014: Session 3 NYC

Written by Sarah Rosskamm (Coon) on . Posted in RTD Institute News

In December, the NYC fellows built their understanding of Common Core standards. Through pre-reading and Common Core expert, Katya Levitan-Reiner, fellows now have the facts about why and how the standards were created and how they are being used across the country to enhance student learning. A highlight of the session was when an excellent KIPP teacher, Sayuri Stabrowski, taught a Common Core aligned lesson to our fellows. This first-hand experience made for a great session!

Sayuri Stabrowski is a 7th grade English teacher at KIPP Infinity Charter School in Harlem. For the past seven years she has been teaching ELA to 7th and 8th graders at the school and she’s now the Director of Instruction. She began her teaching career as a Teach For America corps member and earned her degree from the University of California, Berkeley. You can learn more about Syuri’s expertise with the Common Core and see her in action here:

Katya Levitan-Reiner is a Senior Associate on the Education Team of the Schusterman Family Foundation. She supports the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s efforts to improve K-12 education across the U.S., with a focus on teacher development and the Common Core State Standards. Prior to joining Schusterman, Katya was the Director of Field Impact at Student Achievement Partners where she focused on the development and dissemination of tools and resources to support educators in implementing the Common Core State Standards. Previously, she served as the Senior Coordinator for Performance Management in the New Haven Public Schools where she managed school and district accountability systems and supported implementation of a comprehensive school change initiative. Katya began her education career as a middle and high school mathematics teacher in Oakland, California. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in mathematics and education and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She was a 2005-2006 Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and a 2010-2012 Broad Resident in Urban Education.

Dec 2014: Session 3 Chicago

Written by Sarah Rosskamm (Coon) on . Posted in RTD Institute News

Last week, RTD fellows in Chicago met with Carrie Stewart, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Afton Partners. Through Carrie’s excellent session, fellows were able to:

  1. Understand how America funds K-12 public education
  2. Identify policies and practices that influence how funding from federal, state and local sources makes its way to individual public schools – with specific focus on Illinois funding matters
  3. Understand how the design of a school, such as a traditional school and a blended learning model, influences resource allocation decision

100% of fellows said the speaker helped build their understanding of education finance extremely or very well!

Carrie Stewart co-founded Afton Partners with Scott Milam in 2011, and currently serves as the firm’s CEO. Afton collaborates with school districts, state and local education agencies, charter school operators, and social venture philanthropists and other reform-minded investors in public education. While at Afton, Carrie has assisted with the start-up of the Tennessee Achievement School District; has provided planning and implementation services for Chicago Public Schools on its student-based budgeting initiative; has provided technical assistance to numerous charter school operators in various stages of their organizational life-cycle; and has conducted financial and operational feasibility analyses for districts contemplating significant restructuring, including at North Chicago CUSD 187. Most recently, Carrie contributed to CEE-Trust & Public Impact’s January 2014 report to the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education on a proposed restructuring of some of the state’s most under-achieving districts.

Carrie is the founding Board Chair of EPIC Academy, a public charter high school in the South Chicago community of Chicago, Illinois. She served on the steering committee for New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), and currently serves as Board Member of North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School in Chicago, Illinois.

Prior to establishing Afton, Carrie was a Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal, where she served as project lead for clients including the District of Columbia Public Schools and the Algiers Charter School Association (ACSA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. From July 2005 to March 2007, Carrie was Chief Operating Officer of ACSA, where she led the start-up of a new system of public charter schools after Hurricane Katrina, and oversaw all of the network’s non-instructional operations. While living in New Orleans, Carrie also served as Interim Treasurer of the New Orleans Public Schools. Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Carrie spent five years in Arthur Andersen’s corporate restructuring group in Chicago. She earned her BBA in Finance magna cum laude at the University of Notre Dame, with a second major in French. Carrie is also a CFA charter holder.

Nov 2014: Session 2 NYC

Written by Sarah Rosskamm (Coon) on . Posted in RTD Institute News

On November 5, New York City RTD Fellows dove into a discussion of charter schools. Our distinguished panelists included Michael Regnier from the NYC Charter Center, Fatimah Barker from Achievement First East New York Middle School and Jacob Mnookin from Coney Island Prep. Learn more about our panelists below.

Fatimah Barker is the principal of Achievement First East New York Middle School. Ms. Barker is the first person in her family to graduate from college and has seen first-hand the power of education to transform the lives of individuals, families and communities. A proud Brooklyn native, Ms. Barker began her career in education as a seventh-grade mathematics and science teacher in Philadelphia, Pa. She joined Achievement First Endeavor Middle School as a teacher, gradually adding the responsibilities of grade-level team leader and mathematics coach. Ms. Barker then became AF Endeavor Middle School’s academic dean and served as a principal-in-residence. She holds a dual B.A. in political science and in communications and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University.

Jacob Mnookin is the founder of Coney Island Prep which serves elementary, middle and high school students in Brooklyn. Coney Island Prep opened in August 2009 to its inaugural class of 90 fifth-graders; it was the first public charter school to locate in a New York City Housing Authority housing development. Coney Island Prep was ranked the #5 middle school in the city (based on 2010-2011 data), and the New York City Department of Education placed the school’s performance in the top one percent of middle schools. Jake was a Teach For America corps member in Newark, NJ and participated in the Building Excellent Schools (BES) fellowship to pursue his ambition to open up Coney Island Prep. He has a B.A. from Middlebury College and earned his master’s in Public Affairs and Urban & Regional Planning from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Michael Regnier is the Director of Policy & Research and the NYC Charter School Center. In this role, Michael is responsible for developing the Charter Center’s policy arguments, sharing accurate data about the charter sector, and helping school leaders understand and influence the policies that affect them. Before joining the Charter Center, Michael was a Research Manager at Edison Learning where he developed pilot partnerships to improve mathematics instruction and principal evaluation. He also worked as a public policy consultant at Berk and Associates in Seattle, as well as for the American Institutes of Research as a research assistant in education statistics. Michael is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.