KIPP Baltimore Executive Director leads broader education reform effort
Baltimore, Md.—KIPP Baltimore founder and former teacher Jason Botel is taking over as executive director for MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now.
“Maryland’s policy climate makes it very hard to lead children from underserved communities to achieve at high levels,” Botel said. “As I have watched KIPP and other education reform efforts grow much more quickly in other regions due to more conducive political climates, I have decided that after 12 years with KIPP and 11 years leading KIPP Baltimore, I want to contribute to KIPP’s mission in a different way. As MarylandCAN’s executive director I will fight for the laws and policies necessary for all children in Maryland to receive an excellent education.”
Jason got his start as a Teach For America corps member in Baltimore and went on to found and lead KIPP Baltimore, which operates two high-performing public charter schools and an alumni support program. In 2012, KIPP Baltimore had the highest eighth-grade reading and math proficiency rates in Baltimore on the Maryland School Assessment.
Throughout his tenure, Jason has rallied hundreds of parents to fight to allow KIPP Baltimore to continue to operate in Maryland. In 2012, he secured the approval from Baltimore City School Board of a 30-year lease for KIPP schools.
“I’ve been privileged to witness Jason build schools in Baltimore that challenge children, infuse their days with joy and put them on a path to college and success in life,” said Thomas E. Wilcox, President and CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation. “In his new role, Jason will fight for every child in Maryland to have the same chance. I look forward to continuing to partner with Jason to advance the cause of educational transformation in our state.”
Botel helped found MarylandCAN as a founding member of the advisory board, along with leaders Peter Kannam, Omari Todd, Marina McCarthy, Howard Stone, Jeff Cohen and Alice Johnson Cain.
Since launching just over a year ago, MarylandCAN has led efforts to reform public school policy in the state, including hosting a 300-person rally in Annapolis last month for charter school reform, publishing school report cards and policy reports and building a strong network of advocates.
Botel is taking over for Curtis Valentine, who served as founding executive director of MarylandCAN since September 2011.
About MarylandCAN: Launched in January 2012, MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit education reform advocacy organization building a movement of Marylanders with the will to enact smart public policies so that every Maryland child has access to a great public school.