Practices from the Portfolio, Volume I

NewSchools Venture Fund & FSG Social Impact Advisors
March 2008

This is the first in what we're told will be a series that highlights the best practices of the promising educational organizations that the NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF) supports. The inaugural volume is organized around three topics: human capital, organizational growth, and curriculum and quality. The first of those sections, focusing primarily on how NSVF's partners recruit teachers and principals, is the most interesting, especially considering today's emphasis on teacher quality. One chapter, for instance, highlights High Tech High's self-designed and state-approved teacher credentialing program, which made it the first charter school network (or EMO) allowed to certify its own teachers. Although High Tech High's model draws on some typical ed-school practices (through its partnership with the University of San Diego), it benefits greatly from the flexibility to give candidates training in, and exposure to, the classrooms where they'll actually be teaching. There's plenty of other good stuff packed into the 250-plus pages of this report. Download it here.

Coby Loup is a Policy Analyst/Web Editor at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute