Envisioning New Public Education Systems for the 21st Century: A Report on the Eighth Annual NewSchools Summit

 

The NewSchools Venture Fund recently released a report highlighting key insights from its May meeting in New Orleans, now the epicenter of educational reform efforts in America.

This quick read offers something for all educational innovators (from teachers to policymakers)-status-quo keepers beware! Read the summary from the Summit here.

The report provides summaries of panel discussions on a range of topics, including:

  • Governance. Whether mayoral control or other forms of governance can improve schools and student performance.
  • State Policy. Does creating an environment for academic success translate into improving public school quality?
  • Education 2.0. Re-envisioning public education in a way that meets the needs of 21st century students.
  • School Turnarounds. Conditions necessary to turn around failing schools.
  • Buying time. Developing policies and funding models that encourage the expansion of the school day and school year. What do successful schools do with this extra time to improve student achievement?

Among the many groups and individuals engaged in the struggle to revive the Big Easy and its schools, NewSchools Venture Fund is one of the most prominent. The organization is a nonprofit venture philanthropy supporting the efforts of high-impact educational entrepreneurs to transform American education. 

At the meeting, NewsSchools CEO Ted Mitchell reminded the 1,000 participants that, "It need not take a disaster to cast a sharp light on a school system that's been failing its children for decades, nor should it take a flood to enable us to think bold thoughts or to act on them."

Michael Bennett, superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, captured the spirit of the conversation and the sense of urgency for broader change in education. "People don't want to hear that schools are failing but it's true," he said. "Entrepreneurial models are important for pointing that out, but also for giving people hope."

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