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Nine Questions for Evaluating Education Innovation

Defining a rubric to set clear expectations for educators and entrepreneurs alike“Alive in the Swamp” sounds like a cheesy survival horror flick. But it’s also an apt description for those entrepreneurs and educators slogging their way through edtech jungle, trying to figure out how to best build, deploy and assess technology for the classroom.It’s also the title of a new report from Nesta and NewSchools Venture Fund, which offers a nine-point rubric to […] Read more

NewSchools Seed Fund: Writing a new chapter for ed-tech startups

The writing is on the chalkboard: Old-school education is failing, but ed-tech is rising to the head of the class.No small player in ed-tech’s boom is NewSchools Venture Fund, an Oakland-based nonprofit with a particular focus on underserved communities. NewSchools’ board includes the likes of venture capitalists Brook Byers and John Doerr as well as Laurene Powell Jobs.As teachers, administrators and school districts look for help against tight funding and rising competition, NewSchools has funded ventures such as Khan […] Read more

Take The Money Or Go It Alone?

Bringing together two sides of the funding debate – to take the VC money or go it alone – EdSurge’s Betsy Corcoran facilitated a lively discussion Thursday night between co-founder of Wikispaces and bootstraper extraordinaire James Byers, and Jenifer Carolan, managing partner of NewSchools Venture Seed Fund. The audience, filled with both established and newbie edtech entrepreneurs, listened to the industry experts share their thoughts, beliefs, and advice on how to travel the funding […] Read more

Honest report on teacher prep got a bad rap: Criticism of group was unfair and based on fallacies — and it’s coming mainly from education schools

As a former teacher, school administrator and a current member of the National Council on Teacher Quality advisory board, I was not surprised to see criticism arise over a new NCTQ report, rating the effectiveness of teacher preparation schools and programs across the country. The report is controversial; criticism is fair play. What is not fair play is criticism built on false assertions and outdated facts. An opinion piece in last Sunday’s […] Read more

Unlocking Gaming Potential: Ted Mitchell on the NewSchools Venture Fund/ Learning Games Accelerator

What is important when it comes to forming partnerships with tech organizations? How do organizations approach corporations and other organizations when partnering on a new project? Learn from the NewSchools Venture Fund/ Learning Games Accelerator. Earlier this year, NewSchools Venture Fund and announced a partnership to form a learning games accelerator. Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, discusses the partnership, the accelerator, and what nonprofits should consider when embarking on collaborations with other organizations. Read more

Transformative leaders: First cohort graduates from innovative doctor of education leadership program

The graduates of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctor of education leadership (Ed.L.D.) degree program leave campus headed for a range of jobs in the education sector. Many of them will continue to work with the organizations where they recently completed 10-month residencies as part of the program, a partnership among HGSE, the Harvard Business School (HBS), and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). HGSE Dean Kathleen McCartney called the Ed.L.D. degree “a disruption in higher education” that brings outstanding, experienced candidates to Harvard, teaches them to be transformational, and sends them off with “a disposition to act.” The first graduates are going on to senior positions in first-class organizations, including Khan Academy, NewSchools Venture Fund, KIPP, the Boston Public Schools, and the Iowa Department of Education. The Ed.L.D. alumni will improve student opportunity, achievement, and success, McCartney added, because, “As they are fond of saying: Failure is not an option.” Read more

Mapping the Edtech Market: Where in the edtech world are you?

European explorers reveled in their versions of a mappa mundi, or map of the world. Such representations were worse navigation aids than Apple maps on a bad day–but marvelous pictorial representations of relationships and principles. When the NewSchools Venture Fund issuedits first “edtech market map” last October, many found it a useful catalogue of companies, even if the industry was moving quickly. Today NewSchools updated its map. This version includes 50 additional companies, fresh information on products […] Read more

Charter schools in Boston score higher on key tests

Boston charter schools outperform other public schools on three popular barometers of student achievement — the MCAS, the SAT, and the Advanced Placement exams — but tend to have lower four-year graduation rates, accord­ing to a study being released Wednesday.The biggest bounce in achievement ­occurred on the SAT. On average, charter school students scored 100 points higher than their peers in other public schools, according to the study, which was prepared by […] Read more

Common Core: A Platform for Equity and Innovation

Check out the nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund portfolio. Educreations aims to maximize the reach and impact of great teachers by enabling them to create online video lessons that students can access anytime, anywhere. Engrade is a free set of web-based tools for educators allowing them to manage their classes online while providing parents and students with 24/7 real-time online access. Schoolzilla is a cloud-based data management platform for education practitioners built by the Aspire school network. Read more

NewSchools Summit 2013 Recap: Thoughts leaders, entrepreneurs and educators converge to share ideas and concerns

NewSchools Venture Fund Last Wednesday, an invite-only crowd of nearly a thousand of education’s daring entrepreneurs, policymakers, admins, teachers–and even a few students–gathered outside of San Francisco for the 2013 NewSchools Summit. And what a flurry of action it was, with bigwig thought leaders sharing Big Ideas on the big stage, panel discussions on teachers, parents, and the Common Core, and our around-the-clock interviews with edupreneurs from startups and schools. (Stay tuned for […] Read more