In the News


The EdTech Awards: 2019 – Finalists & Winners

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We are happy to announce that Cortex is a finalist for not only one, but two, Cool Tool EdTech Awards and InnovateEDU Executive Director Erin Mote is up for the Startup Founder / CEO award.  Under Erin Mote’s leadership, Cortex is reaching new heights! Starting as a in-house learning management and student information system for Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools to now, a nationally recognized next-gen edtool for organizations who are rethinking K-12+, we are honored to sit next to such forward-thinking finalists. Many claps for Erin Mote and the Cortex team.

You can find a full of finalists and winners here!

How Educators, Philanthropists, and Investors Are Revolutionizing Education

Abby Schultz, Barrons, Sept. 22, 2018

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Tara stood up in the center of a circle of classmates at a middle school last spring, looking a little nervous. It was her turn to relay the progress she had made on several goals. Shanice Brown, a teacher and “goals coach” for this group of fifth-grade girls at Achievement First Aspire Middle School, a public charter in Brooklyn, N.Y., gently coaxed her to speak loudly and clearly: “Everyone wants to hear what you have to say because it’s so important.”

Read more.

Full Benefits of EdTech can't be Realized Until Data is Interoperable, Report Finds

Patience Wait, Edscoop, May 15, 2018

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"The benefits of interoperability are numerous, such as allowing data to “follow” a student transferring from one school system to another, even across state lines, then enabling teachers in the student’s new system to review and understand the student’s earlier work, progress and areas of struggle.

Denver Public Schools in Colorado, not one of the states that participated in the symposium, has been working on interoperability issues. The system signed the Project Unicorn pledge to pursue interoperability; the state of Oregon, a symposium participant, also took the pledge."

Read more.

Project Unicorn Signs First Companies to Help Schools Handle the Hairball of EdTech Data

Frank Catalano, GeekWire, May 1, 2018

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"The rise of education technology in schools has also expanded one of edtech’s biggest hairballs: exchanging school, teacher and student data across different apps and systems.

Now, an initiative named Project Unicorn has just signed the first edtech companies to its effort to solve that problem."

Read more.

Ed-Tech Vendors Asked to ‘Pledge’ Efforts Around Interoperability

Sean Cavanagh, EdWeek Market Brief, April 18, 2018

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'" new effort unveiled at the ASU+GSV conference asks ed-tech companies to sign a “vendor pledge” committing that their digital tools and platforms will meet a standard for interoperability, which is defined as the seamless, secure, and controlled exchange of data between applications.

The pledge is the work of Project Unicorn, a group that is a part of Innovate EDU, a New York-based nonprofit focused on closing gaps in student achievement through new learning models and tools."

Read more.

School Data is Messy, but it Doesn't Have to Be

Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report, February 28, 2018

"[Erin] Mote says data interoperability will give teachers their Sundays back. One of her nonprofit’s major initiatives, Project Unicorn, aims to help schools claim the power they have as ed tech purchasers. Since last year, 419 districts have signed Project Unicorn’s interoperability pledge, saying, among other things, that they will prioritize data interoperability when deciding which vendors to work with."

Read more.

Project Unicorn Pushes for Interoperability in Courseware

Jeff Dominguez, Converge Magazine, February 21, 2018

"Formed when Mote’s national group of technologists gathered to identify the core problems in data science and personalized learning, Project Unicorn has worked hard to help people understand that interoperability isn’t a scary thing. “It's actually all over our daily lives,” Mote explains. “Whether you're using an ATM that's not from your bank, and you’re still able to get money out; or when I fly somewhere, not having to go to a Delta TSA agent versus an American Airlines TSA agent; these examples illustrate that interoperability can be so seamless. It's so foundational that it works in the background, and it's kind of magical."

Read more.

The LearnLaunch Interoperability Panel: Where Do Districts Begin?

Sarah Bassett, Certica Blog, February 16, 2018

"Getting involved with peer communities that support learning and advocacy will demonstrate to vendors, district leaders and funders that education agencies are serious about interoperability. Project Unicorn is an initiative focused squarely on interoperability to empower teachers, students and families. The Project Unicorn “pledge” is a way for districts to signal their commitment to interoperability – more than 400 public school systems and charters have signed the pledge already."

