Dr. carlos grant
executive director of middle schools
Cedar Rapids community SCHOOL DISTRICT (ia)

Headshot copy.jpg

Dr. Carlos C. Grant was born in Winston-Salem, NC and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology Education from SC State University, Masters of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University, and Educational Doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership and Superintendency from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Dr. Grant has over 18 years of experience in the educational field. This includes being a high school science teacher, Assistant Principal in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. Prior to living in Iowa, he was the Academic Director of York Preparatory Academy (K-12 public, charter school). 

He came to Iowa to serve as the Principal of Metro High School. His vision for Metro was centered on transforming the function of alternative schools around three key areas: (1) 21st century technology, (2) boundary-free collaboration, and (3) “outside the box” flexibility. He believes this will directly influence the shortage of current and future skilled workers in the technical areas of Architecture, Construction and Engineering. He was instrumental in developing the Metro STEAM Academy that is focused on exposing students to 21st century technology will better prepare them for STEAM related careers, which will make them more marketable in the global economy. He also served a dual role within the school district as the interim Principal at Washington High School for the 2016-2017 school year. 

In the summer of 2016, he transitioned to be the Executive Director for Middle Level Education. He is responsible for administrative supervision of all services related to middle school education in the Cedar Rapids Community Schools. His current focus is on re-visioning the role schools play in designing instruction that is student-centered, competency-based, and incorporates standards based assessments in all levels. 

He believe that education is in a state of flux that requires more attention to how we assess student learning. This requires an adoption of competency-based practices that result in deeper learning outcomes for students as they engage in application, analysis, and evaluation of academic content to prepare for post-secondary success. This direction calls for students to reach proficiency of academic content while learning how to (1) think critically and creatively, (2) collaborate and communicate effectively, (3) adapt to challenges and complex problems, and (4) be accountable for quality results. This approach authorizes learning and proficiency of standards along with competencies that occur both in and outside the traditional school structure. He believes we must move this learning beyond the constraints of seat time and silo content based classrooms. Public education requires bold leaders to design learning that is student-centered, systemic personalized learning that builds ownership of learning of all ages. He recognizes that this approach will be a challenge for most districts, because this requires a vision based on fundamental redesign. The traditional system has afforded success for some students, but it has not bode well for all students. 

He currently reside in Marion, IA where he and Michelle two wonderful children, Cameron (13) and Cayden (11). Beyond being an avid golfer and reader, he spends a tremendous amount of time in community activism through his involvement with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids and East Central Iowa, Jane Boyd Community House Board of Directors, Four Oaks Total Child 2.0 Advisory Board, and Cedar Rapids Safe Equitable and Thriving (S.E.T.) Task Force.