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Educate78 Launches in Oakland

I am excited to introduce Educate78, an Oakland-based not-for-profit spin off from NewSchools Venture Fund.We chose the name “Educate78” because the city of Oakland is 78 square miles, and our mission is to ensure that every student, in every neighborhood of Oakland, has access to world-class public schools. We will do this through informed giving and strategic initiatives.The time is right to focus on Oakland. The city’s robust and vibrant community of […] Read more

A New Way to Measure How Well We Are Supporting Students

When the teachers of the year from across the country were asked in a Scholastic/Council of Great City Schools poll released recently what the biggest barriers are to their students’ academic success, it was no surprise that family stress and poverty topped the list.  Students who experience physical or emotional abuse, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, or family economic hardship can suffer from “toxic stress,” which significantly limits the […] Read more

Tell Us Your Big Idea! Launching Pre-Application Surveys to Gather Info on Innovative Schools

Earlier this year we shared our strategy for 2015 and beyond.  A major pillar of our strategy is to invest in teams of educators across the U.S. who are designing schools that prepare and inspire each and every student to reach his or her most ambitious dreams and plans.  We aim to support schools that set bold goals for their students and embrace an expanded definition of student success that includes high academic […] Read more

Trip Notes: SXSWedu 2015

Last week I was in Austin for SXSWedu, which I’ve attended every year since its launch. I thought I’d share some excerpts from my trip notes:Shark tank has jumped the shark at South-By. Several sessions used the popular television show for inspiration. Here’s a rundown on three of them:Teachers could pitch their classroom innovation ideas to judges and a studio audience in a shark tank edu session, followed by a shark-tank themed […] Read more

Announcing Summit 2015 Opening Speaker: Brené Brown

We are honored to announce that Brené Brown will join us as the opening plenary speaker at Summit 2015 on May 6.  Brené has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.  Her research has helped thousands of leaders learn how to turn difficult situations into opportunities for connection and growth.  Her keynote will launch a day of conversation and exploration around how education leaders, teachers, parents and students can harness […] Read more

New Talent to Support Our Strategy

A couple of weeks ago we shared an infographic about our strategic direction over the next few years.New folks are joining the team with the background and skills we need to invest in and support entrepreneurs in our priority areas. Here’s an up to date look at new members of our innovative schools and tools & services investment teams.Innovative Schools teamScott Benson joined us at the beginning of February to lead this […] Read more

Boston Charter Schools: Great Places to Teach and Learn

In 2013, the Boston charter school sector received significant attention for its strong academic performance after the release of two important studies. A CREDO study found that students in Boston charter schools gain an additional 12 months of learning in reading and 13 months of learning in math than their district school peers. These findings were reinforced by a study from MIT, supported by NewSchools, which documented that charter students are outperforming […] Read more

NewSchools’ Strategy at a Glance

Over the past month, we have been sharing a couple of the pillars of our strategy going forward.  The infographic below captures our vision, rationale and approach in a more visual way.  We’re excited to share it, and even more excited about the work ahead.A quick note: in addition to these strategic focus areas, we have a continuing commitment to diversify education leadership and to generate high quality school choices in Washington, […] Read more

US DOE Convenes Leaders to Increase Diversity in Education Reform

On January 29-30, the U.S. Department of Education brought together over 50 education reform leaders for the first meeting, or “First Steps Forum” in a collaboration called, “Our Students, Our Leaders: Increasing the Diversity of Education Reform Leadership.” Participants came from education organizations across the country and left with action plans to close the demographic gap between students and leaders in education reform. At an early 2016 meeting each 2015 participant will […] Read more

What NewSchools Has Taught Me

by Derrick Spencer, UNCF-Walton Ed. Reform Fellow and DCSF Intern About this time last year I decided to apply to the UNCF-Walton Ed. Reform Fellowship, which consequently landed me an interview with NewSchools Venture Fund. I thought the fellowship would be the perfect opportunity not only to learn, but also to actively participate in education reform.  Prior to my experience with NewSchools, I was knowledgeable of some basic pedagogical theories and classroom management skills, […] Read more