Read more.

Help Teachers Truly See Their Students Through Usable, Connected Data

Wendy McMahon, EdSurge, October 24, 2017

As a young student in Germany, Philip Heimes recalls feeling “invisible” to his teachers. One of many in a classroom packed with students, his learning struggles often went unnoticed. He muddled through with low grades and the assumption that learning was wearisome and trying.

“I pulled through with grit, but I sincerely hated school,” explains Heimes.

His own school experiences have since fueled his drive to support data-driven personalized learning in an effort to make today’s schools engaging, fun and free of “the stress and angst” many students feel.

Read more.

Unbundling School Technology Purchases

Rod Berger, Forbes, October 16, 2017

"Interoperability initiatives like Project Unicorn, EdFi Alliance and IMS Global, and suites like Google Education, flexible learning management systems, and LearnPlatform (which allow interaction with and across basically any technology) are evidence of the market’s movement towards targeted purchasing, be it in individual apps or bundles.”

Read more.

Brooklyn Lab School Serves Community with Erin Mote

Libsyn, Linda Buchner Blog, July 11, 2017

Erin Mote is the co-founder of Brooklyn LAB and serves the school in an advisory capacity. Throughout her career she has served as advisor to the Clinton Foundation, Wal-Mart, Chevron, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Erin shares how she and her husband conceived the idea of Brooklyn LAB while walking the streets in their neighborhood and wrote out their ideas on a napkin. It was on that walk that she was considering a return from consulting to a public service role so she could have an impact on her community. Their contemplative discussion led them to the same conclusion of creating a school that was accessible to all and provided opportunities where previously none existed for students.

Read more.

10 Questions Worth Asking to Help Every Student Succeed

Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, June 7, 2017

Education writers gathered at Georgetown University last week to compare notes. I discussed three megatrends and suggested 10 related questions for reporters, parents, and teachers.

Read more.

An Expanded Definition of Student Success

Melissa Gedney, Digital Promise, June 8, 2017

Erin Mote and Eric Tucker lead Brooklyn Lab Schools, a group of charter schools in downtown Brooklyn, and are focused on building systems that support an expanded definition of student success. Brooklyn Lab recently won a grant to expand their work from middle schools to two high schools through support from the XQ Super School project and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. To help accomplish their vision – that every students get not just to but through college – Brooklyn Lab leverages Cortex, a digital learning platform where student data and work can be accessed by students, teachers, parents, and administrators alike.

Read more.

The Dell Perspective: The Future of Philanthropy

Live Event Replay

During a live broadcast on May 11, Michael and Susan Dell discussed what defines the future of philanthropy, and unveiled new research gathered from social impact leaders in the US, India and South Africa.

Read here.


Hari Nef, DeRay Mckesson, Shailene Woodley: These Are the Bold Visionaries Pushing the Culture—and the Country—Forward

by Robert Sullivan photographed by Inez AND Vinoodh, January 2017

Last September, XQ: The Super School Project—the effort funded by Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective to rethink the American high school—went over budget. Instead of their goal of awarding five high schools with a $10 million prize over the next five years, they wound up awarding ten innovative schools closer to $100 million. And the dialogue continues. “Those 10,000 educators all across the country,” says XQ Institute’s CEO Russlynn Ali—referring to the number of people who responded to XQ’s challenge—“they are in this. They have stood by their young people, whether they were one of the ten or not, and now from Grand Rapids to Houston to Los Angeles to Washington, DC, we are seeing people come together, learning, studying, empowering themselves with data and research and coming up with the most visionary plans on how to transform high schools in their community—and thereby transform their neighborhoods.”

Read more.

Ed-Fi Community: Erin Mote, Brooklyn LAB and InnovateEDU

Ed-Fi Alliance, December 2016

Erin Mote, Co-Founder of Brooklyn LAB and Co-Founder and Executive Director of InnovateEDU shares her thoughts on the importance of interoperability – and using a data standard to drive personalized learning, benefiting students and teachers.

