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Khan Academy CEO: Education in 2028 won’t be about ‘sitting passively & not questioning authority’

BURLINGAME, Calif: Salman Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, spoke this morning at the NewSchools Venture Summit on his vision for education in 2028.Khan drew a terrifying comparison between factory workers on the assembly line, who move when a bell  rings every hour, and today’s classrooms. The educator-turned-entrepreneur said that what we need now is a “very large creative class,” meaning students who are passionate about learning a variety of subjects.“It’s no longer […] Read more

NewSchools Fund Attracts More Capital

NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit that started out channeling philanthropic donations to charter schools and that now invests in a range of education groups and businesses, is entering into a partnership with a new venture capital fund that could result in millions more in financing.At a time when venture capital interest in education technology companies is growing rapidly, Rethink Education Fund, founded last year to focus on education start-ups, has agreed to give part […] Read more

Forbes’ Top Education “Disruptors”

FORBES NAMES NEWSCHOOLS’ CEO TED MITCHELL AS ONE OF 15 EDUCATION INNOVATORS: Forbes Magazine has singled out NewSchools’ CEO Ted Mitchell on its list of 15 “education disruptors”—innovators who are making a difference, bringing new ideas that help to make education better. (Among the other honorees are two entrepreneurs in the NewSchools portfolio: Khan Academy founder Sal Khan, subject of the cover story; and Norman Atkins, who founded two ventures in our portfolio, Uncommon Schools and the Relay Graduate School of Education.) Read more


Heiber is founder and executive director of Concentric Educational Solutions, an organization that helps incorporate student support services in school systems in the District, Prince George’s County and other schools.…What prompted you to start this organization?I was the director of student support services at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in D.C., and our funding partner there, NewSchools Venture Fund, they were looking for a way to improve student achievement and reduce suspensions. […] Read more

Mytonomy: New support for guidance counselors with investment from NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund does it again, investing in an awesome startup with big goals.Earlier this year, I covered Goalbook, an ed tech startup that was taking a drastically different approach to the development and usability of IEPs (Individual Educational Plans). The Web 2.0 application was unique in the market, but also noteworthy for the educational experience and savvy of the founder, an educator who shares my frustration with the generally miserable IEP process. […] Read more

Anticipating a Blended Classroom Boom Led by Education Startups

As kids head back to school this month and next, some will find a rather new arrangement greeting them: blended classrooms.These don’t feel like the ways that many of us attended class, with a single teacher lecturing at students from front and center (“Bueller?”). As it’s difficult–if not impossible–for cash-strapped schools to develop their own original learning products in house, startups are at the forefront of these changes. Thanks to many of […] Read more

Pandora For Ed Apps: eSpark Nabs $5.7M From 500 Startups, Others

Chicago-based startup eSpark Learning, which founder and CEO David Vinca describes as “Pandora for education apps,” has secured $5.7 million in series A financing from MK Capital, Learn Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund and 500 Startups to help fuel national expansion. The new capital brings the startup’s total funding to just under $7 million.In addition to its raise, eSpark is also announcing that it has hired 5-year Facebook veteran Luke Shepard as its new CTO. Shepard […] Read more

EdSurge Nabs $400K From Washington Post, NewSchools To Be A Resource For All Things EdTech

When I decided to begin covering the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and education more seriously, my first goal was to seek out the best resources, or community watering holes, for edtech information. Anyone who has embarked on a similar quest will tell you that, while sites like Inside Higher Ed do a great job of carrying the torch, traditionally the market for edtech news and info has been seriously fragmented, with (thin) coverage scattered […] Read more

Talking leadership with Joanne Weiss, Arne Duncan’s chief of staff at the Department of Education

Joanne Weiss is chief of staff to Secretary Arne Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education. She joined the department in 2009 as senior adviser to the secretary and director of the Race to the Top program, designed to encourage and reward states making system-wide, comprehensive education reforms. Previously, she was partner and chief operating officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education. She spoke with Tom Fox, who writes […] Read more

Race To The Top Innovates Backwards, Education Venture Nonprofit Says

When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan opened the Race to the Top competition to individual school districts two weeks ago, he said he wanted to spur innovation “at the classroom level and the all-important relationship among teachers and students.” Now, a coalition of 16 education startups and policy organizations, herded by the nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund, are saying the competition gets innovation wrong. They’re planning to send Duncan a letter Friday.“We … enthusiastically […] Read more