NewSchools Venture Fund announced today that MasteryConnect, an online assessment sharing community around Common Core Standards, received more than $1 million in seed funding to scale the organization and reach of its platform among teachers. NewSchools led the round of funding in support with Learn Capital, Imagine K12 and others.
MasteryConnect, which is currently used by more than 2,000 school districts in all 50 states, delivers formative assessment activities such as quizzes and informal assessments that provide teachers with information to modify teaching and learning based on student mastery.
“MasteryConnect is a company at the leading edge of a paradigm shift in education—towards mastery of core concepts as the barometer of student success,” said Ted Mitchell, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund. “We’re thrilled to support the MasteryConnect team as they address a challenge we’ve heard from teachers across the country: how to access real-time student data to inform their instruction.”
Since the release of the Common Core Standards in June 2010, educators have been looking for effective ways to implement and track progress along the Common Core. New technologies make it easier for educators to define consistent expectations, drill down into assessment, track each individual student and target learning needs.
“This is by far the most powerful tool that I have come across in 16 years of teaching,” said Stephanie Truitt, a fourth grade teacher at Flint Lake Elementary in Indiana. “To be able to create differentiated groups that are fluid, to get ‘down and dirty’ data with the ability to immediately remediate in a manner that allows me to share at any time with colleagues, administrators, and parents is wonderful. I feel more empowered than ever.”
MasteryConnect also has an app for smartphones like Android and iPhone, which gives parents and teachers easy access to Common Core Standards beyond the school.
“Thanks to MasteryConnect, educators can connect with colleagues throughout the nation to develop and share common assessments around the Common Core Curriculum,” said Dr. Rick DuFour, a prominent educational leader and author of many leading books in education research. “Educators can now extend their professional learning communities beyond their schools. This ready access to expanded expertise is exactly what we have been hoping would become available to educators.”
“States that have adopted the new core are expecting teachers to make the transition from state standards to Common Core, and that presents a huge challenge to educators at all levels. We’re excited to be providing a way to make the transition simple,” said Mick Hewitt, MasteryConnect CEO. “NewSchools brings an unmatched passion for changing education and improving technology tools for teachers. Their support will significantly accelerate our ability to scale our organization and provide the MasteryConnect platform for teachers to share, collaborate, and assess around the new Common Core Standards.”
Disclosure: Tom is a Learn Capital partner