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Building 550, Studio 2: “Design Thinking” Within Reach…

This weekend 25 aspiring education entrepreneurs convened in Building 550, Studio 2 (the beautifully industrial-designed workspace at the Stanford d.school) for the kick-off workshop of  The EdTech Entrepreneurs Lab, an initiative of NewSchools and Teach For America. Saturday’s workshop was the official launch of the Winter-Spring 2011 cohort, which represented a diverse cross-section of participants across the technology, education and business sectors. The goal of the program is ambitious: to cultivate and build […] Read more

Education for $1000, Alex

Two weeks ago, I caught 20 minutes of a Jeopardy! show featuring Skynet Watson, the trivia-loving artificial intelligence computer built by IBM. Squaring off against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the two alpha males of the human Jeopardy!-loving world, I watched with intrigue as Watson mercilessly chewed through questions (“answers”, technically) as the human “competitors” stood by helplessly. (In fact, they reminded me of the celebrity Jeopardy! contestants skewered on SNL.) Perhaps […] Read more

Saying good-bye to the scribe of our movement

By and large, we at NewSchools like to use this blog space to announce news, or to ruminate on ideas, trends, and policy matters that are core to the work of education entrepreneurs. It’s rarely for individual matters. This will be an exception. For the last eight years, Julie Landry Petersen has served as the scribe to our movement, as well as our supporter, muse, and conscience. She joined NewSchools in its […] Read more

New investments… and a new video!

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/18677353 w=500&h=281] Back in September, we made a promise that if 150,000 people pledged to see the movie Waiting for “Superman”, we would invest $5 million in entrepreneurial organizations that improve public education for low-income kids. The movie gets viewers outraged—as they should be—at the fact that in some communities, a quality education is a matter of chance. We believe outrage can translate into action, and we wanted to see that […] Read more

Why Your Government Matters

It’s not a schoolhouse rock segment (the song would be pretty lame), nor even a Civics class topic—it’s the question that NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell will be addressing at tomorrow’s hearing of the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Thursday. Ted will be among one of four witnesses testifying about the crucial things that only the federal government can do in driving reform in the education for low-income children. He […] Read more

DVR Unplugged

From New York City to Nevada, the heat is on teacher tenure.  Predictably, the Times quotes NEA President Dennis Van Roekel pushing back against the momentum.  However, in so doing, Van Roekel asks a great question: “Why aren’t governors standing up and saying, ‘In our state, we’ll devise a system where nobody will ever get into a classroom who isn’t competent’?”  (Nevermind that tenure is supposed to be a system that at […] Read more