Schools Need Support to Reinvent Themselves. Will Philanthropy Step Up to Help?

By Leo Bialis-White and Scott Benson  Philanthropy can be a powerful force for good. When innovators have a compelling idea that meets the moment, philanthropy can provide flexible, responsive capital so those ideas can flourish.  This is one such moment in education. Despite a massive infusion of federal aid — $190 billion through the Elementary […]

What’s the Future of Innovation in Education? 

For as long as there have been people, there have been folks predicting what the future might hold. And, recently at NewSchools, our team spent a whole day considering that very question, with respect to innovation in education. For part of the day we had a special guest, renowned author Steven Johnson, to help fuel our imaginations. It was great to engage in a wide-ranging conversation about Johnson’s research on the history of innovation, its implications for […]

A Master Class in School Redesign 

August means “back to school” for millions of students across the country. But this year it will also signal the beginning of an exciting new learning and sharing opportunity for a group of forward-thinking leaders from school districts and charter school organizations. They have one special thing in common: Each has an interest in rethinking […]

NewSchools Invent: Welcoming a New Cohort of Innovative Schools

We believe young people deserve schools that match the incredible aspirations they have for themselves, their families and their communities. Today, too many are in schools that don’t match those aspirations or the times we’re living in. Our role is to support teams of educators who are reimagining learning so that students are prepared and […]

Live From Summit 2016: Spurring Innovation in Districts Through Partnerships

This interactive session was moderated by Scott Benson, Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. Joining him as panelists were six leaders representing three unique examples of districts that have engaged in partnerships to spur innovation. Model providers for middle school math Joel Rose, Co-Founder & CEO of New Classrooms Innovation Partners Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, Independent Consultant and […]

Micro Schools: Opportunities and Potential Challenges

The meteoric rise in the interest in so-called “micro schools” over the past year has been impressive. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a micro school is simply a school, public or private, with a small student population (typically fewer than 100 students). Often these models are associated with emerging ideas such as personalized and […]

NewSchools Catapult: 1 Week Countdown, Early Observations

Earlier this summer, we released NewSchools Catapult, an opportunity for innovative, new schools with plans to launch in Fall 2016 to apply for early-stage investment from us.  Its goal over the next several years is to propel successive waves of education entrepreneurs to launch new schools – the kinds of incredible, life-altering schools that can truly prepare […]

Launching NewSchools Catapult: Invent 2015

At NewSchools Venture Fund, we have always had a great affection for early-stage school entrepreneurs who are (re)imagining, (re)designing, and (re)creating the student experience and we are truly excited by all the school leaders realizing these visions in schools and getting great results for students. One of the more famous early innovators, Leonardo daVinci, not […]

Live from Summit 2015: Expanding Our Definition of Student Success

This week at Summit, we had the opportunity to explore a topic near and dear to my heart — expanding the definition of student success. I firmly believe that all children must develop strong literacy and numeracy skills. We simply must ensure that our students graduate with that critical foundation. But it’s also important to […]