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Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2015

At NewSchools Venture Fund, we have always had a great affection for early-stage school entrepreneurs who are (re)imagining, (re)designing, and (re)creating the student experience and we are truly excited by all the school leaders realizing these visions in schools and getting great results for students.One of the more famous early innovators, Leonardo daVinci, not only excelled at painting and sculpture, but was also skilled in science, mathematics, engineering, inventing, and architecture, among […] Read more

Educate78 Launches in Oakland

I am excited to introduce Educate78, an Oakland-based not-for-profit spin off from NewSchools Venture Fund.We chose the name “Educate78” because the city of Oakland is 78 square miles, and our mission is to ensure that every student, in every neighborhood of Oakland, has access to world-class public schools. We will do this through informed giving and strategic initiatives.The time is right to focus on Oakland. The city’s robust and vibrant community of […] Read more

A New Way to Measure How Well We Are Supporting Students

When the teachers of the year from across the country were asked in a Scholastic/Council of Great City Schools poll released recently what the biggest barriers are to their students’ academic success, it was no surprise that family stress and poverty topped the list.  Students who experience physical or emotional abuse, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, or family economic hardship can suffer from “toxic stress,” which significantly limits the […] Read more

Achievement Prep Invests in African American Male Leaders

At Achievement Prep, 22% of leadership positions in our network are held by African American men.  We hear a consistent message from our African American male leaders that they strive to be examples of positivity for our scholars, despite a pervasive public message to our children about the dubious position of African American men in our society.  These gentlemen provide our predominately African American scholar population with real and varied models of […] Read more

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