New Schools Upping the Ante?

Word on the edstreet is that the New Schools Venture Fund has upped the ante on their portfolio performance measures, and even some of their high-performing grantees are wondering how they are going to meet the new goals.

The optimist in me hopes they are trying to inspire transformative leaps instead of incremental change. My inner pessimist worries that this reflects growing impatience of NSVF’s investors, and could signify that the current up cycle in education entrepreneurship philanthropy is cresting.

– Guestblogger Michael Robbins

One Reply to “New Schools Upping the Ante?”

  1. 1. Upping the ante from what standard to what standard, measured how? To date, there has been no flood of data – let alone analysis on the grantees performance in raising student achievement – and certainly not benchmarked against similarly sized investments in other grantees by “non-venture (old school philanthropy.

    2. There is no accountability without consequences. Most grantees can’t make it financially without their NS funding – they will not downsize, they will go under. Is the consequence of not making it according to whatever measure/standard to be losing Private or public scoldings? that funding? Firing the managers? What?

    3. What about the accountability of those who propose investments within NS? Will we see those with a less than stellar record identifying, recommending, and being responsible for grantees with a poor relative ROI affected in some way? Maybe let go? Docked pay?

    Until we have some understanding on these three points, the venture capital analogy is kind of a sham.

    I’ll be touching on the other side of this coin in a series on “social entrepreneurship” at edbizbuzz. See here for the first installment:

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