Watch the video here.

Celebrating XQ Super Schools with NGLC Roots: Brooklyn LAB

Kristen Vogt, Next Gen Learning Blog, October 20, 2016

Last month, XQ announced ten winners of its super-competitive $10 million Super School grant program. Half of the winners have NGLC roots: Summit Elevate, Brooklyn LAB Charter High School, Powderhouse Studios, Washington Leadership Academy, and RISE High. We think that’s something to celebrate.

This blog series takes a look back at the influence the leaders behind these winning designs have had on next gen school design and the future of the American high school. Today, we celebrate Brooklyn LAB Charter High School.

Brooklyn LAB Charter High School

XQ Super School Description: Imagine students in a school in the shadow of a bridge that lights the path to the future.
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New Charter School to Take Innovative Approach to Teaching & Learning

Nigel Roberts, NewsOne Education, October 15, 2016

Fresh off winning a prestigious grant competition, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools unveiled plans for its first high school.

The co-founders, students of its middle school, and their families held a naming ceremony on Sept. 27 for the Edmund W. Gordon High School for the Applied Sciences, which opens next fall in New York City’s downtown Brooklyn.

Professor Edmund Gordon, a psychologist and education professor, is the Director Emeritus of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Gordon told NewsOne that he expects the school’s curriculum will become its major contribution to the education field.

Read more.

The Hidden Goal that XQ Winners Share: Relationships

Julia Freeland Fisher, the Christensen Institute, October 2016

This month, U.S. high schools got a healthy dose of innovation investment—the XQ Super School project announced 10 winners, each of which will receive $10 million to support their efforts to reinvent high school. Although the winners are pursuing a pretty dazzling array of approaches, all 10 are exploring ways to personalize high school in an effort to crack open the monolithic model of cohort and age-based instruction that undergirds traditional school.

But across their diverse models, there’s another common, if not subtler, effort afoot: to invest in students’ relationships and networks.

Read more.

New Downtown Brooklyn Charter School Named for Champion of Desegregation

Alexandra Leon, DNAinfo, September 28, 2016

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School is on track to open a new high school for the upcoming year that will be named after an advocate for school desgregation and programs for low-income students.

The Edmund W. Gordon High School for the Applied Sciences will open next fall in Downtown Brooklyn, the charter announced at a Tuesday naming ceremony. 

While school administrators have not yet finalized an address, the school will be within the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and near the institution’s current middle school locations at 240 Jay St. and 40 Flatbush Ave., a Brooklyn LAB spokeswoman said.

Read more.

Rise & Shine: Thousands rally to expand New York City charter schools

Alex Zimmerman, Chalkbeat, September 29, 2016

RALLYING CRY An estimated 25,000 people gathered in Prospect Park Wednesday to rally in favor of doubling the size of the city’s charter sector, though the event’s keynote speakers were careful not to diss traditional district schools.

HOT BUTTON ISSUE Based on an analysis of 4.5 million Regents exams over 13 years, it turns out temperature can play a big role in student performance on the exit exams.

BLUE RIBBON Here are the nine New York City schools that have been awarded Blue Ribbon status — out of just 329 schools nationwide.

Read more.

One School’s Mission to Give Every Child the Best High School Education—Regardless of Their Zip Code

Sonia Weiser, DNAinfo Creative, September 2016

With a mission to get students not just to college but through it, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School will open new high schools next fall, welcoming a class of 115 freshmen into a rigorous college-prep program.

In addition to setting a high bar for students with AP classes and a strong liberal arts curriculum in STEM and the humanities, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter High School (BLCHS) will give students access to unique internships and programs at local colleges that allow them to earn college credit while still in high school.

Read more.

10 high schools receive $10M for rethinking traditional mode

Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive, September 16, 2016

Dive Brief:
The XQ Institute awarded $100 million to 10 schools around the country experimenting with nontraditional teaching and learning techniques as part of its Super School Project, funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The New York Times reports the Somerville Steam Academy in Massachusetts operates without standard class periods or grade levels, Rise High in Los Angeles is organized around the needs of students who are homeless or in foster care, and Brooklyn Laboratory Charter High School will have a nearly 9-hour long school day.

