Innovating Toward Excellence: Education Entrepreneurs and the Transformation of Public Education

August 4, 2009

This report summarizes key takeaways from the NewSchools Summit 2009, which took place in Pasadena, CA. The Summit brought together more than 450 participants for an agenda focused on innovation in education. Together, presenters and audience members looked at how results-based approaches and broader scaling of solutions will be the only way to drive lasting change across public education.

To explore this theme, NewSchools convened experts from inside and outside of the education sector to discuss and debate the meaning and power of innovation. As NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell reminded participants, “It’s important for us to use examples from other sectors of society to help us think in new ways. A part of innovation is the ability to think in new ways about old problems.” The day also focused on putting lessons from other sectors into action in classrooms and across school systems. Speakers and participants considered the role of entrepreneurs in the emerging federal policy agenda, and highlighted some of the the most promising innovative practices from the NewSchools portfolio. This publication provides an account of conversations throughout the day, and reflects on the work that entrepreneurs, district leaders, philanthropists and policymakers are doing to transform public education across America.