In five years, New Schools has given 10,000 kids access to new schools, says Smith. Public charter schools provide an alternative to government-run schools by giving the school much more flexibility while maintaining accountability. She believes this flexibility encourages innovation and increased performance. Other portfolio items include:
1) Teachscape - an online teacher-training program, which uses a video case method of instruction
2) Successforall - a non-profit literacy program spun out of John Hopkins
3) Carnegie Learning - a for-profit literacy program competitor.
Kim Smith lectures on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students, October 19, 2003. Kim Smith is co-founder and CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, which she established in 1998 to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs. In NewSchools, Kim created a new "hybrid" approach to investing in social entrepreneurs. NewSchools uses grants, loans and equity investments to support a portfolio that includes nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurs who are building sustainable, scalable education ventures. In this Stanford lecture, she talks about venture philanthropy, fixing problems in K-12 education and how entrepreneurs must lead people from radically different sectors.