Background: Evan Coughenour is a Consultant with Bellwether Education Partners in the Strategic Advising practice area. Before joining Bellwether, Evan worked for four years as a consultant and special assistant to the CEO at ASI Government, a government services firm based in Arlington, VA. Evan spent the summer of 2014 at A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy fund that invests in social startups to improve education and workforce development in Chicago. Evan is a proud co-founder of the Chicago Booth Education Group (BoothED) and began his career as a sixth grade teacher and Teach For America Corps Member in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC. Evan holds an MBA with Honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from American University, and a B.A. with Distinction in Psychology from Yale University.
Why I do this work: Teddy Roosevelt reminded us that “far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” I view the task of rebuilding our nation’s education system as the most challenging and worthwhile work of my generation. During my time as a tutor and teacher, I was struck both by the huge variation in education opportunities and outcomes and also by the shameful degree to which these opportunities and outcome are determined by one’s ZIP code and blind luck. This tight correlation of children’s educational achievement with parental socio-economic status taints the American dream. I believe our country can and must do better and am thrilled to be working toward such a worthwhile end.