It is no accident that so many business, civic, and political leaders are attorneys by trade. In this series, we will highlight dynamic leaders who are using the tools they gained through law school to impact the world and show you the inherent value of learning to think like a lawyer. Today’s feature is on Hailly T.N Korman.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. We do this by helping education organizations accelerate their impact and by working to improve policy and practice.
Bellwether envisions a world in which race, ethnicity, and income no longer predict opportunities for students, and the American education system affords all individuals the ability to determine their own path and lead a productive and fulfilling life.
Our work focuses on five core areas:
- Policy analysis and research
- Strategy and growth planning
- Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
- Implementation support
- Educational program evaluation
We believe that the only way to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education is to take a holistic approach by changing field-level policies and perceptions while strengthening and supporting individual organizations. Since many of the challenges organizations face are complex, they require multiple perspectives and areas of expertise.
Through our integrated offerings, we provide comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
My work focuses on the places where our education systems meet our other public systems and I place special emphasis on correctional education, justice-involved youth, and school discipline. I support justice agencies and their education partners as they work to craft practices that significantly improve outcomes for justice-involved students, and I advocate for systemic reforms that mitigate the institutional obstacles to providing high-quality education services to youth in secure schools.
The intersection of education and the justice system is a deeply personal place for me and for far too many communities in this country. We are facing a national crisis, and I do this work with the hope that one day, I will put myself out of a job. Helping young people to find a life trajectory that allows them to choose their future is the work of education; doing that for those students who need our best most of all is nothing short of liberation.
HOW DID YOUR LEGAL TRAINING AND/OR LAW SCHOOL EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU TO TACKLE THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES YOUR ORGANIZATION IS TACKLING?
Put simply: law school and legal practice made me smarter. I’m a more critical consumer of information, I’m better able to anticipate the long-term implications of today’s choices, and I have a deep understanding of what law and policy can do to solve problems. Perhaps most importantly, I understand what the law CAN’T do.
I’ve litigated education impact cases on behalf of students and generally, I think that it’s a bad idea. It’s a last resort. The best example of this probably comes as a reflection on Brown vs. Board of Ed., the landmark school desegregation case. It’s one of our touchpoints when we think about the power of the law to do good in the world, but the reality is that for the most part our schools are as segregated as they were when these policies were banned. That case was a victory, but did kids in schools really win?
To learn more about Hailly T.N Korman, read her piece about litigating for education equity and follow her on twitter!
To learn how your school or organization can adopt thinkLaw’s standards-aligned program that helps educators teach critical thinking to all students, please click here to schedule a time to speak with someone on the thinkLaw team, call us now at (702) 318-7512 or join us on our next webinar; Thinking Like a Lawyer: Power Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students
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