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Posts by Joe Ventura

Welcoming Rich Crandall to the NewSchools Team

We are proud to announce that Rich Crandall will be joining NewSchools Venture Fund. Rich comes to NewSchools following a four-year stint as director of the K-12 Lab at the Hasso Plattner Instititute of Design at Stanford (the d.school). Rich is a well-recognized leader in the field, and particularly in helping education innovators applying the principles of user-centered design. He has helped to cement a strong partnership between NewSchools and the d.school, […] Read more

Educreations Policy Update

NewSchools Policy Director Ben Riley provides a great overview of two new education bills that were introduced last Friday, January 6 in the House Education and Workforce Committee. In his short video, Ben provides a run-down of the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation & Effective Teachers Act. Ben’s using a great new app called Educreations, which allows users to create video “lessons” à la Khan Academy. (Their tagline is “Teach what you know. […] Read more

2011 Year in Review

As 2011 comes to a close, we’re taking stock of our successes and challenges throughout the year. Here are just a few highlights:  In 2011, schools in the NewSchools portfolio served more than 115,000 students—equal to the 33rd largest school district in the country. Upon graduation, 90% of them will go on to college.  This year, we invested more than $17 million dollars in innovative entrepreneurial organizations working to make a difference for students from low-income communities. Our […] Read more

Overcoming the Beta-Test Blues

The brainy, out-of-touch computer geek has long been a sitcom archetype. From Doogie to Leonard and Sheldon, these intelligent yet hapless characters’ struggles to communicate with normal folks is a source of amusement.But these delightful storylines about experts frustrated by the need to occasionally communicate their esoteric knowledge with the laypeople in their lives hyperbolizes a challenge recognized by many real life ed-tech entrepreneurs.Most developers realize that their chances of building a (commercially […] Read more

The Future of Education

We invited leading education entrepreneurs to share their thoughts about the future of education. Hear their hopes and goals for the future of education and the education reform movement in this final installment of the NewSchools Presents video series. You’ll hear from Larry Rosenstock (High Tech High), Jessica Cunningham (KIPP DC), Sal Khan (Khan Academy), Marijke Smit (Project Frog), Bill Jackson (GreatSchools), Alexandra Bernadotte (Beyond 12), Scott Given (Unlocking Potential Schools), and […] Read more

Celebrating Education Entrepreneurs in Video

Education entrepreneurs are as diverse as the communities they serve. This week we continue our celebration of these passionate social innovators by featuring three entrepreneurs that are making a difference in lives of children in ways often overlooked by education reformers. During the life of our second fund (2002-2006), NewSchools identified an important need in the education market around charter school real estate. One of the biggest hurdles that charter schools face in […] Read more

Hacking Education: Detroit

As someone with family ties in the area, I’m constantly challenged by the majority of stories about Michigan. But, it’s not hard to see why Detroit is so frequently used as the poster city of our collective economic straits. Inner city blight, the exodus of college graduates, deep cuts in social services, and a shocking adult illiteracy rate: Detroit has all the hallmarks of a city in the throes of disaster. It’s […] Read more

NewSchools Presents: Bill Jackson, GreatSchools

In 1998, Kim Smith, a student at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teamed up with famed venture capitalist John Doerr and Brook Byers to build an organization whose mission was to transform education by supporting education entrepreneurs. The trio recognized that entrepreneurs had revolutionized the fields of science, medicine, and technology, and wanted to bring that same innovative spark to the world of education.Their idea became NewSchools Venture Fund, and an entrepreneur […] Read more

NewSchools Presents: Alexandra Bernadotte and Scott Given

When we invited education entrepreneurs to tell their stories in our Story Booth at NewSchools Summit 2011 earlier this year we were completely unprepared for the response we received. We heard from a diverse group of social innovators, fiercely dedicated to improving public education for all children. They spoke the experiences which led them to take on such challenging work, and their thoughts on the future of education reform.This week we’re releasing […] Read more