Introducing The McGraw Hill Equity Advisory Board

By Sean Ryan, President, McGraw Hill School Group

McGraw Hill
Jul 7 · 5 min read

At McGraw Hill, our journey with educational equity has always been of a dual nature: we are learners, observing the creative approaches skilled educators use every day to empower students, and we are leaders, continuously working to apply evolving research to new instructional solutions that can support districts’ equity initiatives. Through that journey, and through our position as both listeners and contributors, learners and leaders, we recognize the importance of making a commitment.

Our commitment to both learning and leading in the educational equity space is embedded across our work, our partnerships, and our culture.

Our approach to equity is rooted in what we know about the science of learning. In 2019, we released our guiding principles for equity in education, which are a set of guideposts supporting district and school leaders looking to drive equity initiatives in their learning communities. Deeply rooted in seminal and emerging research on educational equity, the authors took great care to understand and portray all examined facets of equity through a learning science lens.

We understand that our culture, our collective knowledge, and the diversity of our perspectives directly influence our impact on the classroom. Our diversity and inclusion strategy, which was informed by listening sessions conducted with employees across the world, aims to foster a more inclusive workplace and features measurable goals to increase the representation of women and POC in our leadership positions. In the last year, our senior leaders, recruiters, and hiring managers have attended dialogue sessions focused on understanding unconscious biases and implementing consciously inclusive leadership. It’s a constantly evolving process, and I’m pleased with the modest progress we’ve made so far.

We recently accelerated our effort to champion equity with the introduction of our new K-12 Equity Advisory Board. Comprised of accomplished experts who excel in areas related to equity and social justice, these board members will engage in discussion of new ideas and planning of business improvements related to education equity in our products, projects, and practices.

The K-12 Equity Advisory Board will advise the company on product development, content, and other initiatives. Lanette Trowery, Senior Director, Learning Research and Strategy, organized the panel, which held their first meeting in late March. The K-12 Equity Advisory Board aims to accomplish the following:

  • Provide insights and guidance on national and global trends in educational equity, culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, and social justice,
  • Participate in discussions and planning of new ideas and business transformation in relation to educational equity in our products, projects, and practices
  • Review current product development practices, processes, and products and provide insights into ways of incorporating equity practices and frameworks, and
  • Advise our team members on equity-focused research efforts related to product development.

I’m honored to introduce our new board members:

Dr. Courtney Koestler, Director, OHIO Center for Equity in Mathematics and Science, and Associate Professor of Instruction, The Patton College of Education at Ohio University Read Bio Here
Will Lopez, Esq., Deputy General Counsel, Cooley LLP Read Bio Here
Nancy Yao Maasbach, President, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Read Bio Here
Dr. H. Richard Milner IV, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Education and Professor of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University Read Bio Here
Dr. Christian Sawyer, Principal, Denver Public Schools Read Bio Here

This work is complex, timely, and important — and we’re committed to making a difference.

As part of our collective journey, we recognize that there will be a continuous need for research, discussion, and collaboration for us to become more inclusive and diverse to the betterment of our employees, partners, and constituents. With a common goal of infusing educational equity into every aspect of our business and a shared focus on inclusion and diversity, I know that our team members, products, and customer experiences will continue to be relevant, represent the diverse population of customers we serve, and contribute to increasingly equitable educational outcomes into the future.

Sean Ryan is president of McGraw Hill’s School group, which is responsible for providing PreK-12 educators and learners with programs, tools, and services supported by differentiated pedagogical instruction and purposeful technology. He was named to his position in April 2020 after serving as CEO of Wall Family Enterprise and before that as SVP and General Manager of Fuel Education, where he was responsible for strategy, marketing, sales, implementation, support and product development for the business..

Prior to these roles, Sean was SVP of Sales, Service & Platform at McGraw Hill, leading the School group’s sales, implementation and training organization. His long career in education includes high profile roles at Campus Management, Scantron Corporation and The Princeton Review of Japan. Sean is also a former military intelligence officer, having served in a variety of capacities in the U.S. and abroad and rising to the rank of captain.

Sean graduated with a Master of Science degree in Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in Soviet Studies from the United States Air Force Academy.

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators.

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on learning science, educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.

McGraw Hill

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We apply the science of learning to create innovative educational solutions and content to improve outcomes from K-20 and beyond.

Inspired Ideas

Resources, ideas, and stories for PreK-12 educators. We focus on learning science, educational equity, social and emotional learning, and evidence-based teaching strategies. Be sure to check out The Art of Teaching Project, our guest blogging platform for all educators.