Read more.

Redesigning High School through the XQ: Super School Project

Karen Cator, Digital Promise, September 15, 2016

We are excited, proud, and humbled to partner with Vista High School to develop an XQ Super School! It is one of the 10 chosen Super Schools and a member of our League of Innovative Schools.

Redesigning a large traditional district school, Vista High School will work to develop creators, inventors, powerful thinkers and innovators — students who learn and grow and take action to solve real-world problems through exploration, analysis, debate, imagination, and risk-taking. It will be a community where communication, collaboration, respect, and the pursuit of meaningful goals will bind and strengthen all of its members. It will be a school that embraces technologies and networks as means to inspire and be inspired — to dive deeper into the disciplines and arts to find understanding and compassion — to build a better world. Students and teachers will co-create curriculum based on the Challenge Based Learning framework and tackle challenges defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more.

10 High School Redesign Projects Win $100 Million in 'XQ Super School' Contest

Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, September 14, 2016

In one of the nation's biggest school-redesign competitions, 10 teams won a collective $100 million Wednesday to create new high schools or transform existing ones across the country.

Each of the winners of XQ: The Super School Project will have $10 million over the next five years to undertake ambitious projects centered on innovative, engaging approaches to learning. All projects serve student populations that are predominantly low-income and/or racial minority.

Read more.

These 10 Ideas Are Each Getting $10 Million to Change High School

Katie Reilly, Time, September 15, 2016

From floating classrooms to virtual field trips

A year after putting out an open call for proposals to rethink American high school, the XQ Institute is awarding a total of $100 million to 10 schools to pursue their ideas.

The organization, which announced the winners on Wednesday, tasked schools with developing new approaches to high school in the 21st century. The “Super School Project” was funded by the Emerson Collective, which is led by Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Nearly 700 school teams submitted applications. Ten, including both charter and public schools, were chosen to receive $10 million over the course of five years.

Read more.

Brooklyn Middle School Wins $10 Million To Build Dream High School

Vanessa Murdock, CBS New York, September 15, 2016

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A couple of eighth graders from a Brooklyn charter school just won their future high school millions of dollars with their creativity and forward thinking.

Now, they get to turn their dreams into reality.

“We won $10 million. I was like, ‘Oh my God’ and I freaked out,” 13-year-old Suzuki Allen told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“I had no words, I was speechless,” 13-year-old Adajenae Cox said.

The two eighth graders couldn’t believe their middle school, Brooklyn Lab, beat out more than 700 others from across the country to win $10 million. They competed in XQ: The Superschool Challenge.

Read more.

$100 Million Awarded in Contest to Rethink U.S. High Schools

Elizabeth A. Harris, The New York Times, September 14, 2016

An organization announced on Wednesday that it had chosen the winners of $10 million grants in a competition to rethink the American high school.
The organization — the XQ Institute, which is backed by Laurene Powell Jobs — is funding 10 schools, for a total of $100 million.
One of the winners, the Somerville Steam Academy in Somerville, Mass., will operate without standard class periods and without separating students by age.
Rise High in Los Angeles will be designed for students who are homeless or in foster care. It will share locations around the city with service providers, like medical or mental health centers, and will have a mobile classroom to teach or tutor students wherever they are.
And in New York City, at the Brooklyn Laboratory Charter High School, the school day will last from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Read more.

Going Back to (Brooklyn LAB) School With the White House and Department of Education

Elsie Simpliciano, EdSurge, September 15, 2016

Everyone is going back to school. That includes White House and U.S. Department of Education officials, who are on an “Opportunity Across America” back-to-school bus tour. Their goal: to celebrate the progress in making technology more accessible in our nation’s schools over the last several years through the efforts of the ConnectED and Future Ready Schools initiatives.

One of their first stops was Brooklyn Laboratory Schools (LAB), in Brooklyn, New York, founded in 2014 on the premise of creating online personalized learning platforms, forging teacher pathways and building community partnerships.

