Eight Startup Weekends kicked off last night across the world. Here at ours in D.C., 30 intrepid individuals stood up to pitch their ideas to a packed room. But instead of business or tech ideas, we heard pitches for next generation school ideas. Instead of a conference room, we were in the cafeteria at Columbia Heights Educational Campus. Instead of coders, we had educators.
We heard about interdisciplinary studies, arts integration, teacher-organized schools, and service learning. We heard about Maslow’s hierarchy, the need for student voice, testing beyond reading and math, and making use of community resources outside of school walls. We had classroom teachers, charter school leaders, folks from the federal Department of Ed, and—for one of the highlights of the weekend—a high school senior.
Everyone voted on the best ideas and ten teams formed. They now have 54 hours to develop their idea. On Sunday afternoon, they will present to a panel of judges.
If you had 60 seconds to summarize how school can be different and serve all students, what would you pitch?