When Nate Marschalk, the executive director of the local education innovation non-profit The Disruption Department, heard of the new Education Innovation Fellowship program being piloted by St. Louis’ Venture Café and St. Louis Public Schools, he was immediately against the idea.
This year, the paid fellowship will pair 15 St. Louis Public Schools teachers with startups and innovative companies in the hope of bridging the gap between education and industry.
A former Teach for America teacher, Marschalk worried about the fellowship’s end goal.
“I thought it was a bad idea,” Marschalk said. “I thought it might end up being ‘oh, you have some teachers who may want to leave the classroom, here’s an opportunity to do that.’ Programs like that, I’m not in favor of. … but it is nothing like I thought it could end up being.”