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Redesigning Schools for Today’s Students and Beyond

Over the last few years, the education community has heard plenty of buzz about the growth in education technology and digital learning. For instance, as New Schools’ Seed Fund team highlighted in a December blog, overall investment in ed tech companies once again rose significantly in 2014. And since last October when the White House launched Future Ready, an effort to support school districts and charter networks as they incorporate more digital […] Read more

A closer look at K12 edtech funding in 2014

Bolstered by a strong Q1 and Q3, venture investment in K12 education technology was up 32% in 2014 totaling $642 million (data provided by EdSurge). The top ten investments accounted for over half the funding featuring large rounds in Desire2Learn, TeachersPayTeachers, Remind, and Clever. The NewSchools Seed Fund led and/or participated in twenty early-stage K12 edtech deals this year and reviewed over three hundred others.Here we share our annual analysis of K12 […] Read more

Building Effective Teacher Residencies: Report from UTRU

We are excited to share a newly released white paper from Urban Teacher Residency United (UTRU). “Building Effective Teacher Residencies,” examines two of the residency programs in its network, Aspire Teacher Residency, operated by the Aspire Public Schools charter network, and Denver Teacher Residency, part of the Denver Public Schools.Executive SummaryView Executive Summary: PDFDownload Executive Summary (PDF)Research ReportView Research Report: PDFDownload Research Report (PDF) Read more

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund – Part III

Tools to Differentiate Instruction in a One-Size-Fits-All Education SystemLast weekend, I sat in a sewing class with my ten year old daughter and was surprised to learn that ⅓ of our day would be dedicated to programming our sewing machines. The room full of women, most over sixty years old, happily embraced the automation of tasks like embroidery now possible thanks to the software running their machines. Marc Andreesen is right – Software […] Read more

The School Organizations in Our Portfolio are Growing!

NewSchools is celebrating the opening of new charter school campuses in Washington, DC, Newark, NJ and Boston, MA. We support the growth of entrepreneur led education organizations in each of these cities through our City Funds.Boston Fund: Four New CampusesKIPP MA | KIPP Academy Boston Elementary | K-41 New Campus | Total Campuses: 5Match Education | Match Next Middle School | 5-81 New Campus | Total Campuses: 3UP Education Network | UP Academy Holland | K-81 New Campus | Total Campuses: […] Read more

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund- Part II

Last week I shared some of our thinking behind our investments in STEM, relevance and communication, found here. With this post, I’ll share our approach for investing in special education and english language learning.Specialized Tools Can Better Reach Children Outside of the Mainstream While traditional venture capital has backed consumer-oriented english language learning tools like Rosetta Stone, Livemocha and more recently, mobile apps like Duolingo, we take a very different approach. We target tools for […] Read more

Investment Approaches of the Seed Fund- Part I

Our Seed Fund supports high potential entrepreneurs developing technology solutions for the biggest challenges in K-12 education. We look for areas where the power of technology can improve our education system and its ability to maximize the learning potential of every child. We borrow our approach from venture capital¹ in that we develop investment theses informed by listening to educators, researching technology trends, studying student achievement data, and listening closely to the […] Read more

Brooke Breaks New Ground in Student Achievement

Students at Brooke Charter Schools are 98% black and Latino. Across Brooke’s three Boston campuses, 80% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunches, indicating their families are close to the federal poverty line.Skeptics argue that economic disadvantages, like the disadvantages faced by the students at Brooke, account for intractable gaps in academic performance between blacks and Latinos and students from white and Asian backgrounds. Brooke shows that this achievement gap […] Read more

UP Shakes Up District Instruction

In 2008, Scott Given left his position as Principal at Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston, Massachusetts. Like many other entrepreneurs, Given left his job to pursue a big idea – to bring the best practices of high-performing charter schools like Excel Academy into district schools. Given’s vision was striking because of the significantly different contexts in which school districts and the charter sector operate. According to conventional wisdom, the district […] Read more

Youth UpRising: Changing a Community, One Young Person at a Time

In the Castlemont neighborhood of East Oakland, one in four people live in poverty. The teenage pregnancy rate is three times the Alameda County average. Homicide is the leading cause of death for residents aged 14-24. These are grim statistics, but there is hope for neighborhood change.A local Castlemont nonprofit, Youth UpRising, is set on revitalizing the neighborhood by investing in its young people. At the Youth UpRising center, youth make music, […] Read more