Major Education Group Announces New Leadership and Upcoming Milestone
WASHINGTON – The Center for Education Reform announced today new leadership of the Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education (STOP), which began in 2021 to address the shortage of educational opportunities for students confined to inadequate schooling during the pandemic and has continued to grow to reward and expand education providers that overdeliver for underserved students.
“We’re thrilled to announce Rob Blevins, leader of the 2021 Yass Prize winner Discovery Center of Springfield, MO, will be joining the team as Chief Operating Officer, and Katherine Nelligan, an accomplished educator and social scientist has joined the Yass Prize team as Director of Research,” said Jeanne Allen who oversees the organizations.
Also announced, Josephina Rago was promoted to Senior Partnership Manager, and Alex Audet is now the Director of Data and Technology. “These individuals will help our seasoned team play a critical role in the growing effort to accelerate the adoption of education innovation and expand opportunity for each and every student in the nation,” added Allen.
Since its inception, the Yass Prize and STOP Awards Initiative have awarded more than $40 million to 84 organizations, including the coveted $1 million grand prize each year, considered the Pulitzer of Education Innovation. The work has also expanded to provide seed money to grow the supply of education options in states with new or expanded education choice programs. This year, on September 14th, the Yass Award for Education Freedom will announce awards totalling $5 million across the states of Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma where parents are clamoring for diverse learning opportunities for their students.
“Many will say that choice isn’t an option for kids in failing schools because there aren’t enough of them,” said Yass Prize Founder Janine Yass. “Providing seed money to help education providers meet the needs of families is a major solution. We want to reward states that create sustainable pathways to give parents what is rightly theirs–the funds to choose the education that meets the needs of their students.”
After the September 14th live announcement from Washington, D.C., Mrs. Yass will be joined by Yass Prize alumni to announce the next round of 64 Quarterfinalists, which will have been evaluated by three panels of judges, including their peers, experts and Blue Ribbon leaders. Quarterfinalists receive $100,000 and will be further evaluated to be one of 32 Semifinalists, who will continue onto the finals and become part of an education and innovation accelerator where they will spend four weeks learning from experts in various sectors and prepare to deliver their final pitch. The annual competition culminates in an announcement on December 13th in New York City, in partnership with Forbes.
“The work being performed by these educators is incredible, and it should drive the conversation nationally and among all the candidates in the presidential campaign,” says co-founder Jeff Yass. “Education equality and freedom is at the top of the list of every parent in America deprived of a great education. The best candidates will support giving parents the money the government currently allocates to find the best education for their kids. All of it. It’s their money, and they would do a better job than any bureaucracy in building a future for their kids.”