Irvin Scott, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

TITLE: Deputy Director, US Program

FUNDING AREAS: K-12 teacher development

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

IP TAKE: Irvin Scott has spent a lot of time on the front lines working in public schools. As opposed to a professional "philanthropoid," Scott is a real practitioner who happens to work at a foundation. He's also pretty likable.

PROFILE: Bringing both academic credentials and a proven track record as a "results guy" he earned during a stint as an administrator of Boston public schools, Irvin Scott is one of five Deputy Directors of the foundation's education programs. Scott oversees the development of "systems to support effective teaching" and has been with the Bill & Melidna Gates Foundation in this position since August 2011.

According to his Linkedin profile, Scott earned a B.S. in education from Millersville University in 1989.  Scott occupied a variety of teaching and administrative positions in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Boston public schools during the late 1990s and early 2000s, including as Chief Academic Officer of Boston’s public school system. Much of his work there centered around education reform and improving conditions for low-income and minority students. Scott has often focused on working in tough school settings with low-income students who were not succeeding, particularly with African American student populations.

Scott returned to school for a Master's of Education Administration from Temple University in 2004. He then moved to Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, where he received a Master's in Policy and Management in 2007 and an Ed.D. from its Urban Superintendents Program in 2011.

At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Scott primarily focuses on the College-Ready Education division. A Gates Foundation press release describes his work as involving "cluster[s] of communities with significant investments focused on transforming how teachers are recruited, developed, retained and rewarded." Scott also focuses on "supporting teachers and ensuring their voices inform the education reform dialogue."

As the Bill & Melida Gates Foundation has ramped up it focuson teacher effectiveness, Scott has put in a good deal of work in this area. He has worked under the director of this initiative, and he seems well matched in this position along side of other veteran practitioners who have logged their time on the front lines of public schools.

Scott is a contributor to Impatient Optimists, the foundation's official blog, writing extensively on the topic of widening access to education and defending the honor of public charter schools against critics like Anthony Cody. He also blogs for Teacher Voice, a site for the advancement of the teaching profession through the voice of current and former teachers. On his personal profile on this site, Scott posits the quesiton, "How do we lift the teaching profession to its rightful place in America?"


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