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Virtual School Tours: Providing Parents with Greater Access to Compare School Quality

By David Pickens, Executive Director, DC School Reform Now This time of year in Washington, DC, is public school application season. Parents interested in applying to traditional out-of-boundary or charter public schools are busy learning about which schools would be a good fit for their child.A couple years ago, we at DC School Reform Now (DCSRN) launched the High Quality Schools Campaign (HQSC) to support parents in this very endeavor. HQSC helps parents […] Read more

Welcoming Ellevation to the NewSchools Portfolio

NewSchools Venture Fund is pleased to welcome Ellevation Education to our portfolio! Ellevation provides a set of tools for teachers and administrators who work with English language learners (ELLs). It saves time and simplifies compliance requirements, so that educators can focus on their most important task—helping ELL students to succeed. Read more

A closer look at K12 edtech venture funding part II

Learners from ages zero to eighteen have a lot to be excited about. In the last 365 days, 74 companies focused on the K12 demographic (both in and out of school) have been funded by venture backers for a total of $427 million[1]. At the Seed Fund, we participated in 13 of these and got to see many more.  Here, we share with you our analysis of the types of companies funded […] Read more

‘Tis the season

“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”—President Barack ObamaWe all know that our school system needs help.  That our kids are not prepared well in comparison to their counterparts in other developed countries.  We know achievement gaps persist. While the gap between white and […] Read more

Introducing Jason Singer, our new entrepreneur-in-residence

Almost a year ago nearly to the day, at an edtech holiday party, I met Jason Singer, who shared his idea for an interactive e-reader with me.  I was hoping he would act on his idea but as principal of KIPP King Collegiate High School and with a young family at home, I knew he had a full load.Fast forward a year later and Jason has launched his company, Gobstopper, recruited a […] Read more

Forbes’ Top Education “Disruptors”

FORBES NAMES NEWSCHOOLS’ CEO TED MITCHELL AS ONE OF 15 EDUCATION INNOVATORS FORBES’ PICKS FOR INVESTING IN EDUCATIONForbes Magazine has singled out NewSchools’ CEO Ted Mitchell on its list of 15 “education disruptors”—innovators who are making a difference, bringing new ideas that help to make education better. (Among the other honorees are two entrepreneurs in the NewSchools portfolio: Khan Academy founder Sal Khan, subject of the cover story; and Norman Atkins, who founded […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Simmons Lettre and Carrie Irvin

A year ago, a Charter Board Partners “team meeting” meant co-founders Simmons Lettre and Carrie Irvin gathering around Carrie’s kitchen table. Today, their seven-person team serves over 30% of DC’s charter schools by providing customized support on charter school governance. Their theory of action is simple yet powerful—great boards will lead to great schools.As a movement, we’ve often relied on the “superhero” school leader—someone who can simultaneously provide feedback on a mini-lesson, […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Eric Westendorf and Alix Guerrier

Having played sports for most of my life I’d consider myself a master of the “high-fives” – there wasn’t one I hadn’t tried. That is, until I met LearnZillion co-founders Eric Westendorf and Alix Guerrier who introduced me to their aptly named “aggressive high-five.” My first encounter with the aggressive high-five came this past June when I was lucky enough to snag an invite to LearnZillion’s TeachFest. For this event Eric and […] Read more

NewSchools Presents: Bill Jackson, GreatSchools

In 1998, Kim Smith, a student at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teamed up with famed venture capitalist John Doerr and Brook Byers to build an organization whose mission was to transform education by supporting education entrepreneurs. The trio recognized that entrepreneurs had revolutionized the fields of science, medicine, and technology, and wanted to bring that same innovative spark to the world of education.Their idea became NewSchools Venture Fund, and an entrepreneur […] Read more