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.

Nov 2014: Session 2 Chicago

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

On November 4th, the Chicago fellows welcomed John Barker, Chief Accountability Officer of Chicago Public Schools. John was an enthusiastic and engaging speaker who discussed the opportunities and challenges at CPS. Learn more about John below.

A Tennessee native, John Barker joined CPS in January 2013 after serving as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of the Memphis City Schools. Prior to that role, he was head of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Student Information for that same district, where he was described by his colleagues as a great spirit-bearer who performed his duties with the highest levels of integrity, professionalism, skill, grace, and good humor.

As Chief Accountability Officer for CPS, John oversees the work of directors and their teams in Access & Enrollment, strategic planning, student testing, performance data, research and evaluation, and the deployment of strategic support aimed at improving the lives of all students and stakeholders. John holds M.P.P and PhD degrees from Vanderbilt University and considers it a privilege to do what he feels is his gift – encouraging, motivating and inspiring others while connecting them with information that makes them more efficient and effective every day.

October 2014: Session 1

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

This month, we had awesome first Revive The Dream sessions in both NYC and Chicago. We kicked off the year getting to know this group of talented, thoughtful professionals while building an understanding of the current state of US education and the underlying problems. Can’t wait to dig in with this group again in November!

The Results are IN!

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

We completed our spring 2014 annual alumni and fellow survey and the results are in!

96% of Revive The Dream alumni and fellows would recommend the program to a friend.

100% found the Revive the Dream sessions valuable for developing their understanding of education issues.


Now it’s your chance to join the 2014-2015 cohort. Applications are due August 8.

Revive The Dream Expands to NYC – Fall 2014

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

After three successful years in Chicago, Revive The Dream is now expanding to New York City! As we’ve done in Chicago, we see an opportunity to engage individuals in the important education issues in the city of New York. The first cohort will begin in NYC in September 2014.

Big Apple, here we come! Please help us spread the word to potential NYC candidates!


Our newest partner – Modify Watches!

Written by rtdadmin on . Posted in RTD Institute News


This month we’ve partnered with a 2-year old startup, Modify Watches (,  an innovative watch brand that sells fun, colorful mix-and-match timepieces that have inspired an avid social media following.  


Modify has created the “Together” watch (check out the link below) to help raise funds and awareness for their favorite non-profits. Each month, Modify supports a different non-profit through sales of the limited-edition watch face. The face retails for $30 (additional straps are an additional $15 or $20), and for each sale $20 will be given to the non-profit partner (US!).


Check them out and support our cause!