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Innovative Schools Need a Thriving Ecosystem of Digital Tools and Services

Innovative schools working toward an expanded definition of student success – in which ALL students graduate with a mastery of academic and critical life skills to achieve their most ambitious dreams – require sophisticated tools and services to help deliver personalized learning experiences for students and effectively leverage teachers’ time and talent.  Without the latest technological innovations in education, it would not be feasible for teachers to efficiently personalize each student’s learning […] Read more

Big Takeaways from Early Pioneers of Personalized Learning

For the past four years, I’ve been lucky to have been a part of a thriving community of practice of early-adopters of blended and personalized learning in charters and districts called the Community of Innovative Practice.  This group comes together twice a year to exchange war stories, share best practices, engage in lively debate, explore new ideas and problem-solve together around this challenging work.  Much of the early work we produced together […] Read more

Summit 2015: Creative Solutions to Classroom Challenges

Across the country, we’re excited to see many schools, districts and charter organizations exploring ways of innovating in classrooms.  We’ve learned that innovation is a journey that individuals and teams take (sometimes together, sometimes separately), and the ease of that journey depends on many things (teammates, school readiness, political context, landscape, other things swirling around, chemistry, time, and so much more). At the NewSchools Summit this year, we wanted to showcase how different […] Read more

Celebrating STEM Standouts in Boston: The Akamai Scholars Program

Tuesday was a special day in Boston.  NewSchools, in partnership with Akamai, held its annual Akamai Scholars Program to honor top 8th grade STEM scholars in high-quality charter school networks citywide.  The 12 students represent six growing charter networks in Boston that have been supported by NewSchools: Brooke Charter Schools, Excel Academy Charter Schools, KIPP Massachusetts, Match Education, Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, and UP Education Network.These STEM scholars are impressive.  They regularly […] Read more

Summit 2015: Brené Brown Delves Deeper in Q&A

In Brené Brown’s opening plenary talk at Summit 2015, she explained how the findings from her research into vulnerability, courage, and worthiness present an opportunity for educators to help students experience emotion fully and acquire the strength of character they need to address challenges. In the hour-long Q&A session following her talk, Brené delved deeper into questions of how teachers, administrators and school designers can build a culture of vulnerability in schools.The session was standing room only, […] Read more

OneGoal: Taking intentional steps to strengthen our approach to staff diversity + inclusion

Since 2012, we increased staff diversity at OneGoal from 13% to 38%. By the end of 2015 we will broaden our pipeline to increase diversity in our candidate pool, and establish org-wide diversity and inclusiveness strategies.We seek to ensure that every student, regardless of background, has a legitimate opportunity to be successful. OneGoal’s focus on inclusion will allow us to authentically and strategically leverage differences in order to model what is possible […] Read more

Summit 2015: Ben Jealous Challenges us to Build ‘Uncomfortable’ Coalitions and Dream Big

Ben Jealous, partner at Kapor Capital and former President & CEO of the NAACP, closed the NewSchools 2015 summit with a powerful call to action: to build ‘uncomfortable’ coalitions and dream big.Ben joined us after spending the last week in Baltimore—a city where his family has roots for over 80 years—where he was conducting non-violent, civil disobedience training with students. Descending from a long line of activists, Ben has built on the […] Read more

Live from Summit 2015: Expanding Our Definition of Student Success

This week at Summit, we had the opportunity to explore a topic near and dear to my heart — expanding the definition of student success. I firmly believe that all children must develop strong literacy and numeracy skills. We simply must ensure that our students graduate with that critical foundation. But it’s also important to acknowledge that those skills alone will not prepare them for their most ambitious dreams and plans. “We have […] Read more

Live from Summit 2015: A Student’s Perspective on Next Gen Learning

Today at Summit, we shared “day in the life” videos featuring students in three next generation schools, and got a chance to hear from each of the three students directly.  Stacey Childress explored with them what’s special, what’s helpful, and what’s still evolving about these innovative school models, from their perspective.  The students were energizing, articulate, and inspiring.We’re delighted to share the videos with you here:Day in the Life – Edgar of […] Read more

Live from Summit 2015: Opening Plenary Session with Brené Brown

Those seeking change in our education system have never been more ready for someone like Brené Brown, and Brené just might have the secret sauce.  As Summit’s Opening Plenary speaker, Brené got to the heart of what needs to happen to shift the way we run our school systems and teach our children. In one word, it is vulnerability.  With over a decade of research, Brené demonstrates a talent for combining evidence […] Read more