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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. 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 educators in schools serving these students.Specialized Tools Can […] 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

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

Seneca Goes “All-In!” on Education

Michael’s school career got off to a rough start. It was only the first week of kindergarten, and he started kicking, biting, and pinching his teacher. His teacher tried every technique she knew to stop him. Not surprisingly, Michael’s teacher resorted to sending him to the principal’s office. Soon, Michael was spending less than 20% of his school day in the classroom. Read more

Proximity

I had the great honor to listen to Bryan Stevenson from the Equal Justice Initiative speak at last week’s NewSchools Summit. Bryan is an attorney who has dedicated his life to not only ensuring equal justice to those who have been written off by their community, but to helping this country consider how we can truly work together across racial, socioeconomic, and geographical lines to ensure that we all reach our greatest potential and support each other along the way. Read more

Seed Fund Spotlight at Summit 2014

Wondering how education technology is shaping the future of K-12 education? Interested in learning about the innovative NewSchools portfolio companies whose technology solutions are reaching millions of students, teachers, and parents? Be sure to visit the Seed Fund Spotlight right across from NewSchools Summit 2014 registration and demo 24 products that are transforming teaching and learning.  The Seed Fund invests in a variety of tools both at the classroom level and school/district […] Read more

Boston Charter Schools: A Limited Opportunity

Andys is one of an increasing number of English language learners (ELLs) who have chosen to enroll in charter schools. Research shows that charter schools serve ELLs and other students with special needs more effectively. However, many students are unable to access the higher quality of services that these schools provide because of the Massachusetts charter cap. It’s time to lift the cap on charter schools so that more students, and particularly those with the highest levels of need, can attend the best schools. Read more

Welcoming Equal Opportunity Schools to the NewSchools Family

Today, NewSchools welcomes Equal Opportunity Schools to its portfolio with an investment of $250,000. Equal Opportunity Schools joins the NewSchools portfolio as an EDge investment, which explores the freshest ideas improving education for underserved students and enables amazing entrepreneurs working outside the scope of our Seed, Learning to Teach, and City Funds in Boston, DC, Newark, and Oakland. Read more

Video: NewSchools Entrepreneurs Celebrate Our Work Together in This Holiday Video

It is that time of year when we reflect on what occurred in the past and what we have in front of us in the future. This year, we thought we’d let our entrepreneurs do the talking for us. As a whole, the entrepreneurs in NewSchools portfolio embody what Nelson Mandela encouraged all people to strive for in their lives when he said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others…” Read more

Welcome Zach Levine, Learning to Teach EIR

How are we meant to prepare our children for a harder future when we don’t have enough teachers, let alone qualified ones, to inspire them? This is a crisis. A crisis of both quantity and quality of the most important ingredient for a first-rate education system. Fortunately many have heeded the call and are working hard to address this serious but solvable issue, including our new Learning to Teach Entrepreneur in Residence, Zach Levine. I’m thrilled to welcome Zach to NewSchools and thankful that he’s working with us to found ElevatED, a new nonprofit that adds to the shared mission of NewSchools and our partners to improve STEM education by building a cadre of great STEM teachers. Read more