Racial Equity Council

Through the Racial Equity investment area, NewSchools is investing $1.5 million in innovators with bold ideas to alleviate racial inequities in education. Instead of a traditional grantmaking approach, this is the council, comprised of parents, students, and education innovators, making the decisions.

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Kentaro Iwasaki

Kentaro Iwasaki

Education Leader

The son of Japanese immigrants, Kentaro Iwasaki knew from a young age that he aspired to become a teacher. Growing up in Southern California, he experienced first-hand the deep and dissonant disparity between public and private schools, which inspired him to provide high-quality education to students furthest from opportunity. He was a high school math teacher and department head for 16 years, primarily at Mission High School in San Francisco. There, he led his department in dismantling the tracked honors math program, resulting in an increase of Advanced Placement (AP) math enrollment by 400% and increased passing rates on AP math exams among students of color. Kentaro was then the Associate Director of Learning and Teaching at ConnectED, where he supported district leaders, administrators, and teachers in implementing college-and-career pathways, focusing on instructional shifts in math classrooms. Kentaro holds a B.A. from Stanford and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2011 and is a National Board Certified Teacher.