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Guest post: What Race to the Top Says About Education Entrepreneurs

This guest post comes from Ariela Rozman, chief executive officer of The New Teacher Project, an entrepreneurial organization that is changing the conversation about teacher effectiveness across the country.Discussion of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition often resembles coverage of a major political campaign. Most of the focus is on the horse race—who’s winning and who’s losing. But more important than the handicapping is the long-term reform that this modestly-sized […] Read more

More Heat than Light

For evidence that the terrain has shifted for education entrepreneurs, one need look no further than last week’s much-publicized hearing convened by State Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) in downtown Manhattan. In what has been described as hours of “volatile” and “testy” debate, supporters and opponents of New York charter schools traded barbs over charges of fiscal mismanagement and corruption in some charter schools. At one point during the marathon hearing, New York State Deputy […] Read more

Object lessons in political savvy

Yesterday, I woke up to the latest in a series of object lessons in political savvy for education entrepreneurs. My alarm clock radio is set to NPR, and this morning, I hazed into consciousness listening to a terrific piece by Claudio Sanchez on the growing field of teacher residency programs. The piece focused mostly on the Boston Teacher Residency Program, as a lens on this growing way of preparing teachers. Let’s be […] Read more

Guest post: Keep pushing for federal dollars

Our latest guest post comes from Teach For America‘s Kevin Huffman, who is also a columnist at the Washington Post, in response to Mike Petrilli’s recent post warning entrepreneurs away from pursuing fickle federal government funding. Mike Petrilli surfaced an interesting question in his blog entry here: should the education reform sector seek more federal funding to support efforts to scale and reach more kids, or should it “stick to its roots” […] Read more

Telling stories with letters and pixels

All eyes are on education entrepreneurs these days. Parents and communities are watching to see whether chronically failing schools can be turned around by new operators, whether new charter schools will make a difference for low-income students, and whether new ways of preparing teachers and new tools for instruction will change the way classrooms work. Policymakers are hoping to see that federal incentive dollars for innovation lead to improved results for their […] Read more

Guest Post: Of Evaluation and Transparency

Our latest guest blog post comes from Rick Hess, Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (and now also the blogger behind the eponymous “Rick Hess Straight Up” blog on Education Week’s Web site). The evidentiary standards for the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund have stirred much conversation. On those standards, I’ve mixed feelings. On the one hand, the i3 criteria have healthfully prompted would-be applicants to […] Read more

Guest Post: Beware interest-group-itis

Our latest guest blog post comes from Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, who has logged time in both the public sector (at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement) and the private sector (as a VP at K12, an online learning company). The entrepreneurial sector in education is right to be proud of its accomplishments to date. The best urban public schools in the country are […] Read more

Guest Post: Edu-Innovation, an Oxymoron?

As we edge closer to NewSchools Summit 2010, we will be featuring a series of guest blog posts from entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the sector, who will weigh in with ideas and suggestions related to the Summit theme. This first post is from Tom Vander Ark of public affairs firm Vander Ark/Ratcliff and private equity firm Revolution Learning. Acknowledging the difficulty of penetrating the complex decentralized maze of US public education, […] Read more

Lights, Camera, Action!

Education entrepreneurs are featured in several upcoming documentaries. Check out the trailer for The Lottery, directed by Madeline Sackler, which follows four families who enter the lottery for a spot at Harlem Success Academy – a high-performing public charter school operated by NewSchools portfolio venture Success Charter Network. Waiting for Superman premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award for a US Documentary, as well as some critical acclaim. […] Read more

NewSchools Summit 2010: Let the Countdown Begin!

Welcome to the brand new NewSchools Summit Web site! We hope this site helps you navigate our flagship annual event before, during and after the in-person convening, and that this blog expands on last year’s (see 2009 posts below) by creating some momentum for the discussions that will take place in Washington, DC on May 12. Our team is hard at work planning the day, and we look forward to sharing more […] Read more