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On the Fourth Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

Reformie Ladies Lunching


The fourth in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

“Innovation is the key lever for change.”

That’s what Deborah Quazzo told a room full of female movers and shakers in education gathered by CER and CityBridge in early November to discuss how to increase opportunity for our nation’s children.

Deborah is Founder and Managing Partner of GSV Acceleration Fund, a venture capital fund investing in the most dynamic entrepreneurs and companies leveraging technology in the global $4.9 trillion education and talent technology sectors. Her experience and accomplishments in and outside of education are numerous. She’s exactly the kind of woman whose presence and involvement is critically important to the future of our students and schools.

While it’s no secret that teaching is still a predominantly female career, it may be less obvious that there are powerful women behind the drive to change the way we think about teaching and learning in America. That was the drive behind this meeting of business executives, philanthropists, and community activists in the EdReform space – a celebration of powerful females moving the needle for students paired with critical conversations on how we can work together to break barriers.

We’ve all heard the expression that there’s nothing more powerful than a woman’s intuition, and that’s something America could certainly use more of to help push the envelope on change in education!


On the Third Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

A Global Hub for Technology
Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!


The third in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!

by Jonathan Harber — Founder, StartED Accelerator

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-9-53-18-amMove over, Menlo Park — there’s another tech boom coming, and not necessarily where you’d expect it. This boom is being driven by the edtech sector, and it has found its new home in New York City!

Consider that New York is home to over two million active students and has the largest hub of education institutions, publishing giants, corporate training departments, cutting edge researchers and investors in the industry. We also have the largest school district, community college network, expansive and hugely successful charter schools, and corporate training budgets. The potential is enormous.

New York City has both the biggest potential edtech consumer base and the most places to pilot innovative ideas. No other city in the country has as many university students – not even Boston.

NYC Is a Tech, Deal Hub

It is true that the largest share of the world’s technology innovation is still happening in California, in and around San Francisco and Silicon Valley, but Gotham is number two.

And where there is tech innovation, there’s usually investment. In a 2014 ranking of cities with the most tech start-up funding, California, unsurprisingly, led the way. New York was third, and only because San Francisco and Silicon Valley were listed separately.

It’s undeniable that education systems continue to face pressure to change. With more investment and rapid innovation, we’re nearing a tipping point where the digital transformation in education will develop its own inertia. The community that can cultivate and

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On the Second Day of Christmas CER Gave to Me…

Model Legislation
And a Nominee for Opportunity!


The second in our 12-ish days of Christmas series, intended to bring gifts to education reformers everywhere!


screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-6-18-13-pmby Ted Rebarber*

Charter schools have become the single most effective public school reform to date. They provide opportunities to families and the freedom for schools to innovate, improve and address pressing needs without delays from bureaucracy or political pressure.

But laws make all the difference in the degree of opportunities afforded to families and freedom afforded to schools.

Of the 13 strongest charter laws, 12 were passed between 1991 and 1999, and it is these 12 states alone that account for over 56 percent of existing charter schools.  Only nine states passed a charter law between 2000 and 2015 and they opened a combined total of 233 schools, serving so few students that their impact on a national scale is almost negligible.

Strong laws provide for:

  • operational autonomy for charters, allowing a wide range of providers to innovate and meet the needs of their particular students;
  • multiple charter authorizers in order to guard against regulatory creep, including at least one independent entity focused on authorizing charters;
  • a high or no cap on schools and few obstacles to growth, allowing charters to scale up and offer parents multiple options in convenient locations;
  • accountability to parents through choice, while authorizers maintain public trust by eliminating fraudulent or obviously incompetent operators;
  • equitable funding for students and families in charter schools, including capital (facility) funds as well as operational funds.

We know from 23 years of research and practice that strong laws result in strong schools. That’s why we’re relentless in our pursuit for strong charter school laws that allow charter schools the freedom and flexibility. We hope 2017 brings the gift of stronger

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