In a time of rapid change, educators, students and parents are calling for solutions that break through old boundaries and profoundly improve outcomes, especially for Black, Latino and low-income children. The need to equip students for the future, to thrive in a complex world, has always been vital, but takes on a new urgency today. We’re seeing innovators creating tools and solutions that can power new levels of student success. They’re working hand-in-hand with educators and school leaders who are both building new school models and reinventing existing ones. To meet this moment, we’ve created a new investment area, called Learning Solutions, that brings together our previous portfolios in ed tech and model providers. We will support early-stage innovators with ideas that can accelerate student growth and equitable outcomes, along a spectrum of solutions that includes:
- Supplemental Tools that seamlessly enhance teaching and learning, including education technology
- Core instructional approaches that provide curriculum and assessments, along with teacher supports, enabling educators and schools to reimagine an entire subject area
- Whole-school models that partner with schools to provide integrated tools and resources, along with implementation support, to help educators reimagine learning
If you’re an early-stage organization-builder working to advance these goals, we want to partner with you and enable your concept to come to fruition. And because diversity matters, we’re especially interested in connecting with Black and Latino innovators. We believe the moment is right to explore ideas that will integrate whole-school visions and the learning tools that power them — and that these visions must be informed by the needs of parents and students. These learning solutions will break the mold on how to offer high-quality learning to each and every student, while advancing crucial aims like a focus on literacy and on social-emotional wellness. They may be high-, low-, or no-tech. Because the when, where, and how may vary, but the why doesn’t.
We are currently seeking ideas focused on reimagining the student experience.
Venture leaders who identify as Black or Latino
Growth in student reach since NewSchools’ investment
Supplemental tools with evidence of positive student outcomes
Schools implementing models with fidelity
Learning Solutions Ventures
Center for Love and Justice
Entrepreneur: Kaleb Rashad, Melissa Daniels, Nikki Hinostro
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
The Center for Love and Justice partners with existing school districts to advance equity for K-12 students through Anti-Racist Deeper Learning. Anti-Racist Deeper Learning involves students doing authentic work while developing the democratic agency to identify, describe, and dismantle oppressive systems and create them anew. The Center provides tools, methods, maps, and coaching to support teachers, school leaders, and communities to achieve these outcomes over the course of a 3-year partnership. Some of these initiatives include Learning through Projects, Making Learning Public, and Activating Student Voice.
Entrepreneur: Rocio Raña, Xuan-Nga Cao
For-profit | Visit the Site
LangInnov has developed BLAST, a bilingual literacy assessment app that can assess pre-literacy skills in both Spanish and English to provide detailed information about a student’s literacy readiness. BLAST seeks to address the issue of a disproportionate number of Latino students being placed in special education programs, and remaining in ESL programs for longer periods than needed, due to not properly understanding students’ literacy levels in both languages. This solution aims to reduce the number of mis-placements in special education by allowing students to use the full range of their bilingual repertoire to demonstrate their linguistic, cognitive, and preliteracy skills in both of their developing languages.
Liberated Way (powered by AUSL)
Entrepreneur: Martin Green, Ulric Shannon, Shelby Hildreth
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
AUSL’s LiberatED Way is an anti-racist, whole-school revitalization model enlivened by local context and assets. It empowers entire school communities to author their school vision and partner in unprecedented ways to catalyze sustainable student academic and whole-child growth in preparation for post-secondary success. This is an 18-month partnership effort where school partners co-design an anti-racist school vision, governance structures, and professional learning and coaching. The anti-racist school vision design and calibration involved a tangible “graduate portrait” developed through an inclusive liberatory design process. Key outcomes include student belonging as well as math and reading growth.
Native American Community Academy (NACA Elementary)
Entrepreneur: Zane Rosette, Joshua Krause
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
Native American Community Academy (NACA) Elementary launched to engage urban Native American children in a rigorous education, based in Indigenous culture, language, tradition, and holistic wellness. NACA’s K-5 Indigenous Literacy Program is a culturally and linguistically revitalizing curriculum designed by Indigenous educators. The literacy program will use texts that center Indigenous peoples so that students see themselves and their communities as they develop the building blocks of literacy so that they may be empowered to pursue their own dreams, develop and share new ideas, and participate fully in society.
Is My Ed Tech Tool Making a Difference?Learn More
An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Using Research to Improve Products and Measure Impact.
Making Meaning of The 2019 NewSchools-Gallup Survey of Educator & Student Perceptions of Ed TechLearn More
We partnered with Gallup to conduct a survey to explore the use and perception of ed tech more broadly in the United States PreK-12 public school system.
4X4: There are four pathways to becoming a model provider and four major stages of developmentLearn More
Since our portfolio’s inception, we’ve committed to and appreciated learning alongside our venture organizations. Thanks to 28 of organizations we’ve worked wi…