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School of One Creators Unveil New Nonprofit

Joel Rose and Chris Rush, the men behind the creation of the widely publicized School of One middle school adaptive learning math program, have reached an agreement to create a nonprofit that not only spreads those ideas to models in other school districts, but also re-establishes a relationship with New York City schools.

New Classroom Innovation Partners, a group launched about 10 months after former School of One chief Joel Rose announced he was leaving the 1.1-million student New York City school district, will launch middle school math programs under the name "Teach to One: Math" at both charter and district public schools in Chicago, McGinnis Middle School in Perth Amboy, N.J., and a third city yet to be named, according to a press release.

In addition, the group will work with the New York City Department of Education as it expands to four additional schools with a $5 million grant won from the federal Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive grant program, the release indicates.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—both contributors to Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit publisher of Education Week—is also among the donors to Rose's new organization.

Rose had initially expressed interest in creating a nonprofit group within the city's education department to stretch the effort beyond the city's jurisdiction. Upon finding that such an option didn't appear viable, Rose left to work on establishing his own group, uncertain that the city would approve a future collaborative relationship. It was also unclear whether New York City would be able to retain its i3 grant for expansion, as Rose departed right around the time plans to expand the program were temporarily halted.

The program had also come under some fire in New York City for its relationship with Wireless Generation, the Brooklyn-based company that partnered with the City's department of education to develop the analytical side of the model. Wireless Generation has faced scrutiny of its business dealings last year after it was purchased by multimedia-conglomerate News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, with an education division headed by former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

(Larry Berger, founder of Wireless Generation, also serves on the board of trustees for Editorial Projects in Education, the non-profit publisher of Education Week.)

Rush, meanwhile, later came on-board after helping Rose establish the initial version as the chief mastermind behind the algorithm that made the program famous. That algorithm takes content from assorted providers and directs it to students on an individual basis based on past student performance combined with a content map that tracks student evolution.

The School of One has received widespread attention both from Education Week and other mainstream media outlets. We'll see whether Rose's new program garners similar attention.

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