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Live From Summit 2014: Reading Reconsidered

When it comes to teaching literacy, content and skills (like decoding specific words and citing their definitions) are inseparable. In a live session at NewSchools Summit, Doug Lemov (Uncommon Schools), Kyla Johnson Trammell (Oakland Unified School District), and Roberto Pondiscio (Democracy Prep) surfaced the above example and discussed the key approaches to elevating the rigor of reading instruction. Read more

Transforming Trauma: Promoting Resilience

“Anyone could be someone who changes the world in a big or small way,” says Dr. Joyce Dorado as she presents the first slide of her presentation at Summit 2014. The slide is filled with black and white school portraits of smiling children. Each of these children, Dr. Dorado tells us, was traumatized (often by domestic violence) and each of these children overcame trauma to change the world.Who are these people? Staring […] Read more

Opening Plenary: Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is our first speaker at Summit 2014. Stevenson began his talk by sharing a bit about his own educational history: Stevenson attended a segregated school in rural Delaware. Brown vs. Board of Education was the beginning of educational opportunity in his life.Stevenson, a lawyer, defends some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged people in the criminal justice system. His nonprofit, the Equal Justice Initiative, provides legal assistance to death row […] Read more

Summit Kickoff!

NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell has opened Summit 2014! Ted thanked our generous sponsors, including the NewSchools Board of Directors and the NewSchools Leadership Council.Gloria Lee, NewSchools President and COO, took over the stage from Ted. She shared her favorite PowerPoint slide, “A Tale of Two Writing Samples.” The slide shows the different standards applied to students in low-income schools and high-income schools. As Gloria reminds us, all students deserve to receive a high-quality […] Read more

Redesigning School Districts: The Way Forward

“I think charter schools are great, but they only serve a handful of kids. If we’re ever going to really close the achievement gap at scale, we need to focus on the real work of fixing school districts.” How often have charter advocates (like me) heard this response from friends and allies, who believe charters have successfully proven that it’s possible to create high-performing public schools in high-need neighborhoods, but now they need to step aside so that their practices and systems can be taken to scale by enlightened district leaders. Read more

Why Direct-to-Consumer Models Matter in Education

In the last few weeks I’ve enjoyed two great reads on edtech investing, both advocating for a district direct sales approach for growing businesses. 1. Matt Greenfield, There is no Bubble in Educational Technology: Not for Businesses that Actually Make Sense. 2. Michael Feldstein, Why VC’s Usually Get Edtech Wrong.  Silicon Valley VC’s, on the other hand, don’t seem to be buying it, here’s what Marc Andreesen said.   “I wouldn’t want to […] Read more

Seed Fund Spotlight at Summit 2014

Wondering how education technology is shaping the future of K-12 education? Interested in learning about the innovative NewSchools portfolio companies whose technology solutions are reaching millions of students, teachers, and parents? Be sure to visit the Seed Fund Spotlight right across from NewSchools Summit 2014 registration and demo 24 products that are transforming teaching and learning.  The Seed Fund invests in a variety of tools both at the classroom level and school/district […] Read more

John King, Common Core Warrior

For New York State Education Commissioner, John King implementing the Common Core State Standards isn’t about politics, it isn’t a game, these standards matter! Just to get is straight, CCSS are not curricula and they do not determine what students should read or how teachers should teach. They are simply a set of standards, developed by The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to set goals for what students should know at the end of each grade. These new standards will set a higher bar for students, allow for a greater emphasis on higher-level thinking and encourage a more in-depth understanding of materials — in short, CCSS will place the United States back in line with other top performing nations and the new economy. Read more

Treating Trauma in Our Schools

Dr. Dorado is the Co-Founder and Director of UCSF Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS), a program that aims to promote school success for children and adolescents who have experienced complex trauma. She is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSF-SFGH Dept. of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Services (CAS). She is well-positioned to combine the brain science behind the effects of toxic stress with actionable steps to help children deal with these events in their lives. Read more

The Struggle for Equal Justice

Bryan Stevenson has been working to address these questions about equality for over 25 years. He has experienced racial injustice firsthand during his own childhood in segregated rural Delaware. At Harvard Law School he encountered a privileged class who had never been forced to wrestle with the full tragedy of America’s racial history. Read more