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Senior Program Manager
What are you most excited to be working on at the moment?
We’re kicking off several curriculum research projects this spring. We’re in the design phase, so I’m spending a lot of time talking to experts about how to best measure whether students learning English have access to high-quality assignments at school. It’s such a privilege to get to collaborate with leaders in the field to develop our research design.
What do you like most about your work at Pivot Learning?
It’s well-documented that students in this country often have unequal access to opportunity based on their race, class, and comfort with English. I appreciate Pivot’s focus on districts as a unit of change in education. Every day, we ask, how can we support the adults in the system so that they can create a better environment for kids?
What is the last book you read?
I just finished Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson. Thompson explores, how did Polynesian navigators find and settle in all of the habitable islands in the Pacific triangle encapsulated by Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island?
Thompson documents that for decades, Western scientists argued that it was impossible that Polynesian sailors could have accomplished this without European navigation technology. Eventually, experimental voyages proved what Polynesian people had been saying for generations: their ancestors crossed the Pacific Ocean using the stars to navigate. As a researcher, I appreciate the reminder that there is no such thing as a perfectly objective point of view. Even though the doubting Western scientists were unable to conceive of navigation without compasses and sextants, that didn’t mean that it was impossible.
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Get to Know Us: Hannah Melnicoe