Investing in a revolution

Conclusion to the 10 year report from New Schools Venture Fund: 

All of these areas – from school turnaround to new approaches to training teachers and leaders – are examples of the types of new ideas, new organizations, and new facts on the ground are so badly needed. To challenges like these, NewSchools brings a singular capacity to “look around the corner” and identify the ideas with greatest leverage to improve education in underserved communities. In the decade to come, as in the last one, NewSchools will seek out the best ideas and the strongest entrepreneurial teams to meet the most important needs, and provide those teams with the expertise, support and funds that will help them grow to successful scale.

Where is this work headed? Ultimately, NewSchools seeks not only to cultivate individual

entrepreneurial successes and progress, but to bring about fundamental change in the way that public education works, so that all children have access to an excellent public education. This will require a shift in the culture of public education, away from incremental changes that protect the traditions and interests of adults, and toward a dynamic system relentlessly focused on delivering better outcomes for students.

In some cities, these entrepreneurial successes already have caught the attention of civic and district leaders, who have invited entrepreneurs to act as partners in the important work of increasing the supply of quality options for students. In others, entrepreneurs’ efforts have lit the fire of competition under their local school district, jostling staid bureaucracies into paying closer attention to the needs of students and into embracing new ways of reaching that goal.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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