Academic Systems Initiative – Virtual Community of Practice Webinar Series


In 2007, NewSchools Venture Fund launched the Academic Systems Initiative (ASI) as part of our third fund. The ASI was a partnership with our practitioners in our portfolio, and engaged the community in guiding investments in innovative solutions to improve data-driven instruction. Over four years, NewSchools made investments in technology-enabled services that will help to bring about the vision of a world where significantly better assessments and data management tools enable dramatic improvements in student achievement. At the close of the ASI, NewSchools hosted a series of webinars over the spring of 2011 showcasing the ASI entrepreneurs and the tools, platforms and services developed as a result of the initiative. Entrepreneurs were joined by clients so the attendees were able to learn about implementation and results. 

Beyond 12

Beyond 12 offers a comprehensive college retention solution to help students succeed in college. Their solution combines an alumni tracking platform for high school administrators with a personalized college coaching service for students.

ASI Webinar Series: A Comprehensive Alumni Tracking and Support Solution (March 18, 2011)
Beyond 12 website 

BetterLesson and Achievement First

BetterLesson provides a platform where educators can connect and create, organize, and share their curricula. They are focused on aggregating and scaling the most innovative content and practices from high-performing teachers across the country. 

BetterLesson/Achievement First Presentation 
Presentation Recording (April 1, 2011)
BetterLesson website
Achievement First website  

The Achievement Network

The Achievement Network (ANet) is an education support provider that works with urban, low-income schools to help them build capacity to use data to close the achievement gap and raise student achievement. 

The Achievement Network/ E.L. Haynes ASI Presentation 
Presentation Recording (April 29, 2011) 
The Achievement Network website 

Wireless Generation

Wireless Generation is a leading provider of innovative education software, data systems, and assessment tools. Through the Academic Systems Initiative, NewSchools partnered with Wireless Generation and Achievement First on the development of a comprehensive assessment and instructional improvement platform called mCLASS PK-12 and a shared, formative assessment item bank that will aggregate high quality formative assessment items. 

m-CLASS PK-12 ASI presentation (June 3, 2011)
Wireless Generation website 


Teachscape is a leading education services provider committed to sparking transformative change in teaching practice through innovative technologies, engaging content, and services. Teachscape’s Classroom Walkthrough (CWT) is both a process and technology to help instructional leaders promote, support, and sustain data-informed instructional improvement through an easy-to-use data collection, analysis, and reporting system. 

Classroom Walkthrough: A Process for Outcomes-Based Instructional Improvement (June 17, 2011)
Teachscape website