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Broad Center announces inaugural class of public education fellows

Kai Nip, Contributing Photographer

Last week, the Broad Center announced its inaugural cohort of 20 senior public education professionals for the Fellowship for Public Education Leadership. 

The Broad Center –– which used to be independent of the University and located in Los Angeles before moving to the Yale School of Management this year –– is dedicated to improving K-12 public education through leadership development, impactful research and policy engagement. The fellows hail from 11 different states and the District of Columbia, and come from various backgrounds within public education: 12 fellows work in traditional public school districts, while six work in public charter school networks and two come from state education agencies. 

“These leaders are facing questions of rapid change and ambiguity in public education and are committed to further developing their own understanding of effective leadership in order to move forward equitable outcomes –– not only through the pandemic, but into the future for our educational system,” wrote Executive Director of the Broad Center Hanseul Kang in an email to the News. “They have demonstrated their unique perspectives coming into this program and they represent school systems with interesting overlaps and divergences — the geographic diversity and diversity of experience among program participants is a core part of the cohort’s potential to learn from each other.”

The fellowship, which lasts 10 months, contains four in-person sessions dispersed throughout the program. Kang explained that the first week of in-person sessions for the inaugural cohort is scheduled for June 2021, when the group will meet at SOM for five intensive days of programming. She said that this allows the fellows to return to their organizations with new techniques and recommendations to immediately implement. In between the sessions, Kang added that the fellows are expected to build their knowledge and skills through activities, readings and assignments. 

Kang said that the fellowship will take advantage of its new location at SOM. She pointed out efforts to integrate SOM’s case-based teaching method to the program curriculum and said the case studies may be expanded to focus on management questions in education. 

Many of the fellows expressed special interest in the fellowship because of the Broad Center’s recent relocation. Fellow M. Ann Levett, who is the superintendent of a 37,000 student school district in Georgia, said that she sees many connections between running a high-functioning public school and managing a successful business. 

“When I look at my job, a big part of it is education, but it’s also a business,” Levett said. “I have to maintain very strong financials for our organization [and] look at human resources. It’s education, but it’s business management, too.”

Levett said that having the Broad Center located at SOM enables the University to demonstrate its commitment to public education and the growth of leaders. She added that it also provides fellows with the opportunity to tap into Yale’s “great brain trust” to better their work.

According to Fellow Fredrick Heid, another benefit of the Center’s association with SOM is increased

Restoring California’s Forests to Reduce Wildfire Risks Will Take Time, Billions of Dollars and a Broad Commitment | Best States

By Roger Bales and Martha Conklin

Many of California’s 33 million acres of forests face widespread threats stemming from past management choices. Today the U.S. Forest Service estimates that of the 20 million acres it manages in California, 6-9 million acres need to be restored.

Forest restoration basically means removing the less fire-resistant smaller trees and returning to a forest with larger trees that are widely spaced. These stewardship projects require partnerships across the many interests who benefit from healthy forests, to help bring innovative financing to this huge challenge.

The California Wildfires in Photos

california wildfires

We are engineers who work on many natural resource challenges, including forest management. We’re encouraged to see California and other western states striving to use forest management to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

But there are major bottlenecks. They include scarce resources and limited engagement between forest managers and many local, regional and state agencies and organizations that have roles to play in managing forests.

However, some of these groups are forming local partnerships to work with land managers and develop innovative financing strategies. We see these partnerships as key to increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration.

Under contemporary conditions, trees in California’s forests experience increased competition for water. The exceptionally warm 2011-2015 California drought contributed to the death of over 100 million trees. As the forest’s water demand exceeded the amount available during the drought, water-stressed trees succumbed to insect attacks.

Funding is a significant barrier to scaling up treatments. Nearly half of the Forest Service’s annual budget is spent on fighting wildfires, which is important for protecting communities and other built infrastructure. But this means the agency can restore only a fraction of the acres that need treatment each year.

The Benefits of Restoration

Forest restoration provides many benefits in addition to reducing the risk of high-severity wildfires. It reduces tree deaths and provides a foundation for sustaining carbon stored in trees and soil. Removing trees reduces water use in the forest, making more water available for the remaining trees, for in-stream flows and for food production and urban areas downstream.

Increased streamflow also enhances electricity generation from hydropower plants, offsetting use of fossil fuels to produce electricity and contributing to state greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

Restoring forests reduces the erosion that often follows wildfires when rain loosens exposed soil, damaging roads, power lines and ecosystems and depositing sediments in reservoirs. And it improves rural mountain economies by supporting local jobs.

The French Meadows Forest Restoration Project is an innovative public-private partnership to improve watershed health and restore the landscape’s historic fire regime.Mountain headwater forests are an integral part of California’s water infrastructure. They store winter snow and rain and release moisture slowly to rivers for downstream irrigation and municipal supplies during the state’s dry summers. That’s why supporting forest restoration is also gaining traction with downstream water and hydropower providers.

Residents across the western U.S. had weeks of unhealthy air this summer owing to smoke from wildfires. Short of