Read more.

Can $10 million build the ideal high school?

Jamie Martinez, Hechinger Report, September 15, 2016

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—If kids designed high schools, the classrooms would be full of computer screens, books, games and holograms — and there would be no tests. Or at least that was the ideal world imagined by a group of Brooklyn middle schoolers this year.

Their dreams might be closer to coming true after their middle school, Brooklyn LAB, won $10 million to design a new high school on Wednesday.

The school is one of 10 winners of the XQ: The Super School Project competition and will be awarded $10 million from the XQ Institute, an initiative designed to encourage schools to invent new ways to update and redesign America’s high schools, which it argues “remain frozen in time.”

Read more.

Brooklyn Charter School Receives $10 Million

Leslie Brody, The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2016

A downtown Brooklyn charter school on Wednesday won $10 million in a nationwide contest that aimed to rethink high school.

The Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School is one of 10 winners out of about 700 entrants in the contest funded by the Emerson Collective, the philanthropic organization of Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs.

The contest reflects her desire to boost innovation in a realm where many elements—such as the summers-off calendar and classroom setup of many schools—seem frozen in time.

Five other charter schools, and four district schools, won the other $10 million prizes.

Read more.

Six questions for the U.S. Department of Education’s ed tech chief

Alex Zimmerman, Chalkbeat, September 14, 2016

As the director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education, Joseph South spends lots of time traversing the country to see how schools use tech. And he isn’t always satisfied with what he notices: Schools, he said, often invest in flashy devices and software without carefully thinking about how it can serve their curriculum or enable new teaching methods.

But on Tuesday, South, along with White House officials, toured Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School’s new middle school campus and was pleasantly surprised. “We were really pleased we got here and it wasn’t just a cool tech system, but they had a really robust model to go along with it,” he said.

Read more.

Brooklyn Charter Wins Contest to Rethink American High School

Beth Fertig, WNYC's School Book, September 14, 2016 

A Brooklyn charter school is among 10 winners of a national contest to rethink what an American high school should look like.
On Wednesday, the XQ: The Super School Project announced the winners at an event in Washington, DC. Brooklyn Lab Charter school will get $10 million dollars over the next five years from XQ to create a new high school for about 800 students.
In selecting the school's proposal, XQ cited its success with "complex learners." Nearly 40 percent of Brooklyn Lab students have special needs, according to co-founder Erin Mote. The two middle schools provide up to two hours of daily tutoring and use technology, including Chrome Books for every child, to customize instruction.

Read more.

White House Visits Brooklyn LAB to Celebrate Opening of 2nd Middle School

Alexandra Leon, DNAinfo, September 13, 2016

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Public charter school Brooklyn LAB celebrated the opening of its second middle school location Tuesday with a visit from the White House. 
 
Students led White House officials and members of the U.S. Department of Education on a tour of the new middle school at 40 Flatbush Ave. Extension, which will now house Brooklyn LAB’s seventh- and eighth-grader.

Read more.

NewSchools Venture Fund Announces Next 'Invent' Cohort of School Designers

EdSurge, Jun 6, 2016

Opening a new school entirely on one's own is challenging, but certain organizations, like NewSchools Venture Fund (NSVF), hope to ease the pain with funding and support. On June 2, the nonprofit announced its next NewSchools Invent cohort (formerly called the Catapult program), where schools designers will receive more than $3 million in grants. The money will fund four new school openings in fall of 2016, and the planning of 10 schools with potential to launch in fall of 2017.

Read more.

Platforms Have Transformed the Economy. Is Education Next?

Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, July 26, 2016

Push a button and a car shows up. Search, click, shazam: dinner arrives. Want to make a quick trip to New York? A flight and room in a stranger’s flat are a few clicks away. Perhaps you’ll visit your high school friend–he appears to enjoy his grandkids.

Digital platforms have transformed the way we live, work, travel and learn. The three largest firms (by market capitalization: Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft) run platform businesses. Add Amazon and Facebook, and platform businesses account for five of the largest seven businesses.

