Deborah Bial

Most Influential Person

American educator

Why Is Deborah Bial Influential?

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Deborah Bial was born in 1965 in New York City, New York. She graduated from Brandeis University before earning her master’s and Ed.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Bial is best known for her work with her Posse Foundation, an organization which sends students to college with an established peer group, or posse. The purpose of the posse is to create support networks for students, from which they can gain a sense of camaraderie, shared purpose, and emotional support. Her assessment, the Bial-Dale College Adaptability Index, seeks to meet the needs of urban and underserved students by determining college readiness by way of interviews and activities. Her method is also known as “the Lego test” due to the building block play part of the test.

Bial was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007 and was one of the 2013 recipients of the Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education for her work addressing college access for underserved students. Her posse students have yielded 90% graduation rates and she continues to promote her Bial-Dale College Adaptability Index to public high schools and organizations and the use of nontraditional metrics to evaluate college readiness. She is also a founder of Firefly Education LLC.

According to Wikipedia, Deborah Bial is an education strategist, the founder and president of the Posse Foundation and a trustee of Brandeis University. Bial is known for the concept of her foundation, which is to send groups of around ten students to collaborating colleges so that they can support each other and achieve a greater success rate. She is also known for the Bial–Dale College Adaptability Index, an activity-based test of college readiness that incorporates Lego play.

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