Big Picture Learning and International Network for Public Schools Proudly Welcome Hal Colston to the First Cohort of Deeper Learning Equity Fellows


Big Picture Learning and Internationals Network for Public Schools are proud to announce that Partnership for Change’s Hal Colston has been chosen among ten emerging leaders making up the initial cohort of Deeper Learning Equity Fellows (full bios available at:

All students can benefit from Deeper Learning practices and instruction. However, equitable access to such opportunities is not always available to students of color, immigrant youth, English language learners, and youth in poverty. Addressing this problem will require adding to and sometimes altering the common language, providing exemplars of equitable deeper learning practices, and increasing the number of school, district, and classroom leaders of color.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows will tackle this issue, not merely by creating interventions, but by figuring out and breaking through the barriers that prevent these interventions from occurring in the first place. Over the course of the next two years, Mr. Colston (along with the other Equity Fellows) will design and conduct a capstone action project addressing a major challenge related to equitable access to deeper learning.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows will work with a number prominent education innovators and influencers–such as Linda Darling-Hammond, Howard Fuller, Pedro Noguera, Elliot Washor, and others–who will act as mentors to their projects. (

“We are extremely honored to collaborate with such outstanding national and emerging leaders, each with a deep, rooted commitment to deeper learning,” said Carlos Moreno, Executive Director of Big Picture Learning and Co-leader of this project (with Claire Sylvan of Internationals Network for Public Schools).“Together, I truly believe we’ll see a notable impact on equity in public education within the next three years.”

In April 2013 Hal became the Director of Partnership for Change. The goal of the Partnership is to remodel the high schools of Winooski and Burlington (VT) into student-centered, proficiency-based learning communities so that all students are best prepared for the 21st century. Prior to this, Hal was appointed by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to serve as the Executive Director of SerVermont, overseeing the statewide AmeriCorps programs. Hal launched NeighborKeepers in January of 2006, designed to empower families to create sustainable paths to adequate resources. Hal’s lifelong interests in social justice & entrepreneurship led him to become Program Director for Lutheran Social Services of New England . As the founding director, Hal created the Good News Garage to address the need of transportation equity for people struggling with a lack of resources. Big Picture Learning and Internationals Network for Public Schools are proud to announce that Partnership for Change’s Hal Colston has been chosen among ten emerging leaders making up the initial cohort of Deeper Learning Equity Fellows (full bios available at:

ABOUT DEEPER LEARNING EQUITY FELLOWS The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows is a cohort-based leadership program that aims to develop, strengthen, and sustain a group of diverse and exceptional leaders who will influence the policies and practices that expand access to Deeper Learning in public education across the country.

ABOUT BIG PICTURE LEARNING Big Picture Learning’s mission is the education of a nation, one student at a time. As a non-profit organization dedicated to the fundamental redesign of public education, Big Picture’s vision is the generation of innovative, personalized learning environments that work in tandem with the real world of their greater community. At the core of Big Picture Learning’s mission is a commitment to equity for all students, especially underserved urban students, and the expectation that these students can achieve success. Big Picture Learning designs innovative learning environments, researches and replicates new models for learning, and trains educators to serve as leaders in their schools and communities. For twenty years the Big Picture network has served over 26,000 students in 20 U.S. states and another 5,000 students in 6 countries around the world.

ABOUT INTERNATIONALS NETWORK FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS Internationals Network’s vision is to ensure that all recent immigrant students who are English Language Learners have access to a quality high school education that prepares them for college, career and full participation in democratic society, thereby opening doors to the American Dream. We provide quality public education for recently arrived immigrants by growing and sustaining a strong national network of innovative International High Schools, while supporting states, districts, schools, educators and policymakers to improve education for all English Language learners.

WHAT IS DEEPER LEARNING? In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including: mastery of core content academic content, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, eective communication, self-directed learning, and an academic mindset. When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more eciently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.