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Kate  Gerson

Kate Gerson

Founder of UnboundED


Kate Gerson is a powerful advocate for equity in American schools. Over the course of 25 years as a student of high-quality classroom instruction, racial equity, and education leadership, Kate has emerged as a thought leader widely respected for her ability to translate research into action steps and data into comprehendable truths. She led the project to build EngageNY, the first K-12 ELA and math curriculum aligned with high standards and the first to be published as open educational resources (OER). She also founded and led the impactful organization UnboundED which has codified the practices needed for rigorous instruction as well as the learning educators must do in order to deliver it to every child.  She has hosted thousands of educators at large scale learning institutes and provided a model for the kind of granular, detailed thinking needed for instructional change. Kate’s years of experience working in schools, school systems, and the non-profit sector informed her passionate perspective on adult responsibility and the learning required in all roles if all students are to be provided with an education that prepares them for college, career, and the life they imagine for themselves. Read More >

Kate consults independently with organizations and systems on instructional quality, adult learning, college readiness, and educational equity for students impacted by racism and bias. Previously, Kate was a Senior Fellow at the Regents Research Fund, where she led New York State’s academic projects (EngageNY) under Secretary John B King Jr. Prior to her work at UnboundEd and New York State, Kate was an Executive Director at New Leaders, the founding principal of a model transfer high school for over-aged and-under-credited students in New York City, and began her career as an award-winning high school English teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools. She is a proud 3rd generation educator and a single mom of two daughters in New York City public schools.

Kate Gerson is a founding partner at Just Instruction, a consulting group focused on instructional quality, professional learning, college readiness, and the deconstruction of systemic racism in the public and private sectors. Kate has been the architect of successful organizations with scaled impact, large-scale professional learning events, comprehensive curriculum builds, and transformation opportunities for organizations and systems concerned with confronting racism and inequity. She built a national reputation around the transformational experience of the Standards Institute where educators find urgency and information regarding systemic racism in American schools.

Kate shares the compelling message that the status quo isn’t good enough and the change we need is within our grasp.  She invites educators at every level of the system to the conversation where the details matter, small decisions can make all the difference, and the way we’ve always done things must be examined because we aren’t currently serving all the students in our care. Each time she speaks, her listeners are called to confront their own role in the system and move closer to the change we all work so hard to achieve. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Systematic Racism

High Quality Curriculum

Talk About Race

Bias Behavior

Speech Topics

Instructional Excellence: What Does It Look Like?

In a world so divided around different pedagogical movements and platforms, it is easy to lose sight of our own definition of excellence or rigor in education. Kate will talk to you about your instructional priorities and help enhance everyone’s thinking around the what and how of teaching. She creates safe spaces for educators to check in about their expectations for students and ask themselves whether the environment they provide is sophisticated, challenging and globally competitive for each child.

Finding Ourselves in “Equity”

It is rare to attend a conference or even a meeting where concerns with “equity” are not raised. This is an exciting and daunting time in which our own role or way forward may be unsure. Kate provides a path into that difficult conversation we all want to have even when we are unsure of how to start or continue. Kate is able to fluidly customize this presentation for communities who are just getting started or for those who are further along on their equity journey.

Anti-Racist Educating: Let’s Do This Work Together

What does anti-racism mean for educators or policy makers who have varying degrees of power in a system and know that they want to cause a better world. In this unique presentation, Kate explores what it takes to build a community purposefully focused on equity who are increasingly able to ground their actions and attention in the details of teaching and learning. She readily handles the difficult questions and conversations that come with this hard work, modeling a way forward for all of us.

Building a Future with Our Schools

For educators seeking to take their “good” schools to “great,” Kate provides concrete pathways for you to move forward with your culture, classrooms, and outcomes. If you are working through new challenges such as changing student populations, changing budgets, or new standards, Kate helps audiences sift through priorities, options, and goals in order to provide classrooms that are alive places thriving with discourse, analysis, and collaboration. As an experienced educator herself and the daughter, stepdaughter, and granddaughter of teachers, she brings a grounded point of view to the real-world challenges we face while aspiring to develop the next generation of learned American citizens.