‘Hacking Education’ Dinner in Detroit to Talk Innovation

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NewSchools Venture Fund joins Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the University of Michigan’s Social Venture Fund to sponsor a ‘Hacking Education’ Dinner in Detroit, Michigan on September 16.

Founded by Jon Bischke of RG Labs, the Hacking Education Dinner Series hosts events across the country to connect technology entrepreneurs, policy leaders, venture capitalists, philanthropists, nonprofit organizations, and educators who share a passion and commitment to improve public education with innovative solutions.

The September 16th dinner is the first Hacking Education event to be held in the city of Detroit. Detroit Public Schools (DPS) face persistent and formidable challenges as the city deals with massive budget shortfalls.  The district recently revised a plan to shutter half of its schools—which would have raised class sizes to 60 students—with a plan to close 20 of its 142 schools, and convert as many as 45 into public charter schools. So far this year, five of the district’s schools have been converted into charter schools.

“In the face of extremely challenging circumstances, there are exciting and unprecedented education reforms underway in Detroit,” said Wayee Chu, Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund. “We want to harness the growing momentum and energy around entrepreneurship and innovation, and work together to improve learning opportunities and access for all students in Detroit and beyond.”

“As the first student-run social venture fund in the country, we are thrilled to bring this event to Detroit.  We believe there is tremendous opportunity for transformational education reform in Southeastern Michigan and we are excited to bring together this talented cross-sector community to help lead this reform,” said Daniel Reyes, University of Michigan’s Social Venture Fund.

Previous Hacking Education events have included founders of companies like 2tor, Altius Education, Career Education, Chegg, Connections Academy, The Princeton Review and TellMe; individuals from investment firms and foundations such as Battery Ventures, The Gates Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund and Sequoia Capital; and policy makers from The Department of Education and The Department of Defense.

“Public-private collaboration is crucial for improving student achievement and teacher effectiveness.  We’re proud to be a part of this important gathering of diverse education leaders,” said James O’Neill, Senior Vice President of Portfolio Management at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  “HMH has a long-standing partnership with DPS to implement innovative solutions for the student, parent, and teacher communities.  DPS has made great strides and we’re looking forward to continuing the conversation.”

About the participants:

NewSchools Venture Fund is a not-for-profit organization working to close the achievement gap by funding and supporting entrepreneurs who are creating innovative solutions to the problems in public education so that all children have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provides services used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries and is the world’s largest provider of materials for pre-K–12 learning.

The Social Venture Fund (SvF) is an impact investment fund that invests in sustainable, innovative, for-profit companies that place the generation of a significant social impact at the heart of their mission and way of doing business.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.