The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education annually celebrates innovation in education by recognizing outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education and whose accomplishments are making a difference today.
Superintendent, Miami Dade County Public Schools
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has changed the digital landscape of learning in the classroom, improving student outcomes and guiding his district back to financial health. Carvalho has devoted his career to improving PreK-12 education by finding an education solution for minority and disadvantaged students. In 2010, the district launched three new and specialized senior high schools: iPrep Academy, the International Studies Preparatory Academy at Gables and the Medical Academy for Science and Technology (MAST) at Homestead.
“Education is the enabler of dreams, the builder of hope, the architect of opportunity. Education is the enabler of equity and access not just for some, but for everyone regardless of their color of skin, the god they pray to, their social condition of today, how they came here or the language they speak. It is the foundation of who we are, it is the foundation of what we represent.”
CEO, Afghan Institute of Learning
Sakena Yacoobi, known as the “mother of education” in Afghanistan, is the founder and director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). Over the last two decades, Yacoobi has worked tirelessly to rebuild her nation’s war-scarred education system. As the first organization to open learning centers in Afghanistan, AIL has delivered health and education services to an estimated 12 million people, mostly in rural Afghanistan. Working in defiance of the Taliban regime’s ban on the education for girls, Yacoobi helped to educate 3,000 girls in underground home schools. Today, AIL runs 44 learning centers for women and children and provides training to teachers in order to boost the quality of schooling in Afghanistan.
“We are really taking a holistic approach to education. We have to look at the whole human being from the toe to the head. We have to work with them on everything. It’s not just about making them read and write, or giving them education to go to school. We have to have to look at every aspect of life. That is what AIL is all about. We really believe you have to really look at holistic education. We also believe that education brings peace to the world.”
Anant Agarwal is a pioneer in computer architecture and has changed the future of online learning — democratizing and reimagining education so that anyone, anywhere can access education. Agarwal is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the driving innovators behind the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement. He is also one of the four founders, and current CEO, of edX, an open online learning destination and MOOC provider launched by Harvard University and MIT in 2012.
“This award really illuminates the work of so many people -for us it illuminates of our team at edX that work extraordinary hours as a nonprofit to really change the world of education and bring access to our 7.5 million registered learners who have come from every single country in the world that have come to our platform over the past few years.”