We envision an education system that keeps its promise to all students. That’s why we invest in the ideas and energy of education leaders and entrepreneurs who are advancing innovative solutions that expand the definition of what works.
There’s a better way to advance education through philanthropy — one that is more equitable, more collaborative, and more courageous–and we’re proving it every day.
We believe philanthropy can power a better future for all students, not just a chosen few.
There’s no shortage of committed leaders and passionate funders working to build a better education system. While we celebrate bright spots in schools and communities across the nation, we have yet to move the baseline for everyone. Together, we can power a future where all students have what they need to thrive, in school and in life–and philanthropy has an important role to play. Philanthropy is leadership. To achieve the greatest good, we must fund with courage, imagination, and persistence.
NewSchools advances the field like no one else– letting our values and evidence lead the way.
Creating a more equitable education system does not happen overnight, and it cannot happen through the efforts of any single actor. NewSchools bridges the gap between those with capital and those with the courage to put that capital to work on the frontlines of education. We know that diversity leads to excellence and that evidence is a powerful catalyst for imagination. Our investments, research and insights challenge conventional thinking and help us seed new possibilities.
We make big bets and lead at the edge to unlock the full potential of education philanthropy.
We’ve made a lot of big bets in the past 25 years. We demonstrated that a more disciplined approach to investing in education yields stronger results. We proved that students only realize their full potential when they have both a strong academic foundation and the critical skills needed for success in life. We stood up for the vast, untapped genius in innovators of color. We’re investing in a future where all students can grow into the leaders and problem solvers that our world needs.
25 YEARS OF LEADING AT THE EDGE
Kim Smith, John Doerr, and Brook Byers founded NewSchools Venture Fund with a deep belief in the power of entrepreneurs to drive change and a new vision for providing philanthropic support in education.
NewSchools makes early investments in 10 of the nation’s leading charter networks that would go on to reach more than 100,000 students in 200+ schools across the country and established its role as a field convener through its annual Summit.
Alongside national investments in schools and human capital, we launched place-based funds in Boston, Newark and Washington, D.C. and created the Seed Fund to support high-impact K-12 education technology companies.
Across our strategy we prioritized an Expanded Definition of Student Success, racial diversity as a driver of excellence, and innovation in charter and district schools, publishing field-defining research on these topics.
During the Covid pandemic, we expanded our grantmaking to be more responsive to pressing needs in education and to innovate on our approaches, including piloting participatory grantmaking.
NewSchools spun out the Advanced Education Research and Development Fund, which it incubated since 2018, to support ambitious inclusive R&D programs designed to address teaching and learning challenges.