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Posts by Caitlin Sullivan

Rounding Up: The Other Half of Education

Last week, as our summer together in the Bay Area was drawing to a close, a group of Education Pioneers Fellows came over to my house to discuss how we would respond to an essay contest sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The prompt:What should we do to create a strong US education system that works for all, that improves student outcomes and enables our country to regain its leadership position in the field […] Read more

Grit to Graduate, part 2: Character Education

In certain circles of ed reform, the famed marshmallow experiment by Walter Mischel at Stanford in the 1960’s is cited frequently enough to turn summer s’mores into psychological artifacts. The gist of the study? A pre-school-aged child is given a marshmallow and told, “you can eat that one now, but if you wait until I come back you can have two”. No guarantees of when that might be, or what to do […] Read more

Grit to Graduate, part 1: College Success

As dispiriting as our nation’s math scores can appear as evidence of fading international competitiveness, our position at the top of one ranking might be the most alarming statistic of all: The United States has the highest college dropout rate in the industrialized world. (Both trends are even more pronounced when income is taken into account). Even once they have successfully enrolled at a college or university, American students – especially those from low-income households – are less likely than […] Read more

The J-Factor

Like so many “No Excuses” schools in our portfolio and beyond, KIPP: DC changes the lives of students and families by keeping kids’ interests at the center of decision-making. While the KIPP network earns well-deserved credit for its relentless focus on long-term goals (“KIPPster, what year are you going to college?”), students’ current happiness and well-being are central to fulfilling its mission. A classroom teeming with J-Factor (J stands for Joy; abbreviations […] Read more

Headphones on, heads up

Driving down 101 on the way to one of three Seed Fund events NewSchools hosted yesterday in the Bay Area, my colleague Michael Staton (@mpstaton) demystified the allure of start-up culture: “Caitlin, it’s 14-hour days staring at a Mac with headphones on.” There it is. And when you multiply those long days by the coefficients of persistence and grit seasoned entrepreneurs like Alex Grodd and Bill Jackson relied on to build BetterLesson and GreatSchools, that’s […] Read more