Envisioning New Public Education Systems for the 21st Century: A Report on the Eighth Annual NewSchools Summit

August 13, 2007

Each year, the NewSchools Summit provides entrepreneurs, educators, policymakers and philanthropic leaders with a venue to share promising practices and tackle common challenges.

In 2007, NewSchools partnered with New Leaders for New Schools to host a National Education Summit in a location befitting that spirit: New Orleans, Louisiana. In the wake of a devastating storm, this city has begun to develop a new, high-quality system of public schools designed to better meet the needs of its students. As NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell explained at the outset of the event, our hope was that bringing 1000 leaders together in this way would enable us “to focus a spotlight on the needs and opportunities in this great city, to learn from each other, and to be inspired to carry out the huge, difficult and essential work of transforming education in America so that all children, especially those least well-served by the traditional system, will have a high-quality education.”

Indeed, the dramatic change taking place in New Orleans today provided Summit participants with an extraordinary opportunity for national education leaders to reflect on what has worked (and what hasn’t) in other cities, and to learn from the new structures and institutions being created in the wake of the storm.