Read more.

Without ‘grit’ or ‘no excuses,’ how one charter high school is preparing to send high-needs students to college

Chalkbeat, July 6, 2016

Navigating a career path used to be like riding a steamship — a slow and steady trip to a certain future, said Erin Mote, a co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter High School. Today, it more closely resembles whitewater kayaking, she said, full of rocks and choppy waters.

Yet, Mote and her husband, co-founder and executive director Eric Tucker, have a plan to help their students learn to paddle the waves. They have decided to open a charter high school in 2017, as a planned extension of their current Brooklyn middle school.


With their vision newly approved by the Board of Regents in June, Mote and Tucker join a growing number of charter school leaders who are branching out into serving older students.

Read more.

State Charter Association Congratulates New Charters Schools Approved By Both SUNY and The Board Of Regents

The Long Island Exchange, June 13, 2016

The Northeast Charter Schools Network today congratulated 11 new charter schools scheduled to open across New York State in the coming years. The SUNY Board of Trustees’ Charter Schools Committee approved eight new schools on Monday. They’ll be located in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. The State Board of Regents approved three new schools. They’ll be located in Buffalo, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

“We congratulate and thank the charter leaders for their commitment to providing more opportunities to families and children in communities that desperately need them.”

Read more.

3 LMS adoptions that go way beyond the basics

Bridget McCrea, eSchool News, February 24, 2016

Learning management systems originally got their start in higher education, serving as central hub for college students to drop in assignments, check grades, and contact their professors. Needless to say it caught on with universities—and eventually school districts.

Today’s LMS is a bit of an upgrade, with new features and design elements frequently drawn from the social networking sites students love so much. Developed by Blackboard, Desire2Learn, itslearning, Takai, Canvas, and a host of others, these solutions focus on helping educators organize and orchestrate learning tools, educational approaches, and whole courses.

Read more.

How data matters for school leaders

Eric Tucker, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Blog, January 5, 2016

Data can be a tremendous asset to mobilizing school communities and unlocking the potential of teachers and learners. At Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB) real-time, ongoing assessment that informs educator practice, coupled with personalized learning, serve as the primary drivers of academic achievement.

School leadership and data are inextricably tied, in part because actionable evidence enables educators who are urgent about getting the job done to demand excellence of themselves and others. Operational, instructional, and assessment data allow leaders who are willing to learn (and humble enough to own when something is not working) to use evidence to inform effective academic systems; achieve consistent behavior and cultural norms; coach and develop exceptional teachers; refine college ready programs; and optimize meaningful learning time.

Read more.

InnovateEDU Uses Ed-Fi Technology to Scale Personalized Learning for Small Districts and Individual Schools

Ed-Fi Alliance, 2015

Even the most digitally focused schools keep track of different types of student data through a variety of means, both electronic and paper-based — and few of these means are compatible with each other. Additionally, there is a pressing need for a secure electronic platform that can provide teachers with a holistic view of each student. With its Cortex product, InnovateEDU developed just such a platform. 

InnovateEDU is a nonprofit that aims to accelerate innovation in nextgeneration learning models and tools that serve, inform and enhance teaching and learning. The company developed Cortex using the Ed-Fi Data Standard and helpful insights from the Ed-Fi Community.

Read more.

Personalized Learning Technologies and Platforms

Stefanie Blouin, Next Gen Learning Blog, November 19, 2015

The field of personalized learning is young but experiencing exponential growth.  This rapid pace of adoption makes the need to address significant challenges facing the field ever more urgent. One real challenge was reflected clearly by a participant in NGLC’s session at last week’s iNACOL Symposium, “Car Talk Comes to iNACOL:” Why haven’t we figured out the platform issue yet? 

The platform issue was deeply explored in another session at the symposium, “Build IT and They Will Come: A Discussion of Schools and Personalized Learning Technologies and Platforms.” NGLC grantees Erin Mote of InnovateEDU and co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School and Adam Carter, CAO of Summit Public Schools, sat on the session’s panel alongside Mary Jo Madda, senior editor at EdSurge, and Mike Baur, program officer at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.  LaVerne Evans Srinivasan of the Carnegie Corporation of New York facilitated the panel.

