SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Abl, developer of popular master scheduling software used by a growing number of U.S. schools and districts, today announced the appointment of Howard Bell as CEO. An engineer, public interest attorney, and executive with nearly two decades of experience in public education, Bell is a first-generation college student and proud graduate of Atlantic City Public Schools.
Founded in 2015, Abl works with states and school districts including Washington State OSPI, Denver Public Schools, Portland Public Schools, Washington D.C. Public Schools, and San Diego Unified School District, to generate insights that enable leaders to optimize resource allocation in order to improve equity, and avoid unintended consequences of scheduling decisions.
"The fallout from this year's closures will only compound the complexity of master scheduling as schools begin to re-open. But it will also heighten the risk of creating, or exacerbating, access gaps," said Bell. "Our work is about enabling equity-driven decision-making as schools tackle the challenge of rebuilding their course catalogs and staffing plans. It's about helping districts to understand and evaluate the inevitable tradeoffs as they work to allocate scarce resources across, and within, schools."
On May 18, Abl will expand on these issues by hosting a webinar entitled "COVID 19: Addressing Equity and Avoiding Unintended Consequences," featuring Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, and Los Angeles Unified School District Chief Academic Officer Alison Yoshimoto-Towery.
"Howard's educational journey from an urban district to the Ivy League instilled a sense of mission that is tightly aligned with our team's work and values," said Abl Founder, Adam Pisoni. "As an executive and engineer, he brings the knowledge and experience that we need to serve districts at scale. As an individual, he brings first-hand experience with the barriers that low-income students often face on their paths to higher education."
Schools and districts use Abl's Master Scheduler to create schedules that align with district goals while meeting the needs of students and teachers. Abl's District Scheduling Audit surfaces and visualizes district-wide scheduling, demographic, and academic programming data to help district leaders make strategic decisions about equity and access for students and staff. Abl's groundbreaking Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded analysis, "Time for Change? Findings from a Survey of Time Use in Schools" evaluated data from thousands of schools and educators to understand how time was used within their schools.
An electrical engineer and attorney, Bell is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Virginia Law school. He received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Prior to joining Abl, Bell held multiple leadership roles in the education technology sector, including general manager and senior vice president at Hobsons. He previously served as an administrator and educator at Wayne State University, and president of TechTown, an urban research and technology business park in Detroit.
Abl is an education software and services company that is passionate about equity. Abl takes an operations-first approach, understanding access to courses, student equity, and teacher equity through the lens of the master schedule. Abl works with school district leaders to not only evaluate equitable opportunities, but use the results to take action through the school schedule to create systemic change. Learn more at ablschools.com.