February 27, 2012

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Invest, Innovate, Educate.

One important step to improve American education would be to use technology to support more effective education. This isn’t about having cable in every classroom; it is about using the power of the information age to transform the way America teaches and learns at every level from pre-K to adult education.

This will only happen as more companies develop and market new programs and products, and that’s only going to happen when venture capitalists think there is money to be made in the field and offer promising start ups (that, for example, put experienced teachers together with tech wizards to design products that actual teachers find actually helpful) the resources they need to turn a vision into a product.

Unfortunately, venture capitalists are staying out of the K-12 education market in droves. The world’s central bankers are printing money as fast as they can, there is more capital floating around the world system than ever before, and venture capitalism has made handsome enough returns for so long that the whole process of financing start ups is more advanced and efficient than ever before.

Enhancing American educational performance is one of our greatest needs, and with millions of young people in school, the potential market is huge.

Yet with all this going in its favor, venture capitalists aren’t biting. A recent meeting that brought venture capitalists and education bigwigs together came up with some interesting reasons why.

Read the whole thing.

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