A missing piece for education in the United States: Moving from an industrial to an inquiry-based paradigm

Robert Kelty started his career in Crownpoint, New Mexico in the heart of the Navajo Nation with Teach For America in 2001. Since that time, Robert has served as a head of school, superintendent, senior manager for Teach For America, and as an elected official as the Coconino County Superintendent of Schools, where he worked with all levels of government and six indigenous nations. Robert also led Puente de Hózhó Elementary School, a Navajo immersion and Spanish/English bilingual program predicated on meaningful school integration and language preservation and revitalization and featured in the Harvard Education Review for "best practices" in Native American education. He now works with the International Baccalaureate as the Head of Development, Outreach, and Government Relations for IB North America (United States and Canada) in the D.C. Global Centre. Robert received his doctorate from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and was awarded an honorary doctorate from NAU in 2008. He is a former Arizona Teacher of the Year, co-founded LAUNCH Flagstaff, led a podcast series on IB Voices around school reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic with a trauma-informed approach, and author to On Indian Ground: The Southwest (2021) alongside other peer-reviewed journals. He is also on the advisory board for the Barbara Henry Courage in Teaching Award. He is married to Samantha Kelty, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and has two super-hero children. 


Check out Robert's essay:

A missing piece for education in the US: moving from industrial to an inquiry-based paradigm 


Robert's essay is a selected entry in The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s 2022 Wonkathon. 


Editor’s note: This essay is an entry in Fordham’s 2022 Wonkathon, which asked contributors to address a fundamental and challenging question: “How can states remove policies barriers that are keeping educators from reinventing high schools?” Learn more.. When it comes to education, the United States is looking for answers. Every week reveals a Sisyphean exercise in repeating headlines ...




B Global Centre, Washington, DC


Robert Kelty, Ed.D 

Head, Development & Outreach, North America

International Baccalaureate Organization

IB Global Centre, Washington, DC

3950 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20016

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Meet Dr. Robert Kelty

Keynote Speaker

CAWS 2023 Fall Forum

Oct. 23, 2023, San Diego