Read more.

Exciting New Evidence about the Promise of Personalized Learning

Stacey Childress, NewSchools Venture Fund Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education Blog, November 16, 2015 

The number of schools designed for personalized learning is growing rapidly. At NewSchools, we’re helping teams of educators launch many such schools through our Catapult program.

Why did we decide to focus here? One reason is early evidence of the positive effects personalized learning has on students. What do we know so far? The RAND Corporation recently released the findings of the third year of a study of schools implementing personalized learning. The quasi-experimental study follows 11,000 students in 62 schools for two years and includes additional analysis on a subset of 21 of the schools that have three years of data. Among the 11,000 students, 75% are Black or Latino and 80% are low-income. It’s the largest and most rigorous evaluation to date of schools designed explicitly for personalized learning.

Read more.

Inspiration and the Right People @ iNACOL 2015

Dalia Hochman, Next Gen Learning Blog, November 13, 2015

As our colleague Adam Rubin at 2Revolutions tweeted out, iNACOL 2015 has been all about “inspiration and the right people.” I couldn’t agree more. This year’s annual event was the best ever for NGLC. We welcomed nearly 100 of our national and regional K-12 breakthrough model grantees to the event and we were proud to see NGLC schools everywhere—presenting sessions, hosting workshops, and, well, “networking” poolside in the warm, sunny weather. We also were pleased to hear the good news from RAND Education’s study of NGLC schools showing continuing positive effects of schools employing more personalized learning methods.

Read more.

50+ Learning Leaders at #iNACOL15

Getting Smart, November 12, 2015

Today, nearly every American can access the Internet, and the United States leads the world in the availability of advanced wireless broadband Internet services, such as 4G LTE. The benefits of this technological revolution, however, have not been evenly distributed. Millions of Americans still do not regularly use a computer, and research shows that there remain substantial disparities in both Internet use and the quality of access. This “digital divide” is concentrated among older, less educated, and less affluent populations, as well as in rural parts of the country that tend to have fewer choices and slower connections.

Mapping the Digital Divide

July 2015

Today, nearly every American can access the Internet, and the United States leads the world in the availability of advanced wireless broadband Internet services, such as 4G LTE. The benefits of this technological revolution, however, have not been evenly distributed. Millions of Americans still do not regularly use a computer, and research shows that there remain substantial disparities in both Internet use and the quality of access. This “digital divide” is concentrated among older, less educated, and less affluent populations, as well as in rural parts of the country that tend to have fewer choices and slower connections.

Read more.

Personalized Learning – Part 2: Three Ways the Brooklyn Lab Charter School is Personalizing Learning for All Students

National Center for Learning Disabilities, July 1, 2015

NCLD’s policy team had the opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Lab Charter School in New York City. We sat down with educators and school leaders there to learn more about the innovative work they are doing and the personalized learning environment they’ve created for their middle school students. We left Brooklyn Lab with a deeper understanding of what it means to personalize learning in a way that meets the needs of all students.

Read more.

Entrepreneurial learning. College-level reading and writing. Joyful, but rigorous learning.

EDUCAUSE, March 25, 2015

Entrepreneurial learning is the backbone of this Brooklyn charter school network which opened in Fall 2014 to serve grades 6-12, including English language learners and students with disabilities. LAB’s academic model combines empirically effective learning practices with innovative implementation strategies, including a blended learning model that integrates high-dosage tutoring with game-based adaptive courseware and teacher-led lessons.

Read more.

Next-Gen Learning in Brooklyn - Part 1

Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart, January 8, 2015

There is a long history of new school development as a source of quality options and innovative education in New York City--with solid evidence that it has contributed to improved achievement and graduation rates. Some of the recently opened new schools were awarded a Next Generation Learning Challenge grant, including Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB). 

When you walk into LAB's 108 year old building in the heart of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle nothing signals traditional school. But as we reported in their opening month, the LAB school is all about relationship building.

Read more.

