K-12 Education

Improving Education Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

May 14, 2012  • Ross Wiener

Innovation and entrepreneurial approaches to improving education are a major focus of the Institute’s work on education. At the recent NewSchools-Aspen Institute Summit 2012, we explored these issues with leading experts, thinkers, and front-line practitioners from across the country. Below are some highlights from the Summit’s discussions. Through a new partnership with NBC’s Education Nation, more videos from the summit are available than ever before, so access to these great conversations is just a click away. Here are videos from a few of my favorite sessions.

Kaya Henderson, chancellor of Washington, DC Public Schools and Cami Anderson, superintendent of Newark (NJ) Public Schools – both members of the Aspen Institute Urban Superintendents Network – talked about “The View From the Other Side” as entrepreneurs who are now leading traditional public school systems. They were joined by Chris Barbic, head of the new Achievement School District in Tennessee, for a dynamic conversation about transforming public education from inside:

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Roland Fryer, noted economist and founder of the Education Innovation Lab at Harvard University, and Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Denver Public Schools (another member of Aspen Institute Urban Superintendents Network) took the stage to describe their work together in Denver. “Out of the Hothouse: From Top Charters to Big Districts” focused on their joint effort to leverage lessons from high-performing charter schools to improve student achievement in traditional public schools:

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Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Former Education Secretary (and current Mitt Romney advisor) Margaret Spellings mixed it up with NBC’s Rehema Ellis to give their take on what’s next for education reform policy. Some interesting areas of agreement as well as plenty of contention surfaced between these national leaders:

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Learn more about the education work at the Aspen Institute.