- Organizations and schools that find solutions to common problems facing educators across the nation — and are willing to share those solutions — can help expand innovation to schools and districts that may not have the support or resources to find such answers, according to The Hechinger Report.
- The NewSchools Venture Fund is an example of an organization that seeks to fund “model providers” in the field of education who can offer solutions that other schools can adopt as ways to improve instruction.
- Rather than trying to independently seek solutions, schools and school districts may do better by first looking at programs and curriculum options, such as those offered by Summit Learning and Place Network that can be adopted at little or no cost.
Most schools have a desire to innovate, especially when old ideas are no longer working or when new technologies require the application of new ideas. While many schools have innovative leaders, not all schools have the funding or support of organizations such as the New Schools Venture Fund to support their attempts at developing or implementing those innovations.
However, school leaders don’t need to come up with all new ideas from scratch. For the most part, their time is better spent in researching other innovative schools and ideas and examining whether those ideas are scalable and adaptable to their own situations. Even if others' programs are not suitable for their schools at this time, leaders can still gain inspiration and insight from these ideas that can spark innovation at their own schools.
Organizations such as the NewSchools Venture Fund play an important role in this process. The organization, which was founded in 1998, is described as “a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that works to transform public education, particularly for low-income and minority children in historically underserved communities. To achieve this goal, NewSchools Venture Fund supports education entrepreneurs, helps them grow their organizations to scale, and helps connect their work to broader systems change.” This organization, and others like them, promote innovation in a way that can be shared with others and can impact schools across the nation.
Digital Promise's League of Innovative Schools is another example of a network that supports leaders in finding and implementing creative solutions to challenges facing schools and shares those ideas more broadly.