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Guest post: Out of the shadows

This guest post is from Bill Jackson, founder and CEO of GreatSchools, who was one of the very first entrepreneurs to receive an investment from NewSchools Venture Fund. This year’s NewSchools Summit focuses on the promises and perils of education entrepreneurs going mainstream. Thanks to the Obama Administration, education entrepreneurs are no longer toiling off in the corner – they’re being asked to run the show. I see a lot of opportunities […] Read more

Guest Post: Of Evaluation and Transparency

Our latest guest blog post comes from Rick Hess, Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (and now also the blogger behind the eponymous “Rick Hess Straight Up” blog on Education Week’s Web site). The evidentiary standards for the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund have stirred much conversation. On those standards, I’ve mixed feelings. On the one hand, the i3 criteria have healthfully prompted would-be applicants to […] Read more

Guest Post: School Models That Work for Boys

Our latest guest blog post comes from Richard Whitmire, former editorial board writer for USA Today and the blogger behind Why Boys Fail. When the news broke that Baltimore’s KIPP Ujima Village Academy had reached an agreement allowing extended school hours and Saturday instruction, most followers of education reform probably thought: Good, a few more poor and minority students in Baltimore who will stay on a college readiness track. Not me. My […] Read more

Guest Post: Beware interest-group-itis

Our latest guest blog post comes from Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who has logged time in both the public sector (at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement) and the private sector (as a VP at K12, an online learning company). The entrepreneurial sector in education is right to be proud of its accomplishments to date. The best urban public schools in the country are […] Read more

Guest Post: Edu-Innovation, an Oxymoron?

As we edge closer to NewSchools Summit 2010, we will be featuring a series of guest blog posts from entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the sector, who will weigh in with ideas and suggestions related to the Summit theme. This first post is from Tom Vander Ark of public affairs firm Vander Ark/Ratcliff and private equity firm Revolution Learning. Acknowledging the difficulty of penetrating the complex decentralized maze of US public education, […] Read more

Joanne S. Weiss named to lead Race to the Top

During a video-telecast speech at the 2009 NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Joanne S. Weiss has been named to lead the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Race to the Top monies will be disbursed to help jumpstart student achievement by “supporting states making dramatic progress on…[education] reform goals…and effectively using other ARRA […] Read more

Can Innovation Drive Reform?

Stephen Colbert didn’t moderate, but Dr. Roland Fryer an economist at Harvard University and director of Harvard’s Education Innovation Lab participated in a plenary debate titled “Innovation as a Driver of Reform” at Summit. Fryer, a big proponent of innovation calls the achievement gap a civil rights issue and sees innovation as a way to drive reform. Right now he’s working in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC and is implementing a […] Read more