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April 28, 2014

What Would Real Engagement Look Like?

When Preston Smith and I started Rocketship almost 9 years ago, one of the things he really cared about was the relationship between teachers and parents. It had been incredibly important to his success as both a teacher and principal. Preston built an incredibly deep culture of parent engagement at Rocketship with home visits to every family, monthly community meetings, and volunteer time in every classroom.

April 07, 2014

How Government Helps and Harms Entrepreneurs

The local NPR station ran a great story by America Abroad Media (@America_Abroad) about how government helps and harms entrepreneurs (available on iTunes). Interest in job creation and the growth in the number of incubators makes this a timely topic.

August 26, 2013

Better Pitches

Having read a few thousand grant applications I can tell you that most suck. John Bailey, a former grant maker and current policy advocate, said something similar noting that most policy proposals were also weak and wandering. In contrast, he noted, the venture pitches at accelerators like Y Combinator and ImagineK12 are uniformly good--and often great.

July 29, 2013

Navigating the Swamp With Michael Fullan

Fullan and Donnelly describe two powerful forces that are combining to create what they call the "swamp": "One is a relentless 'push' factor; the other is a prodigious and exponential 'pull' phenomenon

November 08, 2012

Smart Cities: Boston

Boston has been a leader in education for more than 400 years. Drawing from its existing network of universities, learning companies, innovation economy, and technical talent, there are more than 130 education technology and learning-oriented startups in the Boston area.

November 05, 2012

DIY: Amplify Your Impact With Social Media

You can extend your impact with social media. Schools, districts, networks, nonprofits, providers and startups, can leverage social media to efficiently communicate, effectively build brand awareness, and gathering feedback on customer experience.

October 30, 2012

Imagine K12 Demo Day: 11 Rising Startups

"The future of our education system and the future of the country are inextricably tied," said Imagine K12 co-founder Tim Brady. He said transformation is "not a matter of if, only how" and #ik12 plans to be part of "ushering in the how, keeping student outcome front and center."

October 29, 2012

Creative Cities: New Orleans

A brewstorm (a lightning round of Pabst-powered edu-visions) at Matt Candler's 4.0 Schools last Wednesday was the kind of gathering that could only be held in a handful of cities. New Orleans has always been a creative hotspot, just not in education. When I visited in the spring of 2005, the academic performance, the condition of school facilities, and the level of corruption were unbelievably bad -- in some cases worse than what I had seen in South Africa the month before.

October 22, 2012

Creative Cluster: Silicon Valley

The 20-mile stretch from Stanford University to San Jose, Calif. produces more innovation than any place on the planet. As Richard Florida noted, the unique confluence of a great R1 University, venture investors, tech talent, and great quality of life make it a creative hotspot.

September 17, 2012

DIY, Incubate or Accelerate?

Matt Candler is growing people that are growing educational solutions. His New Orleans-based incubator, 4.0 Schools, is based on a process that most organizations start as an idea and go through a five-stage process: itch-->hunch-->test-->launch-->scale.

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