Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014: The (Continuing) Year of the Edupreneur

The Victorian Era. The Age of Discovery. The Byzantine. The Renaissance. The Enlightenment. The Edupreneur? Forbes Magazine has crowned 2014 the era of the Edupreneur (no longer just a year as fellow blogger EduShyster wrote in 2012). Last we checked, Forbes was a business magazine. But then, the lines between education and business are so blurry it's no wonder Forbes needs to issue a 30 Under 30 for education.

Behold: "This is the era of the edupreneur, when being a K-12 or higher ed professional can mean anything from cofounding a start-up with excess of $50 million in funding or launching a venture that uses the Kickstarter model to fund classrooms and libraries in at-risk communities in the U.S. and abroad. The 30 Under 30 in education are in forefront of this revolution."

In a word: cha-ching!

A start-up in excess of $50 million dollars? How about the revolutionary venture of spreading that dough around to some neighborhood schools so students can have textbooks that weren't written in the 1970s?

The bios of these profiteers go-getters feature what we're dubbing the 3 Is of education: incubator, investor, innovator. Cha-cha-cha-ching!

Some head companies with revenues in the tens of millions, others it seems are hell-bent on dismantling education, especially Andrew Buher, COO of NYC's school system: "The future of education is dependent upon our admitting that the very concept of an all-powerful school system is an outdated model that hinders learning instead of enhancing it." Have he and the new, un-reformy Chancellor of NYC Schools, Carmen Farina, met? 

The Ivy League and Teach for America alums feature prominently, and unless we missed something, the two (former) public school teachers featured--Jeremiah Kittredge and Caryn Voskuil--now work for charter organizations. Scrolling through the variously sleek, earnest, and ironic pictures of the 30, few resemble the students we teach. So, how can any of them know what's best for what's to come in urban education?

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