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Getting Smart Podcast

Mar 21, 2018

Today Tom Vander Ark is talking with Dr. Carmen Coleman and Dr. John Marshall. Carmen serves as Chief Academic Officer and John as Chief Equity Officer, of Jefferson County Public Schools. The two have worked together to shape powerful, equitable, high-quality learning experiences for the over 100,000 students in Louisville, Kentucky and are united in their thoughts and beliefs on how to address urban school district needs.


Even though they’ve only known each other for seven months, Carmen and John’s partnership is already strong and is deeply rooted in the notion that all students deserve a richer set of challenging experiences that prepare them for the innovation economy also known as Deeper Learning. Listen in to learn more about the work John and Carmen are doing for the community and students of Louisville.


Key Takeaways:

[1:26] About John’s pathway to getting to JCPS, how he became Chief Equity Officer and the history behind the position.

[3:42] About the focus on Deeper Learning in Louisville.

[6:34] Why Deeper Learning and equity are central to JCPS’s equity agenda.

[8:05] The challenge of making Deeper Learning central to a high-challenge community.

[9:01] How JCPS finds the middle ground between personalized and rigorous project-based learning.

[13:01] What does a Chief Equity Officer do? John’s role at JCPS.

[15:05] How Carmen’s role at JCPS intersects with John’s.

[17:40] What tasks and challenges would John work on with a Chief Academic Officer?

[19:04] Is John a problem-finder or a problem-solver?

[20:10] What John and Carmen have learned about leadership and promoting equity and Deeper Learning simultaneously.

[22:50] How John describes his leadership approach.

[25:03] What Ms. McCormick (one of JCPS’s teachers) is doing, in relation to Deeper Learning.

[25:45] The process of funding $800,000 for digital learning proposals.

[27:32] John’s progress on reducing suspensions and removing subjective code of conduct rules.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jefferson County Public Schools

Deeper Learning

Eastern High School

New York Performance Standards Consortium

Ed Week


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