Schools Hire Help to Boost Lunchs' Kid Appeal

Hadley Malcom, USA Today, December 17, 2014

Lunchtime in school cafeterias still faces a tastebud challenge in the third year of federal regulations requiring healthier meals.

Lesson learned: Simply piling more whole-grain heavy and vegetable-laden foods on the midday menu doesn't make kids love them more.

Read more.

The Gig as New Super Highway: More, Better, Faster, Easier

Erin Mote, Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, December 16, 2014

In 1956 President Dwight D Eisenhower worked with Congress to create the Federal Highway System, a national network that would transform commerce throughout the United States. Now, goods could get from coast to coast or from city to city with a continuous system of roads – spurring new industries, like trucking, and transforming the way that Americans receive goods and services.

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The Currency of Connectivity: Networking for Innovation in Chattanooga

Erin Mote, December 1, 2014, Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund

In late November, Erin Mote, co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School and Mozilla’s Special Adviser on Next-Gen Learning, visited Chattanooga to explore our growing Hive Learning Community and to participate in a Next Century Cities hearing on expanding gig access. Below, Erin reflects on her visit to the Gig City and on the role Mozilla is playing in Chattanooga’s innovation ecosystem.

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Brooklyn LAB Featured in Getting Smart's Innovative School Report: Lighting the Path to Personalized Learning: Inspiring Stories from Next Generation Schools

November 5, 2014

As the Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School scholars funnel out the front door at the end of a long day, it is easy to see that although challenged and sometimes emotionally exhausted, they feel comfortable and safe in the environment that surrounds them. At the heart of the school are relationships, a genuine concern for students’ academic and emotional well-being. And as those energetic and emotional sixth graders hurry out to meet their parents and guardians, you can see the slight look of appreciation—a look that may be hidden or masked, but one that you know is there, and one that will become more and more obvious as they mature.

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NGLC Announces 7.2 Million in Grants to Help Launch 16 Personalized, Comptency-Based Schools: $450,000 grants support new schools or redesigns in 10 states, to open this fall

May 6, 2014

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) today announced 16 launch grants totaling $7.2 million to be invested in “breakthrough” middle and high schools opening—or reopening—their doors this fall. The grant recipients were selected from among 45 highly competitive applicants from across the country. Each grant recipient will receive a total award amount of $450,000, including an initial $150,000 investment and up to $300,000 in matching funds. The awards are part of NGLC’s larger initiative to work with innovative educators and organizations to develop breakthrough schools.

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Joy & Rigor: The And-Both Solution

Tom Vander Ark, January 19, 2014

Is it possible to create a high-engagement school where students do interesting and relevant work and meet high expectations? Erin Mote and Eric Tucker are a smart duo developing Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB) and they think the answer is decidedly YES. Admittedly, they haven’t figured it all out but they have seven months before 132 sixth graders show up at their school in the heart of downtown Brooklyn near the Farragut housing projects.

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Proposed Charter School Hopes to Ready Students for Jobs in the Tech Sector

Janet Upadhye, November 8, 2013

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN— Founders of a proposed public charter school —Brooklyn Lab School — are focused on preparing students for the next generation by forging an alliance between Brooklyn's tech community and the school's students and teachers."Our sixth-graders will graduate from college and pursue jobs in sectors that don't even exist yet and that we can hardly imagine," said co-founder Eric Tucker. "We want to teach them to make things, tinker, think, code and come to understand what they are passionate about."

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Two K-12 Grantees Recently Featured on Getting Smart Blog

Kristi DePaul, March 13, 2014

At first glance, Piedmont City Schools in rural Alabama and New York City’s Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School may not appear to have much in common. The former is a rural district working to bring its students into the 21st century in the Deep South; the other, a brand new charter school in the heart of New York City. Their student populations differ greatly. Each of the schools face varying economic, cultural and technological challenges, and the models that educators are implementing do not exactly overlap. What do these K-12 schools do have in common? Both are NGLC grantees in the planning phase of breakthrough models for college readiness. Both are actively using technology and innovative pedagogy to break down barriers, preparing diverse student bodies for brighter futures.

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