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‘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

Goalbook: Setting the Bar

I often find myself deeply humbled by the entrepreneurs I have the great fortune to engage with day to day here at NewSchools, all of whom are tackling important and difficult challenges within our education system. Nationwide, innovative entrepreneurs are addressing many facets of the K-12 system but there is one subgroup of education that gets little attention and focus among entrepreneurs: special education (SPED). Yet across the country, the achievement gap […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Joel Rose & Chris Rush

Joel Rose and Chris Rush launched the first School of One program in New York City in 2009 at a time when few had heard about the promise of blended learning. Combining teacher-led instruction, technology-enabled individual tutoring, small group learning stations, and a unique scheduling algorithm that helped create a personalized learning program each day for each student, the program demonstrated the power of technology to customize learning based on each student’s […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Ralph Bland, New Paradigm for Education

“And that’s where the new high school will be.” I gazed out the window at a dirt field as Ralph Bland, CEO of New Paradigm for Education, pointed. Impossible, I thought. In less than five months, he expects to have a school ready for the first day morning bell?After getting to know him over the past months, I’ve come to realize that with Ralph, nothing that stands in the way of the […] Read more

Education Entrepreneurs: Jennifer Green and Christina Hall

With school just beginning, parents across the country are particularly attuned to whether their child got into the classroom of the best teacher for the grade level. When there’s a brand new teacher in the classroom, it’s hard to know whether to be excited or not. The two entrepreneurs who co-founded the Urban Teacher Center set out to change that. Jennifer Green and Christina Hall’s vision is that a new teacher will […] 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

STEAM-powered engine to Mars

After watching NASA’s rover Curiosity land safely—and with unbelievable panache—on the Martian surface late Sunday evening, I heard a shock jock on a local sports radio show bemoaning the attention the mission was garnering. “I guess I know this is a big deal to some people, but I think we’re going overboard here,” he said. “This must be the way science people feel when they look at how excited we get about […] Read more

Education > Poverty

You might not recognize the names of the headliners at Summit 2012. No, I’m not referring to Howard Fuller, Roland Fryer, or even Rahm Emanuel. I’m talking about Donaldo, Juan, Paris, and Javon: students whose stories were featured throughout the day in video, photographs, and the written word.These students, like nearly 15 million other US children, are growing up in households with incomes at or below the federal poverty level. Often, their […] Read more

Educreations Policy Update

NewSchools Policy Director Ben Riley provides a great overview of two new education bills that were introduced last Friday, January 6 in the House Education and Workforce Committee. In his short video, Ben provides a run-down of the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation & Effective Teachers Act. Ben’s using a great new app called Educreations, which allows users to create video “lessons” à la Khan Academy. (Their tagline is “Teach what you know. […] Read more