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Posts by Jonathan Schorr

Pathbrite and readImagine: the cool ideas that didn’t get on the TODAY Show

Even if you didn’t see the TODAY show last Wednesday, you’ve probably heard a good bit about the winners of the Innovation Challenge, the contest NewSchools ran last week in partnership with Citi and NBC News as part of the three-day Education Nation programming. You may have heard less about the two runners-up, and that’s too bad, because their ideas are important and, dare we say it, beautiful.As you know if you […] Read more

Who said it? Teachers Union Leader or Ed Tech Entrepreneur?

Even a handful of years ago, the scene would have been improbable: the leaders of the two major teachers unions sitting down to a serious conversation with education technology entrepreneurs about innovation and reform in the shadow of the Democratic National Convention.Yet that was what happened yesterday, at an event in Charlotte, NC organized by Democrats for Education Reform. (NewSchools is a nonpartisan organization.) The event reprised one at the Democratic convention […] Read more

What America thinks about education, 2012 edition

There’s a big problem with public education in this country, but it doesn’t affect my kid. If you had to boil down this year’s PDK Gallup poll – probably the most influential survey of American attitudes on education – down to a sentence, that might be it. But there’s much more to learn here, particularly if you care about improving the way we prepare teachers, school choice, or common core standards.My kids are […] Read more

What does a moon shot in education mean?

Lately, leaders seeking to describe a bold effort to make massive change have used the metaphor of the moon shot, notably including Arne Duncan, early in his tenure as  Secretary of Education. At the outset of the stimulus, the moon mission offered an apt metaphor for reaching a goal that has long seemed unreachable, through determination, hard work, and vision.I was thinking about those words today as I visited the Kennedy Space Center, […] Read more

Bill Clinton takes on innovation in education at KIPP’s Summit

Bill Clinton’s best speeches invariably are the ones where he travels easily and expertly between disciplines and fields of ideas. On Thursday, Clinton gave one of those stunners, at the KIPP School Summit in Orlando, Florida. KSS, as it’s typically called, brings together thousands of teachers from throughout KIPP—the biggest high-performing charter network in the country focused on underserved kids—along with a sprinkling of board members, advocates, funders, and others. It’s part professional […] Read more

Teachers, Reformers and the “Real Fight”

Education reform hardly qualifies as the most exciting news with an Aspen dateline this week. In fact, the Aspen Ideas Festival* didn’t even have an official education track this year. But that didn’t keep the Festival – an annual gathering that represents the high-altitude pinnacle of influential thinking –from making news in the education world. The Festival featured no fewer than three sessions on the potential of technology to bring disruptive innovation to […] Read more

Who’s an Education Entrepreneur?

Jason Tomassini, a talented scribe who’s just joined the ink-stained ranks at Ed Week, alerted those of us who were asleep last weekend to a “spat” between Diane Ravitch, the education historian with the itchy Twitter finger, and Justin Hamilton, spokesman for the US Department of Ed. In the dustup, a mostly honorable group got sullied; herewith, a few words of defense.As Tomassini details, the trouble begins with this gauntlet Ravitch throws […] Read more

Summit 2012

“While the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period… [Between 1970 and 2007,] the achievement gap by income had grown by 40 percent … while the gap between white and black students, regardless of income, had shrunk substantially.” — The New York Times “In 2010, 37 percent of … additional earnings went to just […] Read more

We’re moving!

We’re moving. NewSchools’ Bay Area offices have been situated in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood since education innovation involved smoother slate and sharper chalk. Come the end of this week, we’re moving to the other side of the Bay, atop Oakland’s 19th Street BART station. We’ll be thrilled to be in a neighborhood that is home to so many of our fellow education reform organizations. The move to Oakland is a good one fiscally […] Read more

Grading the New York Times on Education Technology

This morning, the New York Times had the latest in its occasional series, “Wouldn’t It Be Nicer If There Were No Technology in Schools” –wait, sorry, I read it wrong, the correct title is “Grading the Digital School.” The piece, titled “Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools,” reveals that a new law in Idaho “requires all high school students to take some online classes to graduate, and that the students and […] Read more