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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

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


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