In 1907, Philadelphia Quaker woman Anna Jeanes created a $1 million endowment – worth approximately $30 million in today’s currency – to be devoted solely to bringing talented black educators, primarily women, into black schools in the Jim Crow South. The Anna Jeanes Foundation (also known as the Negro Rural School Fund) funded positions from 1908 through early years of integration in white-controlled school systems for teacher leaders to do the “next needed thing” to improve schools and communities, affording them the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and flexible. The Jeanes Teachers made the schools the hubs of activity in rural communities, making sure that learning was relevant to the needs of the community. Jeanes Teachers also promoted the professionalism of teaching, providing curriculum development, teacher training, and school and district leadership.
The Jeanes Fellows Program is designed to provide consistent and intentional infrastructure to support community-school relationships using an equity lens.
The program will operationalize needed action from 3 foundational documents:
- The Leandro Action Plan: Sound Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina, can be found here. A few key recommendations called for a qualified and well prepared teacher in every classroom and finance and resource allocation.
- DRIVE Task Force Final Report and Recommendations: a report with 10 key recommendations to increase teacher diversity. Recommendations include affordable postsecondary access, diversity goals for schools and districts, and support networks for educators of color.
- NC State Board of Education Statewide Strategic Plan: a plan grounded in the guiding principles of equity and the whole child with goals to eliminate opportunity gaps, improve school and district performance, and increasing educator preparedness to meet the needs of every student all to be fulfilled by 2025.