This report highlights some of the major discussions that took place at the seventh annual Summit.
This chapter was written for Educational Entrepreneurship: Realities, Challenges, and Possibilities, a volume edited by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and published by Harvard Education Press.
The chapter defines education entrepreneurs as visionary thinkers who create brand new for-profit or nonprofit organizations that seek to have a large-scale impact on the entire public school system-and in so doing, redefine our sense of what is possible in public education. It then offers some perspective on the role of entrepreneurs in public education, what creates opportunity for them to flourish, and what resources they need to be successful. Finally, this paper offers some thoughts on how education entrepreneurs might inform the operation of more responsive performance-driven public school systems in the information age.
This self-assessment tool was developed to help educators examine their use of data-driven decision making and understand how to implement instructional improvement.
Directions: This document is designed to be printed on 11“x17” paper and folded in half. For each row, mark the cell that best describes your school system. (Note that the rows do not describe a proposed progression or order. The cells are descriptive, not prescriptive; you do not necessarily have to move through one “stage” before you can get to the next.)
In August 2005, NewSchools Venture Fund and the Aspen Institute invited a group of about 50 leaders in educational entrepreneurship, philanthropy, policy making and research for the first Annual Gathering of Education Entrepreneurs in Aspen, Colorado.
The goals of these annual convenings are to rejuvenate these entrepreneurial change agents to sustain their efforts, to connect them on a human and professional level, to define new ways to make sure the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and to create the long-term agenda for change.
The theme of the 2005 gathering was Creating the Vision for 2030. By getting away from the day-to-day, participants were able to take the long view, envisioning a future for the nation’s education system, while sorting out whether there was a need for collective action to achieve that vision as a supplement to all of the individual and organizational efforts in which they are each engaged.
This report describes the key themes and ideas discussed and provides more detail about the highest priority topics selected by the group.
This paper synthesizes themes from a conversation NewSchools Venture Fund convened in May 2005 about public school systems’ shift toward becoming “performance-driven systems.”
Following the release of a NewSchools report on the adoption of these practices (“Anatomy of School System Improvement: Performance-Driven Practices in Urban School Districts”), the organization convened a roundtable of advisors to discuss the report’s implications. This paper summarizes the session’s wide-ranging conversation, and some of the next steps NewSchools is currently taking to further knowledge development work in this field.
The Bridgespan Group, NewSchools Venture Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have been working individually and collectively with a wide range of school development organizations to increase the number of high-performing centers of learning.
In the process, we have identified two levers that play critically important roles in determining how quickly and consistently successful schools and design models can be replicated. One is the degree of managerial responsibility, support, and control the organization chooses to exercise. The other is related to specificity of school design. Leadership’s choices about each will affect not only how quickly the model can be deployed, but also the human and financial capital required – and ultimately the likelihood of achieving consistent high-quality results.
This paper examines the school development landscape in the context of these levers, with examples of organizations that have chosen different paths with different tradeoffs and outcomes.
The NewSchools Venture Fund Summit, created in 1999, brings together an important and unique community of leaders from across the education, business, policy, research, and philanthropic sectors to learn about and develop entrepreneurial solutions for the crisis facing our nation’s public schools. In 2005, the Summit brought together over 400 “hybrid” leaders to collaborate and share best practices in education.
This report highlights some of the major discussions of the Summit, including those on performance-driven systems, district-charter partnerships, charter school quality, and strategies for attracting and retaining high quality teachers.
This paper reports on findings from the first year of a three-year research project tracking the adoption of performance-driven practices in urban school systems, made possible with the support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
External research partner, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), analyzed the state of performance-driven practices within 28 leading school districts. The goal of this first year of study was to define the features of a performance-driven school system and to set a benchmark against which to measure future years of adoption of performance-driven practices.
Although charter schools are public schools, and often serve the neediest children in a given area, they rarely receive adequate funding for facilities. While charter schools are expected to deliver improved academic results in return for freedom from many state and local mandates, the lack of facilities financing leaves them competing with traditional public schools on an uneven playing field.
A number of states and private foundations are working to address this inequity. Their innovative solutions, profiled in this 2004 article in the quarterly journal Education Next, have the potential to provide charter school students with the productive learning environments they deserve.
NewSchools supports education entrepreneurs by providing them with capital and guidance to ensure that their ventures become strong organizations. This paper illustrates how this venture building happens, stage by stage, using NewSchools’ work with one of its portfolio organizations, New Leaders for New Schools, as an illustration of the approach.