Donorschoose uses data scientist to guide $1B in ed funds


Dive Summary:

  • In 2000, Charles Best, a former history teacher in the Bronx, founded Donorschoose.org, an online network connecting potential donors with an estimated 250,000 teachers from about half of the country's public schools.
  • On the site, teachers submit requests of what they need for their classrooms and donors choose whether or not to finance the request; Best believes the data gathered from teacher requests could help direct $1 billion in education funds to classrooms in need.
  • To accomplish this, Donorschoose.org decided to hire a data scientist to prove teachers on the site performed better than the average; after a hiring search led by OkCupid data scientist Max Shron, Donorschoose.org hired Jay Garlapati, a 2012 graduate of the University of Chicago.

From the article:

"What kind of tech do teachers really need? Depends on whom you ask.

There are plenty of companies and causes fighting for more laptops and tablets and smartboards in public school classrooms. But on Donorschoose.org, where a quarter of a million teachers hailing from roughly half of the nation's public schools have logged requests for their classrooms, the most frequently requested item is an inexpensive next generation overhead projector called a document camera. ..."

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Topics: K12, Technology