It is the first week of a new chapter for us here at the NYC Department of Education’s main office in Tweed Courthouse. Our co-founder and former CEO, Joel Rose, is no longer around.
Since Joel formally announced his resignation on March 21, School of One has popped up quite a bit in the news. Bloggers Rick Hess and Elizabeth Green each chimed in with their takes on what this all means for innovation and educational entrepreneurship in NYC and beyond, and Andy Rotherham wrote about Joel’s resignation in his Time column. Education Week’s Ian Quillen also posted some periodic updates on his blog and in print. Given the complexity of the situation, we were pretty impressed with the nuanced coverage across the board.
As the news of Joel’s departure spread, though, we saw some briefer and sometimes-misleading coverage from other outlets. A New York Post article claimed that NYC was “slamming the brakes” on School of One’s expansion. The New York Times implied that the delayed expansion had something to do with “unanswered questions” from the city about School of One’s effectiveness. Neither of those claims is true (For the record, we have confirmed that the DOE spokesperson did not mention a word about effectiveness to the Times, and only said that it would delay expansion for one year).
In any event, we know that our situation is complicated. So here are some questions to which we do have answers:
Will School of One expand in New York City in 2011-2012? No. The DOE is under budgetary constraints which has forced us to delay expansion. We now plan to expand School of One to four new NYC schools in 2012-2013. In the mean time, we are committed to fully supporting our three current partner sites in the 2011-2012 school year.
What about School of One’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant? The DOE was fortunate to receive a $5 million grant from the US Department of Education to scale School of One’s model. This grant continues to fund the planning and implementation of our 2012-13 expansion.
Who will be in charge of School of One going forward? The School of One team – around 30 hard-working men, women, and algorithms – remains fully intact in Joel Rose’s absence. Wireless Generation will continue to provide leadership for technology solutions. And we will continue to work hard to support all of our schools at the highest level. Jonathan Werle will take the formal reins as Project Manager, reporting to the DOE’s Deputy Chancellor for Talent, Labor, and Innovation.
We hope this clarifies some questions and look forward to a productive final three months of the school year.